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4 Key Sources of Energy That Fuel You

Posted on September 12, 2016 by Chrystal Hedges

We tend to run ourselves full speed ahead with no rest or downtime. That makes us unproductive, disengaged and overwhelmed with work and life, where the demands exceed our capacity. Most U.S. families are facing this each and every day and are running on an empty tank of energy.

So this begs the question, “What can you do to keep your energy tank full, so you can meet the daily demands of work and life?”

The Energy Project partnered with Harvard Business Review and surveyed nearly 20,000 employees across the globe asking questions about their experiences in the workplace. Their research found that the better employers can meet the needs of their employees, the more engaged, productive and satisfied they will be. There are 4 key energy needs that fuel us and increase our capacity in the workplace and beyond:

  • Physical Energy-To rest and renew through sleep, daytime rest, fitness and nutrition.
  • Emotional Energy-To feel cared for and valued by feelings of enjoyment, satisfaction, and a sense of safety and trust.
  • Mental Energy-To feel empowered to set boundaries and focus in an absorbed way.
  • Spiritual Energy-To discover a sense of meaning and purpose in work.

In order for you to increase your energy capacity and meet the demands you are faced with you must fuel all of your energy banks, not just one or two of them. Here are some tips on how to do just that:

  • Physical-Focusing in 90 to 120 minute cycles followed by a break is how we operate best, this is also known as renewal time. Plan your day working in cycles. Follow each cycle with a break, and see how productive you can be.
  • Emotional-Set time aside to participate in activities that you enjoy most and that make you feel best during your renewal time. Make a list of those activities and schedule them on your calendar.
  • Mental-Focus on one task at a time instead of trying to juggle multiple tasks. In the end, it will take you significantly less time to finish the task at hand compared to multi-tasking several projects.
  • Spiritual-Identify what you enjoy doing most and do best, then put those skills to use to serve others.


  1. The Human Era @ Work: Findings from the Energy Project and Harvard Business Review.”

  2. Schwartz, T., Gomez, J., & McCarthy, C. (2010). The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working: The Four Forgotten Needs that Energize Great Performance. New York: Free Press.

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Chrystal Hedges

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Chrystal Hedges received her Bachelor's of Science degree from St. Gregory's University in Shawnee, Oklahoma and received her Master's of Public Health in Health Promotion Sciences from OU Health Sciences Center. She has ten and a half years of experience working in the public health arena promoting and advocating for health and well-being in various capacities. Her current role as a well-being program coordinator is to provide state employees and their families with information and opportunities to learn, grow and enrich their lives for the better. Her passion and advocacy for health and well-being has led her to one of the most important roles in her life, serving as a foster and adoptive parent. Ms. Hedges has been a foster parent for 5 years and currently has two foster children and two adoptive children.