Reinvigorate yourself, your work and your life through energy tracking. Knowledge, time and money, seen as royalty in the resources of life, are making room for another precious resources – our energy. Understanding and appreciating this transformative resource can quite simply, be life-changing.
How we spend our days, is of course, how we spend our lives - Annie Dillard
I don’t believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive - Joseph Campbell
The tired, weary and distracted do little to guide, inspire, motivate and engage. The more responsibility, visibility and influence the greater the need to be engaged and engaging. To be clear and responsive, healthy and well, a role-model and example of what work and life can be like. Slowly over time, the shine wears off, the cracks can start to show. The hours get longer to get more done, inefficiencies creep in and focus is fuzzy at best. Understanding and appreciating what drains our energy, incrementally is key.
Energy tracking involves noticing and paying attention to the factors and elements in our lives that slowly but surely contribute to diminishing our energy levels as well as those that enhance it. By bringing into our awareness the different ways our energy levels can become low we can make changes to minimise them. By noticing what gives us a lift we can do more of them, bringing our energy levels back into balance overall and in moments throughout a day or before important events in our lives.
Energy Tracking – Daily Energy Reserves
There are a number of places we can focus on to track our own unique energy formula. We all have unique combinations and preferences for how we live and work not only the tasks we do but the way we do them and when we do them.
Energy Tracking – Awareness and Action, Being Alive
The Process of Tracking Energy, self and others.
A. Task Focus + Because. Throughout the day we naturally gravitate towards some tasks over others. We may be avoiding some even dreading them, and looking forward to or prioritising others. Beyond the task type is the reason. Notice the task and then understand the reason, the ‘because’. I enjoy making presentations because they give me an opportunity to be heard, to entertain or educate, share ideas and engage with others on a topic I’m passionate about. Then do the same for depleters. I avoid making presentations because of the question and answer time where I need to think on my feet, I don’t feel confident with the technology or with people staring at me. It’s the because that tracks the energy input and drives the insights we can use to make subtle changes like – requesting questions before the presentation so you can prepare, like having someone else deal with the technology and so on.
B. Time of Day. Owl, Lark or Hummingbird. Nights owls are more energised in the evening, larks in the morning and hummingbirds can switch between the two. Hummingbirds appreciate flexibility in their day to accommodate the switching. Owls are their most creative and strategic later in the day and Larks like to get a head start when their mind is fresh first thing in the morning.
C. Way of Working. Step by Step or Pressure Prompted. Breaking our days into equal segments of time, output or task completion and then ticking it of a list as a tangible sign of progress is energising for some. For others this is depleting, robotic even. They hold energy and enthusiasm for flexibility and freedom in their days and are likely to make significant progress in the beginning, lose interest and then complete when prompted by a time deadline. Both outcomes produce results, and have their pros and cons. They’re just different energy cycles at play.
Energy Tracking provides a framework for making subtle yet significant energy shifts in our days that culminate in an over-all improvement in our sense of satisfaction and engagement in life as well as the progress and impact we make in the world. Energy tracking falls short as a strategic tool when limited thinking, assumptions and generalisations block progress. There are no work-arounds, others won’t like the changes or there’s parts of every role or task that are depleting.
What might you do to re-energise or re-invigorate your days? How might you be clever about honouring your precious energy resource. If you could build work-arounds for three aspects or tasks from of your day, what might they be? What would you love to do more of, what is the reason behind that?
Books aligned with this topic
Flourish – Martin Seligman - Visionary new understanding of happiness and well-being [Thought-provoking Theory]
The Art of the Good Life – Rolf Dobelli - Clear thinking for business and a better life
[52 Intellectual Tools]
Angel Inside – Chris Widener - Michelangelo’s secrets for following passion and finding work you love