Stop Stealing My Bandwidth! 10 Tips to Boost Your Energy and Productivity

Are you being stretched beyond your means, be it home, work, and everything in between?

Are time and energy suckers getting the best of you, while important people and goals in your life get, well, the leftovers?

Here are 10 not-so-gentle reminders to help you preserve energy, boost productivity, and protect your precious bandwidth in the process.

1. Draw Your Boundaries and Defend Them

Boundaries are about respect for yourself and others you care about. There are experts out there, and a series of bestselling books, so I won’t go into detail other than to make them real and remind yourself often.

It’s not enough to say NO more often unless you’re willing to hold your lines.

Also, stop letting people pick your brain and waste your time. Or in the least, find an alternative way to respond (more answers via FastCompany). It’s also helps to be respectful and cognizant of when you’re asking that of others.

2. Write it ALL Down

Most swear by writing out their major goals to make them visible and get them done.

What works for me is writing everything I need to do down, to the smallest of details, and even the automatic stuff I would do anyway in the course of the day. I do check in with the big picture goals and metrics regularly, but live daily in my own minutia.

It helps me to achieve progressive wins, and find out where my time is being spent to “eat the frog,” or get done and out the way the most difficult tasks, first (horrible saying; good intention).

3. Rest/Fuel/Move 

Don’t try to get enough sleep, eat right and exercise. Those words sound exhausting in themselves.

Rest because it will renew and refresh, to feel better, be a more effective person and collaborator and make sound decisions. Fuel your body with food that boosts and sustains your energy levels. Move in a way that feels good for you and doesn’t leave you in a state of pain, exhaustion or dread for the next time.

She in the CLE co-founder Amy Martin said it best in her post “How I Crushed 40!”: “I was going to move more. Notice I didn’t say diet — but move.”

4. Multiply Your Time

Not to be confused with multitasking, I learned about multipliers in a leadership training class and try to use whenever I can. For example like in the last point, plan for family or friend bike rides to combine quality time with physical activity. Or get others involved in meal time preparations, or watch a movie together while you fold laundry. Get creative.

5. Detach

Remove yourself (occasionally or whenever you can) from all that’s expected of you, including required responsibilities you’ve grown to loathe and the dastardly grips of social media consumption.

See more tips in this influencive post, Treat Yourself to a Productivity Breakthrough with These Secrets from an Inc. 500 Entrepreneur by Brian D. Evans.

6. Attach

To new experiences, people, etc. to break up the monotony of a schedule, challenge yourself to new ideas, and open your heart and mind to new relationships, no matter how big or small.

7. Serve Others

There are those in your life who demand project updates, or juice boxes, or snuggle time; they will get that of you every day.

Think about making an impact, even very small, on the life of another with nothing expected in return. Consider this quote from an excerpt by poet David Whyte: “The antidote to exhaustion is wholeheartedness.”

8. Visit Your Happy Place

If this makes you think of the movie Happy Gilmore, you’d be right. Can you think back to a time or experience when you felt authentic, free, joyful? Is there a way you can associate these feelings with your present day activities to lessen the blow, and put more energy behind tasks? I created an 80s/90s Nostalgia YouTube mix that never fails to perk me up.

9. Reflect

I’m horrible at this. Read this awesome post by author Jocelyn K. Glei instead: Take a Load Off: The Missing Key to Productivity Is Reflection.

10. Get Real

What works for me might work for you, or possibly the complete opposite.

We’re not perfect, and won’t get it all done. But we can become rather amazing in the process.

Fight to protect and better manage the 24 hours you are given each day, to send out your very best signals to the world around you.


For the full story behind the mystery of the stolen bandwidth, view the full version of this post on originally posted on 01/07/2017.

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Christina Capadona-Schmitz

Christina Capadona-Schmitz (@ChristinaCS & @DownWithSpitUp) leads marketing communications for Oswald Companies, a risk management and financial services company in Cleveland, Ohio. She is on the clock 24/7 with her parenting resource blog, among other creative pursuits and community endeavors at Connect with her on LinkedIn at

6 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Awesome post, Christina! I love how you look at it as bandwidth, which is such a business term. And when we talk in business about bandwidth, we take it very seriously, we look at time management and we set realistic deadlines that we know we can hit. But we never tend to do that with our own time. 2016 was my year of “No” about politely declining requests and engagements that took me away from my priorities. It was extremely liberating. I need to figure out where I am for 2017 — and I will start with taking your recommendation on #2 and writing things down. Great post!

    • Thanks so much Amy, managing this “balance” of priorities, energy, interests, firedrills, etc. is an endless pursuit, no doubt. What’s great is that how through She In The CLE, readers and bloggers alike – though living extremely different lives – can find common ground and support through open conversations like these, and certainly know we aren’t alone in whatever challenge we’re facing. Thanks again.

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