I was doing some planning work with a lovely coaching client of mine recently and she mentioned that she was asking herself more often whether or not a project was giving her energy or draining her energy.

I thought this was a wonderful question to be asking and one that we all need to ask ourselves more often about the projects we work on, the people we work with, our workplaces, our clients - everything.

We've all worked on those projects that are a nightmare. Just thinking about them drains us of energy. Every task is that little bit harder than it needs to be and there really is little joy or satisfaction to be had in doing the work.

When it comes to people, we need to consider the same thought, with a slight adjustment. After every encounter ask if the person fueled your energy or drained your energy. Now in some situations, you may be working with someone because you actually energize them and a project and that's what you bring to the table. You just need to know this and manage it accordingly.

I think that the key is to look for patterns. Are there certain types of projects, people, clients or environments that completely drain you? If you can work out what they are you can consciously avoid them. Of course when you flip the coin and find the type of project, people, clients or environments that energize you, finding more of them isn't just nice, it's essential.

Long-term success in business really is becoming more about self-management than anything else. We are all crazy busy, we are overloaded and we all have limited amounts of energy to play with. Don't waste it. Clearly you will get more done and finish the day in better shape if you can be working in a way that energizes you as opposed to working in a way that completely zaps you.

Make considered choices in all that you and in this instance, make these choices around the concept of doing less of the things that drain your energy and doing more of the things that give you energy. A simple concept, but one that may just have a deeply profound impact on every aspect of your life.

Published on: Jul 26, 2016
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.