This can be a powerful process to help you understand your sources and uses of physical, emotional, mental and inspirational energy.

Gardeners and farmers manage the energy mix for their land, and you can do this for your personal ecosystem.   Asking yourself “How’s my energy?” may be too loose to be useful.

When professionals assess the sustainability and resilience of many systems, they use an energy audit.  This lays out the sources of energy, the processes which use it, and the outputs of the system.  These audits are used for ecosystems, and also in designing buildings or whole communities.  I’ve adapted this idea to create a Personal Energy Audit, to help you see where your energy comes from, and how it’s used.  Most energy audits are calculated with measurable units like kilowatts: this one relies on your estimates approach.

Use the checklist below to assess the main energy inflows and outflows in your life and work.  The processes in which you use energy should be considered as outflows.  The items listed are not meant to be comprehensive: space is provided to add other items that are significant to you.  For each one, rate its importance on a scale of 0 (low energy flow) to 10 (highly important, major energy flow).  As you go through, put an asterisk in the Review Priority column for items you feel need urgent consideration.  Remember that some items may be both a source and use of energy.

Initially, do these ratings for your current lifestyle and way of working: then you may wish to do the exercise again, to see how much impact a different approach would have.  Also, remember that outflows include those that are desirable, and those that ‘waste’ your energy.

 

The Energy Audit

Use this checklist to assess the main energy inflows and outflows in your work and life generally: rate each item from 0 (unimportant) to 10 (very important).  Use the third column to asterisk priorities for further review. Download audit chart here… Personal Energy Audit

When you have finished the audit, add your inflow and outflow scores for each of the four energy types then total them.  If you are running an energy surplus, congratulations! If you are running an energy deficit, ask yourself what’s causing this.  Look at items you asterisked for attention. Choose up to five of these as current priorities.  How would you like your energy habits to change in these areas, and how might you set about making a change?

When you start to draw on natural energy sources and manage your ecosystem consciously, use the Personal Energy Audit as a way of measuring your progress and steering your priorities.  It can also help you evaluate major decisions about your job or lifestyle in advance.

This process is part of Chapter 2 in Alan’s forthcoming book, Natural Happiness: The Gardener’s Way. Click here for further resources and more on the book.

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