How To Combat the Energy Stealers That Hijack Your Day

Protect your ability to get get things done

Ellen Goodwin


Photo by Vchalup for Dreamstime

Fall showed up this week at my house, and the temperature dropped down far enough that we needed to turn the furnace on. When we did, we noticed that the house wasn’t heating up as it should. Because we weren’t prepared for fall, our home was full of energy leaks.

The window in the guest room that we always leave open a couple of inches was still open a couple of inches. The gap between the back door and the frame, which we vowed to get fixed during the summer, but didn’t, was still letting heat flow freely into the backyard. With just these two leaks, we were, as my father used to say, “Heating up the whole outdoors.”

Like energy leaks in houses, you too can find your mental and physical energy leaking away, usually due to sneaky “Energy Stealers” that pop up during your day.

These Energy Stealers have many forms, from co-workers and family to unconscious habits and distractions. These, and many, many more, show up and do their best to drain your energy. When they succeed, you feel frustrated from not being able to get things done. You have less time for the things you want to do. You feel more exhausted and less satisfied with your life.

The good news is: it’s not what the Energy Stealers do to you; it’s how you react to them that ultimately matters.

If you let them take your energy, it can ruin your day. If you have a solid plan for responding to them, you can save your day.

Remember my house leaking out energy and heat? Do you think we’re going to let that happen all fall and winter? Of course not! We don’t want outrageous gas bills and to have to bundle up in sweatshirts and mittens while inside the house. We’ve identified a couple of the Energy Stealers in our home, and now we’re going to react by fixing them.

It’s the same with your personal Energy Stealers. Once you identify the ones that affect you the most often and most profoundly, then you can decide on the best reaction to them. I’ve found…



Ellen Goodwin

Productivity Consultant, TEDx Speaker, Podcast Co-host, Author of DONE: How To Work When No One Is Watching. Learn more at