Sorting Your Tasks Based on Energy For Better Deep Work

So far in my series on deep work we’ve covered:

If you’ve read them all, you’ve got a good foundation to get real solid focused work done. But there are still some things to consider as you try to get good work done.

Today we’re going to address sorting your tasks according to the energy you have1. First, let’s look at what type of tasks take high energy and low energy.

Maker Tasks (High Energy) are

Coding, writing, design, thinking…these are all high energy tasks. They require that you have a bunch of focus and brain reserves left to do them well. If you don’t have that energy, then the work will take much longer and be of far less value.

Manager Tasks (Low Energy) are

Organizing email, responding to some email, brainstorming blog post titles…these are lower energy tasks. You can get through them without full focus.

True some emails are going to require focused time, and you’ll still get through them faster if you can put aside everything else and just focus on the email, but in general, you can do a decent job of them with less energy and a bit less focus.

Not All Time is Equal

Looking at the above tasks, you need to realize that not all of your time is equal. That time first thing in the morning when you’re super focused and on fire is much more valuable time than later in the day when your brain is tired, and you’re looking at the clock waiting to go.

Knowing this, you need to sort out the high energy tasks in a day and make sure that you are doing them when you have that energy.

I get up at 0445 in the morning and have lots of energy then. Not everyone does though. If you’re a night owl, then make sure you organize your high energy tasks in to your night.

If you’re a morning person like me, then sorting through your lower energy tasks first thing in the morning is a terrible idea. You need to make sure that you only focus on the high energy tasks. Those things that move the needle forward and bring the highest value to your business.

Before you leave work for the day, make sure you have identified the crucial high energy tasks and planned to do them when you have the most energy. Forget about the low energy tasks until you’re done those essential tasks.

Have an awesome day!

Curtis

PS: No really, take the time to figure out your tasks if you want to have a better day tomorrow.

photo credit: whatleydude cc


  1. I just had a great discussion about energy with Brent Hammond on my podcast. Go check that out as well

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