Energy Management At Work In 4 Simple Steps

If you’re exhausted, no amount of time management will help.

Energy management….

is learning how to maintain your energy levels and work with them as they fluctuate throughout the day and over the working week.

Manage your energy, and you’ll manage your life!

How To Start

Energy management is all about knowing yourself, your productivity and your work habits.

For example, if you work better in the morning, you should allow for that when planning your work.

The best way to start is to think through when you find it easiest to focus and when you’re easily distracted.

If you’re now sure about this you might find carrying out a time audit will help.

Then, follow these 4 tips.

Wind turbine stock image

1. Schedule For Energy Levels

For morning people, you know your highest energy time is before 11am.

For evening people, your highest energy time will be later in the day.

Focus on organising your most important activities when you are at your best.

Use your downtime to carry out lower-value activities and check up on jobs that you have delegated.

Few of us have complete control over our schedules, but most of us have some autonomy.

As much as you can, save your most productive time for your most important tasks, rather than wasting it on less important tasks.

2. Turn Off Your Phone

Mindless use of mobile phones will sap your energy quickly.

Phones are designed to be addictive, so be disciplined and thoughtful about your phone use.

Try to use your phone as you would any other tool.

It’s something you pick up and use to achieve a specific outcome, and then put down once the task is finished.

For example, quickly checking your work email in the evening will increase your stress without achieving anything material.

Opening emails without actioning them is wasted time, as we cover in our Pomodoro Technique article.


Phone off at desk

3. Plan And Take Proper Breaks

Energy and time are both finite resources.

When you work hard, you tire yourself out.

No matter how much you might wish to be able to work 12 hours straight, you can’t.

You can sit at a desk working for that long but you won’t be producing high-quality work for all of it.

Your brain simply isn’t designed to do that.

You need to plan and take proper breaks.

This will ensure that you are always working with high intensity and producing high-quality work.

We always cover the balance between work and breaks on our time management courses!

It is far better to work in a very focused way for 8 hours than it is to slog for 12 hours straight with ever-decreasing energy and focus!

This is especially true if you are focusing on important tasks that require your highest quality creative input.

The research on breaks varies but seems to show that a 15-minute break away from your computer is the minimum needed to give your brain time to recover.

4. Reward Yourself

If you’re working on a long project and feel like you’ve been working hard for months with no visible output, it is easy to lose motivation.

Conversely, there are few things more motivating and energising than hitting goals and targets.

This is why you need to take time to review the progress that you are making and reward yourself.

Many people don’t take 15 minutes at the end of each week to review what they’ve achieved. This means that work becomes one long, undifferentiated slog.

Take 15 minutes to review your week and remind yourself of the progress that you’ve made. Where something has gone particularly well, reward yourself with a small reward.

The feeling of progress and the virtuous cycle of progress and reward that you set up will help to maintain your energy and enthusiasm.


You can’t manage your time without managing your energy.

Take note of your performance throughout the day and learn your habits!

Once you learn how to manage your energy with these tips, you’ll see your productivity go up and up.

About Ben Richardson

Ben is a director of Acuity Training which he has been running for over 10 years.

He is a Natural Sciences graduate from the University of Cambridge and a qualified accountant with the ICAEW.

He previously worked as a venture capitalist and banker and so had extensive experience with Excel from building financial models before moving to learn SQL, Microsoft Power BI and other technologies more recently.