What is Energy Rhythm?

Learn more about the Energy Rhythm Assessment and how it can help you and your team do your best work based on the time of day.

Team avatar
Written by Team
Updated over a week ago

The Energy Rhythm Assessment is Cloverleaf's assessment of people's chronotype, or the behavioral manifestation of circadian rhythms and physiological processes (Adan et al., 2012).

That probably sounded confusing, but broken down; it can tell us a lot about a person -- what their energy patterns are like over the typical 9-5 workday, what types of tasks are most effortless for them to excel at during certain times of day, and what the flow of a team might look like, day-to-day.

Energy Rhythm Assessment Overview

Cloverleaf's Energy Rhythm Assessment draws from research about circadian rhythm and typology.

Circadian rhythm is the internal processes that regulate the sleep/wake cycle and affect people's biological and psychological functioning in everyday life, health, and disease (Adan et al., 2012).

These internal processes typically operate on 24-hour cycles or rhythms. Chronotype refers to individuals' internal schedule of these processes and the corresponding timing of daily peaks and troughs in their physical/psychological energy (Preckel, Lipnevich, Schneider, & Roberts, 2011).

About 40% of the adult population is classified into one of two chronotypes: morning or evening type (Adan et al., 2012).

The remaining ~60% of the population falls into neither the morning nor evening type. People's chronotype is determined by many factors, including age, sex, birth time and season, cortisol levels in the body, melatonin levels, genetics in general, and more (Adan et al., 2012).

Chronotype matters in the workplace because it affects what times they feel most alert, when they focus on the best, and even what tasks they do best during certain times.

Research shows that a mix of different chronotypes on a team (chronotype team diversity) can benefit teams' productivity and creativity if teammates are aware of their differences and understand how to maximize their efforts as a group (Volk, Pearsall, Christian, & Becker, 2017).

That's where Energy Rhythm comes in! This assessment helps make individuals and teams aware of their rhythms of focus and energy and how they can maximize their potential in the workplace.

Cloverleaf's Energy Rhythm assessment categorizes people into three types:

  • Morning type (the Starter)

  • Midday type (the Pacer)

  • Evening type (the Anchor)

People can be any of these types, but Pacers are the most common in the American adult population.

Starters, Pacers, and Anchors all experience a peak, trough, and recovery period in their day -- having a peak, trough, and recovery is just part of being human!

During their peak, people experience a rise in energy, mood, and vigilance. When people are at their trough, they typically experience a dip in energy, mood, and vigilance.

During recovery, energy and mood sharply rise, but vigilance does not.

Peak time is best for analyzing tasks that require lots of analytical and strategic brainpower. The trough is best for maintenance tasks -- those low-brainpower, straightforward tasks like adding to your calendar or answering emails. Recovery is best for creating tasks -- like brainstorming new designs and synthesizing ideas.

The peak, trough, and recovery occur at different times for people, depending on what "type" they fall into.

Understanding The Energy Rhythm Assessment Results

After you finish the assessment, you will see one of the three following results. Each part of the result box is clickable and will provide more information once you click on it.


Starters are morning-type people. Starters' peak happens in the early morning. They experience their trough in the mid-afternoon, right after the typical 12-1 lunch hour. Finally, their recovery occurs in the late afternoon to early evening, near the end of a 9-5 workday.


Pacers are midday-type people. Pacers have a similar energy rhythm to Starters, with one key difference -- Pacers' peak happens mid-morning. Pacers have their trough in the mid-afternoon, and their recovery period occurs in the late afternoon to early evening, near the end of a 9-5 workday.


Anchors are evening-type people. Anchors' energy rhythm is the inverse of Starters'. People who are Anchors experience their peak in the late afternoon to early evening, near the end of a 9-5 workday.

Anchors may have more variability in the timing of their trough than Pacers or Starters, or they might have a more extended trough -- Anchors' trough happens in the early- to mid-afternoon. Anchors' recovery period occurs in the morning, at the beginning of a 9-5 workday.

Utilizing the Team Dashboard with Energy Rhythm

Knowing your own Energy Rhythm will give you great insight into your energy and focus levels throughout the day. And it's also helpful to look at your team! Your team's assessment results will look similar to this, changing depending on how many team members make up each part.

Each part of the result box is clickable and will provide more information once you click on it.

Finally, you can explore the times of the day when the peak, trough, and recovery periods are for your team members!

These steps should help you get started in understanding the power within the Team Dashboard, as well as within your team!

Did this answer your question?