How to work with your natural energy levelsJun 27, 2023
Learning to observe and work with your energy levels is one of the best ways to enhance both your productivity and well-being.
Yet we often operate by pushing, forcing, and over-caffeinating ourselves when we feel tired and unmotivated (and just in general).
The better solution is to take a more natural approach.
I'm not talking about supplements or coffee alternatives, though that approach can work as well. This is about learning to pay attention to your energy levels, patterns, and rhythms so you can work smarter and feel better.
This practice also comes with free energy tracking templates, which you can access here.
1 thing to apply
Track your energy levels throughout the day so you can understand your natural rhythms of alertness. (As with tracking your time, I promise this isn't as intense or time-consuming as it sounds.)
3 main benefits
- Use peak times of concentration and alertness for deep work.
- Schedule easier tasks and breaks during your low-energy times.
- Build routines that reflect and serve your natural energy rhythms
5 minutes or less
Here's how to set up a simple way to track your energy:
Step 1: Design (or download) your tracker
First, choose how you'll record your energy throughout the day.
- a) Spreadsheet - Use Excel, Google Sheets, a table in Notion, or your tool of choice to track your energy level each hour. Here's an example of what this can look like using Google Sheets:
Click the image to see how to set up this chart ↑
- b) Pen and paper - I prefer the analogue route so I can minimize screen time. If that's your preference, I've created free energy tracking templates you can print off, customize, or replicate.
Step 2: Choose your rating method
Decide how you'll track your energy levels throughout the day:
- a) Rate your energy from 1 (very low) to 10 (very high)
- b) Write descriptive terms like "low," "medium," or "high"
- c) Use colours: blue = low, yellow = medium, red = high
Choose whichever method makes the most sense to you.
Step 3: Track your energy levels
Set a timer, alarm, or desktop reminder at each hour of your day. When it goes off, take a moment to assess and record your energy level. Grab your tracker and jot down the number, term, or colour that describes how energized you feel.
Tip: You can measure your energy by way of physical alertness, mental clarity, ability to focus, or other indicators. I stick to alertness, but you can choose the indicator(s) you deem most important.
Step 4: Find patterns and adjust
At the end of your day (or after having tracked a few days), review your data. Look for patterns or trends in your energy levels.
- When did you have the most energy in your day?
- At what time(s) did you feel the least energized?
- Did any activities or events boost your energy?
- Did any activities or events drain your energy?
Use this information to adjust your routines, habits, and schedule in a way that aligns with the patterns in your energy levels.
From the book The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Loehr & Tony Schwartz. Get a copy here.
Conclusion: Understanding your energy levels and rhythms adds awareness, effectiveness, and ease to your workday. Download your free energy tracking templates and try it for yourself!
Your time and energy are your most precious resources. As always, thank you for sharing some of yours with me today.
Want to dive deeper? Here are 3 ways I can help:
1. If you want more clarity and focus, I'd recommend starting with our affordable self-paced courses:
- Intentional Productivity Masterclass: How to Find and Focus on the Right Things
- Self Care + Productivity Masterclass: Reduce Stress and Do More of What Matters
- Making Big Picture Decisions: 6 Expert Practices for Clarity and Confidence
- : full access to all courses at a discounted rate
2. If you're ready to build a full-scale personal productivity system, join our live 5-week program.
3. Want self-care and mindfulness resources? Check out my books: