Energy determines which activity you do well

There’s a lot of information available about managing time or managing your energy and not your time, but to be effective I believe you need to find the right balance with both.

From a very practical nature you sometimes have to do the allotted work in a short timeframe to reach a deadline (ie the Managing Director calls you saying you need to do a certain task in the next 2 hours). Alternatively, you can have situations where you have a longer timeframe to reach the deadline (ie. you have until the end of next week to deliver a key outcome).

Our energy levels can vary from week to week, day to day or even throughout a day. Which work should you do while your energy is high and which work should you do while your energy is low? 

This became pertinent to me last week when I began writing a book on Wednesday. So that the book writing doesn’t interfere with my day to day work I’m writing it outside of work hours with my daily routine getting up at 5.30am and writing until 7am each work day. As I’m adjusting my rhythm to this routine I’m finding my energy is varying throughout the day when I’m not doing customer facing work. To counter this, I try to do the low value work when my energy levels feel low and important work when my energy levels are high. I use this approach to ensure I continue to make progress regardless to how I’m feeling.

This however isn’t just a me thing because in his book “Work the System, Sam Carpenter, used the phrase "biological prime time” (BPT) to describe the hours of the day when you have the most energy. Everyone's BPT is different but you increase the probability of being more effective if you are able to align the rhythm of doing your important work with your BPT.

To make a greater impact in less time, is there anything you could rearrange with scheduling your important work in order to maximise those hours when your energy is at its highest?