Is it about managing time or making some more time? Is it about managing time or managing energy? Common debates which puzzle the experts, to whom managers and employees look into, to get answers and solutions. All of us are busy nowadays; overloaded with duties and responsibilities, with tasks and assignments, with projects and deadlines. No time to breath, to relax and to enjoy the private life. And a third debate arises… Do people nowadays have private life since work is everywhere and anytime? at the workplace, at the house, in the living room, in the bedroom, in the front and in the back yard, at the supermarket and at the restaurant. The globalization of the business environment, the evolution of technology (i.e. smart phones) and the spread of internet (i.e. 4G) stopped the normal cycle of the biological clock – the business clock is what matters nowadays and the needle which indicates minutes and hours never comes to a stop – to mark the end of the working day. It just keeps ticking and ticking nonstop. We are constantly alerted; hanging on the next email, the next online purchase, the electronic approval of our proposal and so on and so on. From dusk till dawn; whether morning or night, afternoon or midnight it doesn’t really matter. Gonne for ever those clearly segmented periods; 8 hours sleep time, 8 hours at work, 8 hours for fun and leisure.
Everyone on earth is given the same 24 hours in the day. The question remains: what do you choose to do with yours? How you manage those 24 hours effectively? over years several concepts evolved. Indeed, they can offer help, but their value is somehow limited. Worth mentioning a few of those time management techniques, for use as needed at the workplace:
- Creation of checklists and prioritization of tasks and assignments: the Eisenhower Matrix, which shows us how to make decisions on what’s urgent and important is perhaps a powerful tool to look into.
- Consideration of the Pareto law: dedication of more time to those few things which are important and add value – elimination of time from the many things which do not really add significant value
- Effective management of the zoo: the business environment is essentially an organizational zoo.
- Eat the frog: do the most difficult task in your checklist first thing in the morning ti get rid of it; avoid procrastination
- Split up the elephant: divide a complicated project which seems to be unmanageable into small manageable tasks and start completing one task after the other; will give you a sense of accomplishment and the strength to move ahead until completion
- Collect the monkeys: arrange your tasks and assignments into meaningful groups; to avoid the chaotic set of tasks in free order, which cause confusion and alienation
- Avoid the cats and pandas: no one will argue that these animals are adorable. At the same way they easily distract you from what really matters. Every day we are faced with lots of distracting factors, which want to steal our focus from our main goals. So don’t let these factors ruin your productivity.
- Implementation of the pomodoro technique: how to get more done if time is split into meaningful segments – 25-minutes dedicated to the first segment, then a 5-minutes break and repetition of the pattern for 4 consecutive periods. Serious concentration on one thing (single task) is required during each 25 minutes. At the end of the 4th working session a longer break is suggested.
- Avoiding multitasking to the extent possible: instead, go for the switching between multiple in-progress tasks. According to recent valid research, multitasking alters the brain chemistry and kills and collapses the brain’s RAM
- Eliminating time wasters & preventing time robbers: essentially it is how to deal with all those who constantly disturb and deteriorate your concentration – how to save time within a busy office
- Creating your own productivity zone and extending that zone at will: is it possible? Yes, to an extent. Learn to control that zone and perform the most complicated tasks during the time period you are more productive and effective.
A big percentage of contemporary scientists suggest that instead of managing time, it is perhaps wiser to manage energy; in the sense that high levels of energy increase performance and improve productivity. According to the modern school of scientists the core dimensions of energy are four (4 energy pillars: emotions, spirit, mind, body). Their combination determines the strength and vitality required for sustained physical or mental activity; in this case energy is somehow synonymous to wellness, passion and desire.
The 4 Pillars of Energy and their Manifestation
The Body pillar essentially reveals the physical energy
Your physical energy shows how healthy and active you are
Revitalizing your physical energy is key
Your mental energy determines how well you can focus on something
Mind energy deficiency shows most of the times mental unbalance and/or instability
Stimulating your mind energy to remain healthy and with a functional brain is core
Your spiritual energy – why are you doing all these? What is your purpose?
Lack of spiritual energy shows lack of motivation and direction
Advancing your spiritual energy is an absolute must
Your emotional energy decides how happy you are
Emotional instability reveals an unhappy person, a person who suffers in his/her misery
Maintaining a balanced emotional inside and boosting your emotional intelligence is fundamental
The ways to strengthen those dimensions and ground firmly on the ground the four energy pillars are many. Again, the individual needs to decide how to go about it; how to manage and cope with each of those four energy dimensions.
Finally, is it management of time? or… management of energy? I guess a straight forward answer cannot be given. Potentially, proper management (and balancing) of time and energy is the optimum solution!
The LD team