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Stephen Covey once asked people in the audience in one of his time management videos: Who has too little time to ‘take gas’? Many people raised their hands.


  • Did you skip your breakfast today?
  • Do you often work through lunch?
  • Are your days often filled with back-to-back meetings and phone calls without a break?
  • Do you handle your emails (or other work) over the weekend?
  • Does work occasionally interfere with your exercise routine?
  • Do you often lie awake thinking about things you still need to do at work?
  • Do you feel like you have more to do than is possible within working hours?

If you answered yes to some of these questions, then please read on.


I hear more and more around me, from friends as well as clients, that they are running out of time. The effect of this is that the things they like to do for themselves are sacrificed.

  • “It’s not a good time to go to the doctor now.” (And continuing with high blood pressure.)
  • “I don’t have time for my coaching session now, I’ll postpone it for a few more months.” (Especially now, it’s important!). Some people even completely decline the offer for coaching because they don’t have time.
  • During a training day: “I have to leave earlier today because I have a call.”
  • “No, I can’t walk with you on Saturday because I have to finish a presentation.”
  • “I’ll call my mother next week.”

Does something like this sound familiar to you? Then you also have ‘too little time to take .’


Causes I hear vary from psychological to practical. In case of more psychological causes think of beliefs such as “If I don’t do this now, they won’t like me anymore.” Or “It’s not good enough yet.” “I have to do it, or else it will go wrong.” “My colleague is already so busy.”

Practical causes are more about having too few colleagues to do the work or the business falling behind due to Corona, ‘which now needs to be caught up.’ Especially just before the holidays, we tend to push a little harder, put in an extra effort. Who doesn’t know the thought, “Almost vacation.” “I want to finish it or leave it in good shape for my colleagues.”

Recovery time

Whatever the reasons are and how understandable they might be, we need ‘recovery time.’ If we have exerted a lot of effort, had a lot of stress, or stayed up late, our body works just like a phone battery or a car’s gas tank. After intensive use, the battery needs to be recharged, or the tank needs to be filled. If we forget to put the phone on the charger or do it only briefly, the battery will eventually run out.

It works the same way with our bodies. We also need to be recharged regularly. If we don’t do that or do it too little, we will notice the consequences. Think of bad tempers, poor concentration, difficulty focusing, being less creative, or physical discomfort. (Such as headaches, neck or shoulder pain, a knot in the stomach, palpitations, and the like.) These signs can be the beginning of overload, and we must not ignore them. It’s time to refuel!


To remain resilient, you must replenish your energy daily. For everyone, ‘refueling’ is different. One thing is for sure: it is important for everyone to have enough rest, to sleep well (you recharge the most during your sleep), nourish the body well, and exercise. For the rest, it is more personal. Where one person relaxes with a good book, another person may get more energy from music or doing something fun with a friend. The question is: how well do you know yourself? What recharges you? Answer the following questions to find out:

  1. What drains your energy?
  2. What gives you energy?
  3. How could you take better care of yourself?
  4. What would that bring you? And for your immediate environment?
  5. Choose 1 activity that normally costs you energy and that you will do in the coming week with a different attitude/from a different belief, so that it costs you less energy. How will you do that?

Choose 1 activity that you want to do in the coming week that gives you energy. Make it SMART.

Golden Rule: After effort – relaxation

Here are a few tips (there are many more, and I would love to discuss them with you) to ‘refuel’ or go through the day a bit less stressed:

  • Take your time to get up, dress, and have breakfast.
  • Do one thing AFTER another AND with mindful attention.
  • Respect your breaks.
  • What doesn’t necessarily have to be done, leave it.
  • No motivation = tired. Take a rest.
  • Temporarily avoid as many contacts that cause you stress as possible.
  • Exercise a little occasionally (short walk, go to the coffee machine).
  • After work, don’t go straight to the next activity; take a break first.
  • Do the 3-minuten ademruimte oefening.
  • And, last but not least, if you notice that you have been tired for a long time, do just a little less each time than you think you are able to

    Do you have other tips you want to share? I’d love to hear or read about them in the comments. For now, I wish you a relaxed and enjoyable summer! Rest well and ‘refuel