My first experience with work-related journaling was back in 2014. I just ended a sabbatical. After traveling the world for seven months it was time to face reality and get back to work.
Actually, I had no work!
Before my sabbatical, I quit my job as COO of UX-Design Agency Concept7. I needed to break with the ordinary. Change my environment to pursue new challenges and experiences. To grow myself, and learn new skills.
Being back, Concept7 was still running like a charm. Which is quite awesome being a co-founder: 'The company doesn't depend on my anymore'. It was also weird double feeling: 'Wow, am I that easily replaceable?'
So I had to figure out what was next for me? I needed to re-invent my role, my job, and my future. But how?
Follow your energy
In search for some answers, a friend suggested to simply follow my energy.
'Write down 3 things that gives you energy, everyday.'
- Annemieke Verhoeff
It's that easy! Just grab a notebook, and think about the things that make you energetic. It can be anything: a task, meeting, people, a quote, or a story. Whatever brings joy and happiness into your (working) life.
Make it a daily habit. That's when the magic really happens.
For me, it was mind-blowing! How is it possible that an easy, simple method like this is such a powerful tool?
Why 'follow your energy' is such a powerful method
First of all, the power is in the question: 'What gives me energy?' It's just one of the best reflection questions out there. It's simple, positive and many layers deep. You really get in touch with your inner drive.
Secondly, the power is in the repetition. You will train your body and mind to notice your energy levels. In weeks you will get more aware of your energy sources. It's feels like magic, but actually it is science. The power of repetition.
Furthermore, the power is in the quantity. Tracking your energy for weeks will give you a database (even on paper!) of clues. Analyzing tons of reflections will make you aware of any common thread. You'll see it when you see it. Instant clarity!
Track your energy
So I started doing a lot of different experiments, while I kept track of my energy. Day after day. After weeks I noticed some clear threads. The magic (science!) happend.
Following my energy really helped me with clarity on my motivations, and in choosing my next endeavors with confidence and ease.
Example: several logs (like this one 👇🏻) made me decide to move to Amsterdam.
Start your energy journal
Are you on some sort of a crossroad in your working life? Want to know what to pursue next?
Consider keeping up an Energy Journal. Experiment in different directions, follow your energy, reflect on your logs, and define your own path.
Just keep ask yourself: what gives me energy?