Do one thing at a time (well!) or multi-task, that’s the question. Watch this interesting CNBC video clip in which Tony Swartz talks about how to get stuff done whilst balancing your energy needs.
It’s the time of year for making lists. And then losing them. And then making more lists and ignoring them. And it’s almost the time of year for making resolutions. So what are you going to decide to do, or to undo in 2012? As a starter here’s a list from Dorie Clark in a seasonal article in the Harvard Business Review.
- Responding like a trained monkey.
- Mindless traditions.
- Reading annoying things.
- Work that’s not worth it.
- Making things more complicated than they should be.
I’m particularly attracted to her first point. She’s talking about emails and the way in which we get continually sidetracked by waves of incoming nonsense. What are we doing? I spent many a happy hour at university messing about with different sorts of ‘reinforcement’ schedules and fooling various rats (and the occasional pigeon) into behaving like a complete turkey! Yep, variable reinforcement schedules (read: emails of varying degrees of urgency plopping into your inbox at unpredictable intervals) make us all behave like Pavlov’s pet dog.
So let’s get a grip and stop it. If you must, check your email every 90 minutes or so. Strangely things will proceed as normal: the sun will rise, the Earth will rotate, politicians will continue to irritate you etc. There, I feel better already. Happy Christmas and a less monkey (rat, pigeon and dog-like) New Year!
Photo credit: Michael Elliott/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
I seem to be having a battle with time again. It’s the usual problem, there just isn’t enough of it. And when there is, I’m so surprised I often fill it with things that don’t need doing, or stretch what I am doing to span the gap (c.f. Parkinson’s Law). But, to get to something specific, have you ever fantasized about longer lunchtimes, but didn’t know how to swing it? Well, here’s the answer!
Thanks to advances in clock technology, it’s possible to have a clock that speeds up 20% every day at 11:00 and slows down 20% every day at 11:48, giving you an extra twelve minutes of lunchiness to enjoy. Twelve minutes may not seem like much but it equates to an additional hour every week.
Get the technology here: http://www.instructables.com/id/Lunchtime-Clock/