Energy-Level Thinking & Planning
Because forcing ourselves to work a high-energy task when we have low energy is ridiculous. There's a better way to complete the project. Here's how.
Are you familiar with bullet journaling?
If not, Very Well Mind describes a bullet journal (also known as a bujo) as a mix of a daily planner, to-do list, and diary. The bullet journal is an analog journaling system created by New York-based designer Ryder Carroll. He describes this planner / journaling approach as a method to "help you track the past, organize the present, and plan for the future.”1
Bullet journaling changed the way I plan and work. But one major, life-changing idea snagged from the bujo community was energy-level thinking and planning.
Roughly five years ago I came across an ADHD, minimalistic bullet journalist who helped reshape the way I thought about planning. (I wish I could remember her handle…)
After creating various planners in the past almost-decade for Amazon, I thought I had the whole “simpler is better” thing on lock. But when I stumbled onto bullet journaling, I was tempted by the gorgeous spreads others proudly presented on Instagram and, as I later discovered, on the r/bulletjournal subreddit.
But the more elaborate the spreads I created, the less actual effective planning and progress got done.
So when I noticed said bullet journalist’s simple approach, my effectual world opened up. Her layouts were beautiful, but unlike most of the intricately designed notebook photos I came across, hers had long rows of completed tasks.
Her most inspirational (to me) spread contained two columns splitting up two general energy levels: Low and High.
Her list regarded home cleaning / tidying tasks, but the basic concept can apply to many areas of life and work.