September 16, 2023




The Energy Audit

At a glance

Today’s Fast Summary:

  • When we feel that what we do matters, we’re more likely to get it done. And when you maximize your daily energy, you can focus on what will propel you to the next level.

  • Jim Collins’s Life Fulfillment Tracking System is an effective way to track your daily energy levels. Track your habits, and revolutionize how you spend your time.

  • Matt Mochary believes that we should spend 75-80% of our time engaging in energy-producing activities. His framework is designed to boost performance through energy tracking.

  • Motivate yourself through energy-producing work.

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The Energy Audit

I recently found a study that concluded that the average employee is only productive for just under 3 hours a day. When I stumbled upon this, I was shocked.

The truth is, many of us don’t spend enough time doing things that contribute to our long-term goals. This causes low productivity. When we feel that what we do matters, we’re more likely to get it done.

But then, I was reminded of a term I came across a while ago: The Energy Audit.

Think of your day as an equation. Energy is a constant. Motivation and productivity are dependent variables.

To effectively solve this equation, you must determine a method that maximizes energy. When energy is maximized and accounted for, motivation and productivity increase.

In other words, when you maximize your daily energy, you can focus on what will propel you to the next level.

Looking long-term, our lives become the summation of our days. This is why the day is the most important unit of time to optimize.

Focus on maximizing your energy each day. Years in the future, you’ll have lived an energetic life you’re proud of. You’ll have little to regret.

The Life-Fulfillment Tracking System

Jim Collins, the famed author of Good to Great, kept data relentlessly. He believed that data could unlock key truths about business, motivation, and growth.

To this day, Collins keeps a three-column spreadsheet of his life measured in days.

In the first column, he records the number of hours he spent doing creative work that day. Collins aims for 1,000 creative hours each year.

In the next, he records a quality score (measured in +2, +1, 0, -1, -2) that accounts for how well he felt that day. Lastly, he briefly notes what happened in the third column.

His spreadsheet looks like this:

He sorts the spreadsheets based on the quality of the day. When he looks at long-term patterns, he aims to complete more things he does on +2 days.

This method is highly applicable. Using the Google Sheets application on your phone, create a three-column spreadsheet similar to the one above.

For thirty days, track your energy. On great, productive, meaningful days, note what you did and mark them accordingly (+2 or +1). Mark low-energy, noncreative days -1 or -2.

Set a reminder for yourself to complete the spreadsheet each night. It should only take a few moments.

After 30 days, sort your spreadsheet. Look for patterns in the data. Perhaps +2 days were spent searching for new opportunities or spending time with uplifting people. Note this.

Use the data you’ve collected to schedule your days moving forward.

This method is a highly effective way to boost your energy and track how you spend your time. It maximizes feelings of productivity, which boosts long-term meaning and happiness.

Track your habits, and change how you spend your time.

The Energy Audit

Matt Mochary, widely regarded as the world’s best CEO coach, preaches the importance of energy maximization. He believes that we perform best when we’re energized and excited, and should spend 75-80% of our time engaging in these activities.

This framework begins with a calendar and two highlighters. Choose a color to mark those things that brought you energy and another for those that didn’t. Look at the last week of your calendar, and reflect on what it says.

Looking at each activity, ask yourself, “Did this give me energy, or drain it?”

In the ‘energy’ color, highlight the activities that gave you energy. In the other color, highlight those that didn’t.

An important note for this framework is that there are no neutrals. Force yourself to think about the events as energy-boosting or not.

When you’re finished, look for patterns in your highlighting. Think about how you can outsource or cut those activities from next week’s calendar.

Continue in this manner each week. Do so until at least 75% of your time is spent engaging in things that bring you energy. You’ll be motivated to perform better at them.

Time Is More Valuable Than Money

“Time is what we want most but what we use worst.” – William Penn

Time is your most valuable asset. It’s also one you have sole control over. Many people invest it poorly. You don’t have to.

Use these tools to track your time and energy. Note any patterns. These patterns are your key to fulfillment.

Maximize your energy. Productivity and meaning will come.

This week, we’re going to put Collins’s framework to use and map our energy levels. Be transparent in your responses and recordings. Focus on what brings you energy and satisfaction.

  1. First, set up your spreadsheet. 

    a. In the first column of a new spreadsheet, record the number of hours you spent doing creative work. Set an annual goal for creative work, and record that in a separate place.

    b. Note your quality score. Great, energetic days are +2, and arduous, draining days are -2. Everything else is in between.

    c. Note a brief summary of what you did that day in the third column.

  1. Try the method for 30 days. 

    a. Make a plan as to how you’ll enact Collins’s Energy Audit method. Block out time each evening to record your energy levels from the day. Set a reminder for yourself, or ask a friend or family member to keep you accountable.

    b. After 30 days, sort the spreadsheet by quality score. Look for patterns in your recordings. Note activities that provide you with more energy than others.

    c. Reframe your days. Ater or amend your routine to provide you with the maximum amount of energy. Continue recording in your spreadsheet.

Motivate yourself through energy-producing work. Ensure that everything you do brings you excitement, fulfillment, and energy.


I’d love to hear from you:

  • How can you practically incorporate the energy audit?

  • What do you think energy tracking can do for you?

Tweet at me (@_alexbrogan) or respond to this email — I’ll try to respond to everyone.

Have a wonderful Saturday, all.

Until next time,


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