Laying Your Energy Line

Creative teams juggle multiple projects at once. The constant streams of ideas lead to more ideas. As energy is spread across projects like peanut butter, prioritization is all but lost. Energy Lines are a simple way to prioritize and use design to guide creative energy.

At any given point in time there are a few projects that are urgent, some that are just important, a few that need to be kept moving, and others that are idle. How much of your time are you spending on what? Are you focused on the right things?  Amidst the everyday craziness of a creative enterprise, it is hard to keep energy in perspective.The Energy Line is a simple mechanism to graphically display energy allocation. A simple line starting at “Idle” and going up to “Extreme” is drawn along a cork or dry erase board. Then write the names of all of your major projects on small cards. Place the cards along the energy line according to how much focus they should get.  Be realistic and make the tough decisions on what projects need to live on low energy for a while.

Customize the system with words, colors, and design that works for you and your team. You and your team must have an affinity for the design in order for it to stick. Remember that beauty breeds loyalty when it comes to organization systems.

Energy lines are most helpful when a whole team gives consistent input and someone takes the time to keep the line updated. At its best, the energy line keeps you focused and serves as a constant reminder of how energy should be spent. At its worst, the energy line makes great office art!

This tip was written by Scott Belsky, Behance Team. Explore more tips, and check out Behance’s guest postings for small businesses trying to make ideas happen, hosted at American Express’ OpenForum.

More insights on: Office Dynamics, Task Management
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