Energy-level Playbook

368 2018-08-29 01:11

Knowledge workers have limited cognitive power and willpower. They are lucky if in the zone; however, what if they are not? Therefore, I am introducing an energy-level playbook.

Energy Levels

There are four levels of energy.

  1. Zombie - could hardly do any work.
  2. Robot - could do some cognitive job but cannot do any complicated task.
  3. Human - could do relative complex work but cannot be in the zone all the time.
  4. Rock Star - feeling like a god that can do anything.

What can we do in those states?

  1. In the zombie state? Do not work or do little chore work.

    1. Take a rest.
      1. Being unfocused and get back to default mode network
        1. Take a walk/run outdoors.
        2. Return to nature.
        3. positive constructive daydreaming (PCD)
      2. Pretend to be someone else to encourage oneself.
      3. Chat with friends.
      4. Drink a cup of coffee and take a nap immediately for 25 mins.
    2. Alternatively, entertain oneself, if it is OK to waste the rest of the day. Entertainment will consume more cognitive power and make people feel more tired.
    3. in software development, do linting, writing predefined tests, introducing/writing automation tools, in which you do not have to use your brain.
  2. In the robot state? Do preset work.

    1. check TODO lists and grab simple tasks
    2. implement a software design in an area that you are highly familiar with
    3. write documentation or clean up notes
    4. extensive reading
  3. In the human state? Do exploratory work.

    1. create a new design
    2. communicate, persuade, or give a talk in public (Do not do these in a robot or a zombie state).
    3. implement a new and significant component of the system.
    4. planning
    5. intensive reading
  4. In the rockstar state? Do creative work.

    1. hard tasks that require long-time focus and complex cognition
    2. synthesize: intensive researching by reading many materials and writing notes that are connecting the dots
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