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Until recently, I believed that my time was my most precious and valuable resource. But now I’m convinced that energy is more valuable (and limited) than time.

I would lump just about all of my energy into the category of “productive energy,” energy that let’s me complete tasks and get things done. But a subset of that productive energy is the real good stuff – creative energy. While I may have 8-12 hours of productive energy in a given day, it seems like I only have a few hours of creative energy.

Creative energy is the resource that allows me to think differently, solve problems, and come up with unique ideas. When I’m trying to figure out a problem or path forward for the first time (as I often am as a new business owner) it requires creative energy to reason and come up with those ideas.

This energy comes from being in the “open mode” as John Cleese puts it. It can be difficult and time consuming to get into the open mode, and therefore difficult to pull on creative energy.

But the bigger challenge I find is that when I am juggling multiple projects that all require creative energy as opposed to just productive energy, I need to allot it carefully.

Since it is more finite, the opportunity cost is higher to take on what may seem to be a small project that requires creative energy.

So for me, a new aspect of decision making is what type of energy the project (or even activity) is going to require of me. The more creative energy I can retain for my main projects and current clients, the better.