How to manage your mental bandwidth

What Is Bandwidth?

Bandwidth is the energy of mental capacity required to deal with a situation. In computing, bandwidth is the maximum rate of data transfer across a given path.

It refers to the transmission capacity of a connection. It is an essential factor when determining the quality and speed of a network. So, if we literally use this as an analogy, we all have bandwidth as well. All five of your layers only have a certain amount of bandwidth. You can think of it in that same way. You have a maximum rate and a maximum capacity of quality and speed of performance of what you can put out. We need to stay aware of our limits so that we don’t lose our quality of life and rate of performance.


Signs You Are Low On Bandwidth

These are all very, very tell-tale signs that you are low on bandwidth.

  • You are sacrificing yourself to help others. 
  • You’re distracted as fuck, and you have a hard time focusing on important tasks. 
  • You’re easily annoyed and irritated about things for no apparent reason.
  • You feel anxious and overwhelmed daily. 
  • You’re reactive to situations when it really isn’t that major in the grand scheme of things. 
  • You feel resentful about how much you give. Obviously, this leads to chronic exhaustion and feeling drained and shutting down, and running away.

Why You Give Away Your Bandwidth

The very first reason why we keep giving away our bandwidth in the first place is because of scarcity mentality. Scarcity mentality says, “I’m afraid opportunities will be lost if I don’t say yes to everything.” 

You avoid doing the work, facing your true feelings and needs. 

Low self-love, self-worth, and self-trust. Where does all that come from? It comes from your fear of rejection, fear of abandonment, fear of judgement, fear of not being important enough, codependency, and rescuer mentality.

We also give away our bandwidth so that we can stay in the victim triangle and blame others. So that we can receive praise, validation, and credit for all that you do. And, of course, ultimately, FOMO, fear of missing out. Fear of being forgotten.


How to Measure Bandwidth

Let’s start when you are presented with a task, project, or an ask. Before you even jump into it, the first thing to do is to figure out the actual details? We have to slow down our impulse to immediately say yes without having all of the information. This doesn’t make you anal or uptight. It makes you smart. 

Then, you want you to ask yourself a few questions:

What is the first thing I feel? Closed or Open?

Will I be sacrificing my needs by taking this on?
If the answer is yes, then don’t do it. That’s how you lose bandwidth.

How much time will this take?
Pretty much a no-brainer. 

Do I have the energy for this?
Does this make me feel overwhelmed, or does this make me feel excited?

What kind of hoops do I have to jump for this?
If you feel like you have to jump through hella hoops and you’re sacrificing, and you don’t feel good about it, and it takes hella time, is that really what you want to do?

And then, obviously, last but not least… the return.
What am I going to gain from doing this?


How to Maintain Your Bandwidth

The more time and energy you spend on things you don’t want to do, the less bandwidth you will have because you are already in the habit of compromising yourself. It may not feel like you’re doing a lot of things. Still, where you are spending your time, it’s probably draining the ever-living shit out of your mental, emotional, spiritual bandwidth. 

Resisting your authentic self takes a lot of energy and is an uphill battle. The more self-love you have, the less you deplete your bandwidth as well. The more self-trust you have, the more you will set boundaries, and the more self-worth you have, the more you will say no.