The 4 P’s of Energy Conservation

Prioritize

#1 What is important?

Decide: What are you able to do based on how you currently feel?

Break daily activities into:

  • Urgent: Must be done today.
  • Important: Must be done in the next few days.
  • For later: Must be done this week/month. Don’t need to/can’t do: Can it wait until a ‘good’ day?
  • Help needed: Can someone do it for you?

Pace

#3 How are you going to do it?

  • Take breaks before you feel unwell.
  • Alternate thinking and doing tasks (e.g., banking vs. dishes)
  • Give yourself extra time to complete tasks.
  • Complete tasks over stages (you don’t have to finish everything all at once).
  • Plan tasks throughout the day and week so you aren’t doing too much at one time.

Plan

#2 What are you going to do?

  • Organize what you need to do.
  • Do tasks that use more energy at times in the day when you feel best.
  • Schedule rest breaks into your day. Planning saves mental energy and helps you avoid trying to remember what to do and when to do it during the day.
  • Use an agenda to put your plan on paper and save mental energy.

Position

#4 Where are you going to do it?

  • Noisy, busy and distracting environments make it hard to concentrate and use up more energy.
  • Minimize visual stimulation (i.e., at a restaurant choose a seat facing the wall)
  • Think about your environment and how you stand/sit in it. Standing uses more energy, try to sit when possible.
  • Your environment can make a difference in how you feel. Keeping it tidy and free of distractions saves energy.
  • Minimize distractions when you need to do focused work (i.e., turn off cell phone notifications).

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Energy conservation document