Perceived Energy

Here’s a graph of my work day. This isn’t based on extended data, merely my perception of things.
Graph of my Energy on a workday

You’ll notice that energy and caffeine follow each other closely. I’m not sure that’s causal. I’d have to experiment to find out. It might be a function of time, rather than mg of stimulant in my bloodstream.

You’ll also notice that I am a three-meal-a-day person. This is not good. Why? Because when you’re doing a lot of exercise (triathlon training, marathon training) you’re supposed to eat four to five smaller meals per day. For one thing, that keeps you from having horrible wrenching hunger pangs at 11:00. For another, it’s just better for you. I need to do better with that.

This graph shows what I should probably be shooting for. I realize that the “energy” item isn’t something that’s in my control. If I were going to represent an item that I had a conscious effect on, “focus” might be better, but I’ll stick with this for now.

Ideal Workday Energy Graph

I tend to do my most productive work in the mornings. I try to leave annoying administrative junk for the afternoons when my creativity level is lower. I also make a supreme effort to be “on” for the lunch period so I can write blog posts such as this one and podcasts for Talking Traffic.

Because I always need new projects, I may start tracking this data (in a perceived 0-5 scale) on a daily basis, just to see what the range is. After a while I’d have standard deviations and everything! Assuming my daily habits are normally distributed, of course. Stay tuned.

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3 Responses to Perceived Energy

  1. James Cronen says:

    This is a level of dorkiness to which I can only aspire. Congratulations.

  2. Amy says:

    My only issue with the “data” is that the half-life of caffeine in the body is 6 hours, so your caffeine curves return to 0 way too quickly.

  3. Bill says:

    @Amy: Obviously I’m not going for double-blind studies or anything like that, this is all perceived levels. I suppose if I were going to control for only one variable (Energy) I should note caffeine in a way similar to Calories by only recording the inputs (in cups or mg or whatever).

    That being said, I’m so over caffeinated on a regular basis that it feels like I’m back to a normal state about two hours after my last cup of coffee.

    As “they” say, “I can quit whenever I want!”

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