How and why you should manage energy instead of time, according to research

Summary:  Scientific research in work and organizational psychology underscores that individuals’ performance and wellbeing are intricately linked to their energy states. By prioritizing energy management over time management, HR personnel, leaders, and managers can significantly enhance both productivity and optimal rest and recovery. The EOD Audit is a strategic tool based on scientific studies that aligns with the natural rhythms of the human body, resulting in work habits that promote rest and recovery.

Jump to:

As a leader, manager, or HR professional, navigating the intricacies of employee wellbeing and workplace productivity is undoubtedly a top priority. At the same time, we all know that striking a balance between getting things done and getting home energized can be a real challenge.

In this article, we cover a practical and impactful strategy based on work and organizational psychology – the End-of-Day (EOD) Audit. This approach goes beyond the conventional strategies, involving a deliberate assessment of energy levels to enhance overall wellbeing and job performance.

Ready to make your workday easier and after-work time more satisfying?

Let’s uncover the science behind the EOD Audit and explore how to turn it into a daily practice.

Why is managing energy more effective?

Unlike time, which is finite and always moves in the same way, energy fluctuates throughout the day. That is why we cannot just manage our time without considering our energy levels. The human brain and body operate optimally when energy is managed efficiently, leading to heightened cognitive function, sustained focus, and effective rest and recovery at the end of the day.

In other words, it’s not just about allocating time to tasks but ensuring that we have the necessary energy to perform those tasks effectively. Thanks to a large pool of studies, we understand that energy management is a more effective strategy for enhancing productivity and wellbeing, compared to solely focusing on time management.

What is the science behind the EOD (End-Of-Day) Audit tool?

Think of your workday like a rollercoaster ride, filled with ups and downs.

Inspired by the Peak-End Rule, a psychological concept, we learn that people remember experiences based on the most intense moments and how they end. This means that, no matter how your day goes, the most intense emotion and how it all wraps up significantly influence how you perceive the entire day.

In other words – managing time is important, but managing intense ”peak” moments and endings of the day is the most important – and this is exactly what the EOD Audit tool does.

Managing end of the workday matters

According to research, people remember all experiences based on the most intense moments and how they end.

How can you implement the EOD Audit?

Step 1: Assess Energy Levels (Scale 1-10)

Encourage your team to rate how each task affected their energy levels on a scale from 1 to 10. Let them do this for a week, and have everyone share their ratings with their manager or leaders. By the end of the week, you as an individual, can identify patterns and connections between specific tasks and how they impact your energy levels, and if you are a manager or a leader, it allows you to plan the workdays better in line with the principles found in research.

Scientific insight

Robust research in organizational psychology emphasizes the importance of actively managing energy levels. By regularly assessing and adjusting routines based on energy states, organisations can actively contribute to employees' wellbeing and job satisfaction.

You as a leader, manager, or HR professional can optimize rest and recovery!

Create a free account, and get access to our FREE Rest Mastery toolkit – which contains scientific, step-by-step strategies that you can implement right away.

Step 2: Adjust the peak-end experience

Use insights from your team’s EOD Audits to tweak your daily routine. Plan tasks that boost energy levels for the end of the day. Prioritize these, making them a regular part of your schedule. Think positive interactions, encouragement, and motivation.

Leverage the insights gained from the EOD Audits to fine-tune the daily routine. Schedule tasks that positively impact energy levels for the end of the day, creating a grand finale of positivity. At the end of the workday, leaders should actively infuse encouragement, positive interactions, and motivation into these concluding moments, setting the tone for a better workday ending.

Scientific insight

Peak moments are crucial, but endings have a special significance. They represent certainty – the feeling that the experience is safely in the past and known - which makes us remember it better. By recognizing that endings carry unique significance, leaders can engineer positive conclusions and foster wellbeing.

HR can start leveraging technology for energy management

As a leader or HR professional, consider incorporating technology into the EOD Audit process. Implement digital platforms or apps that allow you to streamline data collection, providing valuable insights into the collective energy dynamics of the organisation. This tech-driven approach can help you manage energy better and further underscores the commitment to innovative solutions for employee wellbeing.

Are you using the power of your role?

Leadership involves an ongoing commitment to improvement. Reflect on the importance of your employees’ wellbeing by regularly revisiting the efficacy of implemented changes, seeking feedback from the team, and remaining flexible in adapting organizational routines to unique needs connected to energy levels. Everyone is different – and by being flexible in adjusting work based on people’s energy patterns, you can better support their productivity.

Continuous improvement ensures that the EOD Audit remains an effective strategy long-term!

Main takeaway

Leaders and organisations have the opportunity to shape a culture where each day's end isn't merely a sign to home and rest but a way towards a more energetic and fulfilling professional life.

Do you want to get access to our FREE Rest Mastery toolkit?

Create a free account, and start implementing scientific strategies for optimal rest and recovery right away.

Related posts

If you enjoyed reading this, feel free to explore our other articles below!