Everyday your calendar changes, yesterday probably looked 100x different to the week before over even yesterday.
It’s true, that we are living through an age where the average content consumption is 74GB (gettingthingsdone.com)
This figure was measured a fair while ago which means new figures are out and things must be on the rise, we probably consume closer to 100GB a day. This is insane, we are luckily adapting to this everyday, we are always developing small hacks to complete tasks with a smoother efficiency or even find a route to the problem faster, it’s what we do as humans, it’s also what we’ve been doing for the last 20 years in this powerful information focused era and what we used to do in the prehistorical times when creating and using tools.
Taking time out right now to see whether you can develop your skills in time management is important.
There is a lot of focus on your calendar, Calendars in the work place change a lot but core concepts don’t. Your calendar will always be different no matter what day you are on, info consumption, project creation, priority changing and task development will always be changing.
They have studied that in the last 72 hours, your projects, tasks and information around your lifestyle has changed and developed so much that the same amount of change would have taken your parents 1 month, even 1 year to have happen to them.
Managing your calendar and how you associate time is very important and can open up a lot of opportunity to feeling better in the workplace.
Tasks/time are broken into 3 key energy levels:
- Inactive time
- Active time
- Proactive time
Inactive time is the simple stuff, where your energy levels are low, you can complete very basic tasks with low brain function and that doesn’t take much physical or mental effort to complete.
Inactive tasks can include:
- Email replies with no actions involved — closing them off
- Scheduling meetings that are between 1–3 people
- Removing open loops from your mind
- Low intensity calls below 10mins
- Creating Agendas with 5 or less item points
- Sending tweets as replies to customers
Active Time is associated with a medium level of energy, where someone can complete tasks with focus but not be 100% motivated to complete the heavy things.
Active time tasks may include:
- Content creation between 100–500 words
- Organising meetings with over 3 people // email involvement
- Calls that need to be made between 10–30mins
- Emails that take between 5–15 mins to complete
- Processing personal tasks and delegating tasks to colleagues
Proactive time is is where you are highly motivated, you have a spring in your step and the morality to crush anything in your path. It might be that you are highly energetic or keen on getting on with things. Only you can explain surges like this.
Proactive tasks may include:
- Content creation — 500 words + (Reports,documents, powerpoints)
- Calls between 30mins to 1hr
- Emails with detailed context and importance. Between 15–20mins
- Errands- around heavy communication with a client physical or non-physical (20–40mins)
Now with these energy/activity/focus levels it is important to know that everyone is different on two ways:
- Inactive, active and proactive tasks maybe different to you — you maybe able to complete more than the suggested tasks — eg, proactive could be Reports above 5,000 words…
- Your time of the day will associate your energy levels.
If you talk to anyone to explain an average day, they will mention not they are tired after lunch, wired after supper, wired at 10am but nappy at 3pm. Everyone’s day is different but this energy map is important and you can design the above around your style of day.
ACTIVITY: map out your day according to your energy levels eg. Every 2 hours is a good starting point. But try 1hr slots!
- 7am to 9am — inactive — tired
- 9am to 11am — active — getting wired
- 11am to 1pm — proactive — in the zone
- 1pm to 3pm — inactive — slipping off
- 3pm to 5pm — proactive / getting in the zone again…
Everyone’s day is different from here you can now see what tasks you can associated to those times in your day.
1. Start orientations tasks to specific times
2. Act on the tasks that are relevant and call them out after you’ve completed them (eg. yeah, that was an inactive task)
3. Create a list of your inactive,active and proactive task definition- yours will be different and that’s good, mine is just a guideline.
TERRIFIED PEOPLE WILL DISTURB YOUR PROACTIVE TIME…
The average disruption time in the office is every 3minutes (GTD 2015 edition)
- Speak to your boss and everyone in your office room, explain this concept, then mention that this _____ ornament/hat/pen/post it when it is on t table it means I am in proactive time and cannot be disturbed.
Anything that indicates to the team that when they see the item that they know you are in that PROACTIVE time. Could even be an out of order sign…
Trying this out for 1 week and maintaining a schedule of what energy levels you are and correlating it to the tasks will allow you stronger flexibility around your day.
You can go a lot deeper with this concept, allowing you to choose specific tasks to do in a taxi when you are tired at 10pm and have 10mins but that concept comes later on…