November 27, 2017

Can we do more with less?

Is it possible to achieve more by doing less? While many of us may find it hard to believe, often it's not about adding more tasks to our already limited time, but rather reorganizing the ones we already have.
Today, we'll explore the concept of "Time Theming" or the practice of organizing time around specific themes. A theme acts as a broad focus that helps structure tasks and priorities.
Similar to how we associate specific months of the year with themes like holidays or Christmas gatherings, you can proactively plan when you'll engage in particular activities—whether it's daily, weekly, monthly, or even hourly.


Perhaps you've come across articles discussing how Google employees structure their weeks by assigning a theme to each day. For instance, if Mondays are typically low-energy days for you, it's wise to plan tasks that require less energy on that day. Conversely, if you're most energized on Monday, consider dedicating it to creative tasks and save administrative work for Tuesday.

The concept of time theming suggests considering what's essential or counterproductive for each type of activity. Professionals who organize their schedules this way find it an excellent method to cut out the unnecessary and go to bed with a clear mind.
Legendary innovator Steve Jobs (of Apple and Pixar) was known for adhering to a schedule with specific themes. Mondays were reserved for team meetings, Wednesdays for advertising and marketing, while most afternoons were dedicated to design discussions with Jony Ive (the creative mind behind many Apple products).
Jack Dorsey, the co-founder of Twitter and FourSquare, credits this technique for helping him manage his responsibilities effectively.
Implementing time theming requires discipline. It's not something you can master overnight, but if you're ready to enhance your productivity, here's how to get started with time theming:

1. Block your time:
The only thing stopping you from getting things done is poor time management. And that comes from the desire to do too much. Assume that not all tasks have the same weight or importance and focus. If you don't, you'll end up handing out tasks over and over again without finishing them.

2. End activities that do not contribute:
Figure out what's most important to you, your team, or the organization, and learn to say no to other things (or at least "not right now") to make sure you have enough time for all those priority tasks.
You may have to analyze your tasks beforehand. Get Feedback from your peers from work or from your Boss to find out which of your tasks they consider to be the most important. Assessing which tasks carry the most weight will help you decide what to work on first.

3. Set aside a day for meetings:
Or always focus them on the time of day where they make the most sense. And of course, set rules so they don't last forever. A lot can be explained in 10 minutes. What if we applied the "elevator pitch" technique to meetings in the office? Surely we would make better use of our time.
In the same way, if your meetings are with clients, devote your preparation, energy and attention to that activity without distractions in the office.

4. Spend a day without meetings:
One of the “killers” of productivity is meetingitis or the moments in which we spend our time just talking. The relationship between colleagues is great, but sometimes we need quiet spaces to attend to our activity. Plan to have days without meetings and time slots “just for you”.
There are other moments to socialize such as lunch or an afterwork cocktail.

5. Find a Main Theme for each day.
It is a good idea to visualize what tasks you will devote your attention to and perceive your day as something tangible. Like a set of time blocks that need to be filled. Be clear about what tasks you are going to perform and when.

6. Use digital tools.
Look for concrete solutions for specific tasks. Let technology save you time that you would dedicate to bureaucratic tasks and concentrate on analyzing the information to be able to make decisions and advance in the milestones to which you have committed. The Digital Transformation is here to help us!

Finally, before leaving work, write down three goals to accomplish tomorrow. That way, you already know what you need to work on and you can disconnect to enjoy the issues of your personal life.

Let us never forget the difference between working smart and working hard.


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