Getting Energy

Paul Adams
Sep 18, 2016 · 2 min read

This is a half baked post about feeling energetic or feeling tired. What I hope to get to is a list of things that give me energy, and a list of things that suck energy out of me, and optimise my life for the former.

I believe the more energy you have, the more you can get done. There are obvious things that give you energy like good food and restful sleep. But there are other things, and I’ve been trying to analyse this lately so I can derive as much energy as available to me.

Here is where I’m at, I don’t really know yet what I’m yalking about here.


Some places give you energy. Other places suck the energy out of you. Maybe it is the light, maybe it is the surroundings. Maybe it is what is around you. It’s certainly different for different people.

The sea gives me energy. Lakes don’t, but the sea always does. I have no idea why. I love the sea. Being near the sea gives me energy. If I haven’t seen the sea for a while, maybe a week or two, it starts to take energy away from me.

San Francisco gives me energy. Everywhere I look I’m inspired by the all the other people in tech, trying to build something, the wild ambition and positivity.

The Dingle Peninsula in Kerry gives me energy. But in a completely different way to SF. It allows me to disconnect from technology and derive energy from the natural beauty surrounding me. You can see the sea everywhere you look in Dingle. So maybe it is the sea again.

Working in Dublin doesn’t give me energy because the average outlook on what is possible is way too small. Yet I still love living in Dublin. Living in Dublin gives me energy because it is where my family are, it’s near the sea, people are generally very likeable.


Being around other people gives me energy. I always seek to be with other people, I rarely prefer being alone. I like working problems out with people. I like giving talks to people. I love being around my family and friends.

Some specific people give you energy. Other people suck the energy out of you. I assume that the list of energy providing people and energy sucking people is different for everyone. There is some natural energy match. I imagine that some people get energy from me, but for others I suck the energy out of them.

People who are positive, always assume the best in others, always want to make things happen, and overcome adversity give me energy. Ambitious people give me energy.


Some software gives me energy. WhatsApp gives me energy. ToDoist gives me energy. Twitter gives me energy. Maybe it’s the design of the software, maybe it’s something else. Most software sucks the energy out of me, and I hate it as a result. I hope the software we’re building at Intercom is providing energy to people, but I don’t know.


Having a nice cold beer gives me energy. Does that count?

Paul Adams

Written by

VP of Product @Intercom. Before that PM, UX, Design at Facebook, Google, Dyson. I like building things with others. Wrote a book

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