Faster Than 20

experiment platform


July 26, 2017 – August 1, 2017

By Joe Haupt from USA - Vintage Casio Biolater Pocket LED Calculator, Model H-801, Made in Japan, Circa 1975, CC BY-SA 2.0,

How might we...

How might we work more strategically?


Tracking my energy, focus, and mood every hour for a week will reveal natural rhythms that will help me optimize my day.


Every waking hour for seven days, track Energy, Focus, and Mood on a five point scale in a Google Spreadsheet. Set a calendar reminder to make sure I update the log. Carry around a small notebook when I’ll be away from digital devices.

After seven days, analyze the data and see if there are trends.


  • Did I successfully track for a week?
  • Are there usable patterns that emerge from the log?
    • Learnings

      I only managed to successfully track for 3.5 days. When I was home, it was fine (but still difficult). When I was traveling, it was impossible. Over the weekend, I went to a wedding that was far away, and that completely disrupted my logging.

      Still, one pattern was clear. I didn’t notice any cycles per se, but I did notice a strong, steady focus in the morning through lunch, then a gradual decrease in energy and focus, with no up-swing afterward.

      Possible future experiments: What activities could I do to create an up-swing after my post-lunch decline?


      Try to move all meetings (especially non-essential) to the afternoon, so I can reserve my mornings for focused work.


Hashtag #biorhythms
Accountable Eugene
Team Eugene
Documents Design + Log
Modified June 22, 2018


I was inspired to try this experiment after reading this personal productivity article. For the most part, there was nothing new for me in this article, but I was intrigued by the section on tracking your biorhythms. I decided to basically try his experiment almost exactly — same frequency, same time period, same dimensions (i.e. Energy, Focus, Mood). The only difference is that I chose a five point scale rather than three. (I noticed he was using decimal points, which to me defeats the benefits of using a three point scale.)

A few things I’ve noticed after a few days of tracking:

  • It’s challenging to answer these questions consistently. What’s the difference between Energy and Focus?
  • My mood doesn’t really fluctuate based on time of day.
  • I’m not noticing any cycles, and I’m not sure that any of these dimensions are strongly correlated to time of day (other than I have more energy in the beginning of the day than the end). All three dimensions also seem related to type of activity (e.g. exercise, meetings, writing, eating, etc.).


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