The Energy Investment Portfolio


Hey friends,

This week, our team members are taking their Summer Sabbaticals. This is a week where “business-as-usual” is put on pause and people fly off for their summer holidays and/or to work on their personal projects.

With the office quietening down and with a little more time on my hands, I’ve been thinking about how to structure my work week…

✍️ The Energy Investment Portfolio

I’ve been using a tool called “The Energy Investment Portfolio” (EIP) to figure out the key things I want to focus on this week. I recently made a video on the EIP, which you can check out below.

In the video, I spoke about using the EIP for personal projects but it can be applied in the same way for work projects. The EIP is basically a glorified to-do list to keep track of the projects that you’re currently working on. It helps me keep tabs of what projects I’m choosing to invest energy into and hopefully get energy out of.

Here’s how the simplified version works: Make 2 lists

  • List A is a list of your “dream investments”. This is a list of your dreams, hopes, ambitions. These are things you would like to do at some point, just probably not right now.
  • List B is a list of your “active investments”. These are the projects you’re actively investing (or want to be actively investing) energy into right now. And by “right now”, I mean this week.

🧠 Dunbar Number of Active Investments

After quite a bit of trial and error, I learned that there’s a key to making the EIP work well: limit the number of projects on your list of “active investments”.

We all like the idea of having lots of “active investments” – it makes us feel ambitious and productive. But the reality is that if we have too many projects on the “active investment” list, our attention and energy is divided across too many projects and we fail to do any one of them well.

This is related to an idea called Dunbar’s number. Dunbar’s number is a suggested cognitive limit to the number of people that you can maintain a stable social relationship with. These are relationships where you know each person and you know how each person relates to every other person. In the 1990s, British anthropologist Robin Dunbar suggested that this number is 150. This means that out of the 4000 “connections” you have on social media (Facebook friends, Instagram followers, etc), you can realistically have stable relationships with 150 of those people.

Let’s come back to the EIP. For the EIP to work well, it’s important for us to find our Dunbar number of active investments. Ask yourself: What’s the optimal number of active investment for you so that you can invest energy into all those projects?

I personally like to limit mine to around five. This week I’ve chosen to go even lower. Here’s what my “active investments” look like for this week

  • Redraft Parts II and III of the book
  • Brainstorm and plan Youtube videos for the coming month
  • Create dream list of people whom I’d like to interview on my podcast next season

❓Question of the week

If you’re up for trying out the Energy Investment Portfolio, please have a go here. I’d love to get any thoughts you might have on your Dunbar number of active investments, as well as what’s on your list of active investments for this week.

As usual, the form will ask you for your name and email (optional) so that we can give you credit for the story, or potentially reach out to you to ask for more details 🙂

📢 Answers from last week’s questions

Thanks to all of you who took part in our survey on the “No-one cares” mindset last week where we asked you whether fear of judgment is holding you back from doing what you want.

We loved your responses! Shoutout to Narayani for sharing your story about how the NOC mindset helped you overcome stage fright.

“I had stage fear 2 years ago. I would tremble and shiver and would go weak in the knees at the thought of public scrutiny. Later I realized that I was missing out on public events that looked appealing to me. So I thought to myself that the worst that could happen was that nobody would understand what I was saying and wouldn’t clap. Then? Nothing would happen. My mum would be there to support me and that’s what matters 2 years later, I’ve performed and hosted several events without caring what people will think of me and I’ve been grateful so far!”

That’s it from me this week!

Ali xx

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