Two of the most infamous pop culture freakouts of the 90s are:
- Jessie Spano being so excited on Saved By the Bell, and
- Corey bringing Rex Manning’s lunch and then trashing Empire Records.
And frankly, I’ve been there.
The Type A anxious freakout? Oh yeah.
But energy management could’ve helped all of us type-A queens in the 90s.
And, since this video is all about finding your most productive time of day and making the most of it…
I want to hear what you think your most productive time is in the comments. And if you don’t know, that’s a sign you need energy management! 💁🏻♀️
What is energy management, anyway?
Like I said in the first video of this series, this concept is all about prioritizing your energy and wellness above your calendar or to-do list.
It’s about understanding your own body and brain and creating productivity routines that are catered to unicorn you. Instead of one-size-fits all frameworks from old productivity books.
But before you can create those systems catered to your own energy, you need to understand it.
We’ve been told these productivity lies. Like everyone is more creative in the morning and has a lull in the afternoon and are useless at night.
But those aren’t as universal as productivity and self-help gurus want us to believe.
Like I’ve talked about in another video, most of the “productivity rules” were written by a certain type of person. And if you don’t fit that mold, trying to follow those rules will make you less productive, not more.
So instead of trying to follow other people’s rules and schedules, the Work Brighter approach is to write your own. 🌈
And the first step is to track your energy for a little bit so you can understand it.
Here’s my process for doing that: an energy management audit.
How to Start an Energy Management Audit
1. Gather your materials
Auditing or tracking your energy for a few days or a week will help you get a picture of what your energy levels really are.
It’s gonna depend on your physical and mental health, your lifestyle, your job duties, etc. All the things that impact your productivity on a personal level that gurus can’t predict.
To start an audit, all you really need is a piece of paper and pen to write entries in ithroughout the day. In the past, I’ve done this in my bullet journal or just a scrap piece of paper.
But when you’re already on your computer and phone a lot, it can be easier to use a digital tracker.
You can also try Google Sheets or a Google Form. Wherever you’re already spending lots of time throughout the day is the best option.
2. Set up your tracker
You want to use this tracker to check in with yourself a few times a day. And rate yourself on 3 things:
- Energy ⚡️
- Productivity ✅
- Mood 🙃
This is important to note: you’re not JUST tracking your energy, you’re also tracking the two big things it relates to.
Because when your energy is in a bad space, it’s harder to be productive and it’s harder to be happy. Even in scenarios when it would objectively make sense.
3. Track your energy for at least 7 days
When I’m doing an audit, I try to check in at least 3 times a day: morning, afternoon, and night.
I’ll also jot down some quick notes about what work and other things I did in that time block. That way I have that context later when I go back to reflect on the data.
In terms of how many days to track, that’s up to you and your schedule. I do like tracking more than a week, so the audit gets a full picture of different types of days and stuff for me.
And after you do the tracking, you’re ready to analyze this new information you have, which is what we’ll talk about in the next video in this series.
How Energy Management Audits Have Helped Me
For a sneak peek of what you learn in the reflection phase, I want to share my favorite example of useful information you get from it.
I used to batch my calls and meetings so that my calendar was more structured and organized. At the time, I worked at a job where we had team meetings on Tuesdays and Friday mornings. So I would schedule all my other calls for then too, so my writing days could be uninterrupted.
BUT. Around this time, I also went through a period where content creation felt way more difficult than it normally did. 🤔
And it wasn’t until I did an energy management audit that I realized it was because I was an introvert trying to get creative writing done. After hours and hours of socializing.
Oof, rookie mistake. ¯_(ツ)_/¯
That’s when I was sold
Really, I should’ve known better. I’ve always been really attuned to my socializing energy as an introvert. Or as I like to call it, my introvert wall.
I should’ve known a whole day of calls would leave me with a productivity hangover the next day.
But because I was trying to follow the classic productivity rulebook, I was ignoring that part of myself. At least, until I had the hard data from tracking to shine a light.
I had tried energy management before, but was meh about it before this.
Once I had that realization that batching calls was actually making me less productive at my important work?
That’s when I fully realized how life-changing it is.
And I guarantee that there’s a big realization like that waiting for you on the other side of energy management. Especially if you’ve never tried it before.
Unlock your unicorn energy 🦄
In my membership program, the Work Brighter Clubhouse, people go through an Unlock Your Unicorn Energy challenge. They’ve found dozens of ways to work less, work better, and work happier. All just by taking closer looks at how their energy relates to their productivity and mood.
I call it Unlock Your Unicorn Energy because it will really feel like you unlock like a new level of work once you become besties with energy management and find your most productive time of day.
And if you’re ready to unlock it for myself, make sure to download the free tracking template in my description and start to manage your energy today.
And if you liked this post, you’ll love:
- 3 Self-Care Habits to Work Brighter Instead of Smarter
- What Playing The Sims Taught Me About Self-Care & Productivity
- 3 Self-Care Tools & Apps to Help Yourself Seriously
- Why MIT To-Do Lists Don’t Work For Me