The Energy Audit #NEIT2010

The last morning of the NEIT Conference found me cozily ensconced in a chair overlooking the front grounds of Mohonk Mountain House. Sun streamed in, the sky was clear, and with a cup of tea and my laptop for company, I had time to reflect on the sessions.

Now I am at home, more than a week later, and the session that continues to percolate in my thoughts is the one facilitated by arvind: The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working. The title of this session comes from the book of the same name by Tony Schwartz. The gist of Tony’s book and arvind’s presentation (which sadly he removed from the wiki, apparently by request of The Energy Project folks) is that if we take better care of ourselves, we can be more productive and lead more fruitful lives.

I know, you’re possibly thinking this is just another “self help” book. Well, perhaps it is. However, what Schwartz has to say makes perfect sense. And if you are in a field that changes rapidly or a life style that is fast paced or a job that is not giving you satisfaction or you happen to be contemplating what you want the next 25 years of your life to look like, you might just find the information useful.

You might not fall into any of those categories, but since it will only take a few minutes of your time, try this experiment – take The Energy Audit. The results of this audit, providing you are honest with yourself when responding to the statements, will give you a sense of your energy – not just the physical energy you have, but also your emotional, spiritual and mental energy.

Reluctant to take the audit? Okay, how about answering this one question: Do you work at something non-stop beyond 90 minutes? Hmm, okay, do you give yourself breaks between activities demanding high focus? During your breaks, are you doing something quite different from your focus time? And one last question: Do you feel you are performing as well as you would like in each of the energy realms mentioned before – physical, emotional, spiritual and mental?

On the EdTechTalk channel you can listen to podcast #141: Creating Energy, Space & Time, an 18 minute conversation about the book and The Energy Audit.

Oh yes, here is the feedback I received from my Energy Audit.

Dear laurie,
Thank you for taking our Energy Audit.
Your score was 5 out of 20, which means you are experiencing a moderate energy deficit according to the key below:
17-20      Full out energy crisis
13-16       Imminent energy crisis
9-12         Significant energy deficit
5-8           Moderate energy deficit
Below 5   Fully energized

If your score was 4 or less, congratulations – though there may be a few areas in which you can improve your energy, you are effectively firing on all cylinders. If your score as higher than you would have liked, however, you’re scarcely alone. The average overall score among all our clients is a 10. In short, more than 50% of us are operating at a level that is significantly suboptimal.


There are four types of energy that correspond to our four human needs. They are physical (sustainability), emotional (security), mental (self-expression) and spiritual (significance). Your specific category scores indicate the areas in which you might begin to improve your energy. They appear below (0 is best, 5 is worst):

Mental: 1 – Fully energized
Physical: 1– Fully energized
Emotional: 0 – Fully energized
Spiritual: 3 – Significant energy deficit


It’s possible to systematically build back your capacity in each of these areas, and thousands of our clients have done so with considerable success. Set aside some time to think about which one or two behaviors are most adversely influencing your energy levels. It may be best to start at the easiest to make concrete changes. Setting even a single goal for yourself, defined by a specific behavior you do at a precise time on designated days can put you on the right path towards a fully energized, fully engaged life. For your reference, we’ve included those questions to which you answered true below:
– I often eat lunch at my desk, if I eat lunch at all.
– I don’t take enough time for reflection, strategizing and thinking creatively.
– I spend too little time at work doing what I do best and enjoy most.
– There are significant gaps between what I say is important in my life and how I actually live.
– I don’t invest enough time and energy in making a positive difference to others and/or in the world.

[In addition to thanking me for taking the audit and providing an email if I wanted to get in touch, a link was provided for the Harvard Business Review’s article: The Productivity Paradox: How Sony Pictures Gets More Out of People by Demanding Less.]


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