Save time with some biological laws

You now have the tips for planning and gaining efficiency from a sociological point of view. You know how to leverage your colleagues, group effect, or your organization. Now, I propose to focus on yourself. The second step in time management is to get to know each other better, to better understand how things work. Here are some laws, from the biology, that will “give back” your time.

Swobada Fliess Toltscher’s Law – use chronobiologicals deadlines

The duration of any planned task will tend to be closer to the nearest chronobiological deadline.

The chronobiological deadlines are simply dates that mark our imagination: day, week, month, quarter, year, season. How many of us plan to finalize something for the end of the day, Friday, or before going on vacation? By letting our nature choose these deadlines, we are adding a lot of pressure. Nothing prevents to finish for Wednesday …

Deadline syndrome

An official deadline, planned and announced, organized long enough in advance can turn into a chronobiological deadline for the project’s stakeholders.

Whether for yourself or your project, you can create this kind of deadline … Ideally, you must have an official character, such as a presentation or validation, with a public or people outside the project and an irreversible character: the invitations are sent, the date can not change.

Illich’s Law – Improve performance by splitting time

Beyond a certain threshold, personal to each individual, the brain becomes counterproductive.

You have noticed, but when you spend too much time on a task, we are less and less fast. In addition, as time progresses, we make mistakes. This is why the brain needs breaks … The Pomodoro technique is one of the best to help you respect the rhythm of your brain. In this technique, you work 45 minutes, then take a short break of 5 minutes. Every 3 or 4 cycles, you take a longer break. Beyond the rest time of the brain, by limiting yourself to 45 minutes, you can create small chronobiological deadlines, and limit the time spent on a task (according to Parkinson’s law).

Corollary Law of Carlson – Improving Performance Through Homogeneous Workflow

Each break, no matter how short, takes the effort required to complete the main activity.

Ding! Whether it’s an email, a text message, a colleague, you’ve been interrupted. Even if your gaze only left a fraction of a second behind the document you were working on, your brain interrupted the processing of the task. That is, he focused on the interruption, to decide whether to act on it or not. Micro-interruptions slow down work by their frequency and the fatigue they generate on the brain. Thus, the energy, deciding whether the interruption was worthwhile, is not available to complete the work in progress. While we have a limited amount of choice in our day.

As for the longer interruptions … They demobilize the brain. You have to re-focus, which takes time (5 to 10 minutes depending on the person).

à retenir

Our brain loves to wander, and can not stay focused too long. Give yourself short, but uninterrupted periods of work: phone and email off, with a time limit. It is how you will finalize the work.

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