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A better way to manage your energy

🔥 Today’s tip: Achieve better life balance by envisioning your priorities as stove burners.

Here’s how the writer Niklas Göke explains the “four burners” thought experiment: Imagine your life is a stovetop, with four burners representing the most important parts. (For him, the four burners represent work, family, friends, and health, although your top priorities might be different.) Your energy is the gas that powers the whole thing. To keep the stove running properly, if you want to turn up the heat in one area, you may have to turn it down in another.

Think about what your four burners are right now. Then think about where you want them to be. You don’t have to maintain the same balance forever, Göke notes; you can adjust as your life and needs change. But the visual metaphor of the stove is a reminder that time and energy are finite, and you have to decide how much to devote to each part of your life.

✍️ We want to hear from you. Send us an email at and tell us where your burners are right now. We may feature some of our favorite answers on Forge’s Instagram.

📚 More from Forge on juggling competing priorities:

A Real Response to “How Do You Achieve Work-Life Balance”?

At Work, Are You an Integrator or a Segmenter?

7 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Committing to Anything

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