3 steps to prioritize your work on days when you have less energy
Updated: Mar 21
What do you think, how long can you focus on one thing?
Research shows that on average our attention span decreased to 8 seconds.
Eight seconds is the time you take a zip of your coffee. This represents the immense trend that we tend to do multiple things at the same time and that we are bombarded by information all the time.
Despite the fact that most of us trained ourselves to handle those multiple stimuli and found a work-around for this little attention span, working in this mode consumes immense energy which we would like to use to accomplish our goals, right?
So, in days when we feel we have only limited energy, how do we react to these information stimuli?
How can we drive our focus to the important things?
When we have less energy, it feels harder to play on those different weddings at the same time and meet all project needs. So, either we do everything with only 30% or 40% of our energy or we find ways to focus on the important things.
And here are three steps that help you prioritize your projects easily:
Step 1: What are your projects providing you?
Human psychology states that the driving forces of our choices and behavior are all directed to meet our needs. Every human being has the same needs, we only favor them differently. And all the jobs, projects, habits or tasks we perform are used to fulfill those needs.
Tony Robbins simplified them in six human needs:
Every human being has two most important needs to strive for.
Let’s take an example: Assume your favorite needs are variety and significance. Then it is very hard for you to be stuck on one project that you need to push until its done because you have the need for new stimuli. Also, you probably need projects that give you enough freedom to create new ideas that come from you to feel unique and special. In comparison, people who value certainty a lot, need to understand how to drive their project in the way that everyone likes it.
Dependent on your main needs, working on projects and tasks that don’t serve that require a lot of energy from you. However, to be honest, we all have tasks that are not always ideal but when we think of them from another angle, we can find arguments for all tasks on how they fulfill our needs.
In step 1, list your projects and rate them according to your needs.
Does this project rather provide you the feeling of significance or certainty?
Or is it a way you connect to people or does is help you grow?
Very intuitively rank your tasks and projects you have on your plate.
Step 2: Identify your 2 most important needs
Now, you reflect on situation when you felt stressed or insecure. In those situations, our main needs are well represented because those are the two strong pillars that keep us balanced.
Think of your two most important needs you always want to fulfill.
Step 3: Sketch your Impact / Needs Matrix
Based on your needs, you can now identify which of those needs are the most important for you to meet at the moment, in this time of stress of low energy. And now you can order them on the matrix of impact and pleasure.
How much impact does this project provide to others (i.e. your customers, your community, your company, your employees)?
And how much does it resonate with your needs to be fulfilled?
From this clarity overview, you can now focus on the upper right corner first. In times of low energy, this is the part that you need to keep on driving and directing your energy to it.
Once your energy is back high, you can move your way to the upper left corner and then to the lower right.
Let me know, how this exercise helped you prioritise your projects based on your needs and impact!