One Easy Way to Have More Energy at Work

Kill the negative. Pursue the positive.


Do you ever leave the office feeling completely drained?

Do the hours and tasks all seem to run together?

Do you feel under-appreciated at your job, and question the meaning of your work?

It’s not just you.

Office workers of all ranks, from the most junior to the C suite, have a tendency to feel victim to this malaise at some point.

The uninspired feeling of, “meh” has plagued our society since we traded the family farm for the cubicle farm.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

There is one really easy thing you can do every day, that will not only dramatically change how you feel at work, but also how you feel about your work.

Kill the negative energy.

You know the tired head feeling you get when you expend a lot of brain power on something? Like when you’re trying to figure out a difficult math problem or how someone could possibly consider Donald Trump a worthy Presidential Candidate.

The reason your brain feels tired is because its burning glucose.

Glucose is energy. Just like how working out and burning calories makes your body tired, burning glucose makes your brain tired.

You only have so much glucose to give. And every tiny decision you make — every little thing your brain has to register — uses a little bit more of it.

So think about all the different interactions and decisions you make during the work day.

Are they all positive?
Or are some of them negative?

When I examined this in my own work life, I was surprised at how many times throughout my day I wasted energy on negative things:

  • Complaining about the packed Blue Line train with a co-worker
  • Hate reading Vox.com articles about Donald Trump
  • Entertaining some “harmless office gossip” while at lunch
  • Day dreaming about working remotely from Thailand

These interactions seemed small and harmless at the time. But if I took them all together and added them up — I was shocked at how much of my energy I devoted towards negative things.

Pursue the positive energy.

So it’s great that you’re going to stop gossiping at the water cooler, but there’s just one more thing.

What if you took the time and attention you were previously placing on the negative, and instead spend that energy on the positive?

This could look different for different people:

  • Go outside and get some fresh air
  • Take a lap around the block or around the office
  • Meditate
  • Let a coworker know you appreciate them, or compliment them (professionally)

It doesn’t really matter what you do, but it matters that it’s constructive and helps build up/ maintain your spirit or those around you. Reading TMZ.com does neither of those things, BTW.

“But it’s my ONE thing.”

Shut up.

For me it’s a frequent (if not daily) meditation practice and commitment to providing positive feedback to my coworkers unprovoked and often.
Give good -> get good, after all.

And for me, it’s been successful.

Don’t get me wrong, I still drink my coffee religiously every morning — and there are still times I wish I could sleep under my desk George Costanza style — but I don’t find myself dragging my feet through the office, “meh’ing” around like a teenager on a family vacation.

So if you’ve found yourself feeling in a slump at work, I’d encourage you to try this before making any drastic changes.

Kill the negative. Pursue the positive.

Who knows, it could work.

If not, you will at least save yourself some glucose.

“Attitude is a little thing
that makes a big difference.”
-Winston Churchill


This post also appeared on LinkedIn (because, why not?). You can follow me there if you want, but I’m better on Instagram.