Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Time Management Tuesday: So Just Do Less

I've written about the busyness issue here before. Being busy, which is often different from working hard, is a common condition that, oddly enough, can keep us from actually doing things.

Well, I'm going to write about it again.

Finding Your Sweet Spot: How to be Happier and More Productive--By Doing Less appeared in The Globe and Mail earlier this year. It's an interview with Christine Carter, a sociologist at UC Berkely who has written The Sweet Spot: How to Find Your Groove at Home and at Work. According to the article, "the sweet spot" is a sports reference, the "ideal place where power and ease meet." Carter suggests that people identify the minimum they need to do in order to be effective, presumably their sweet spot. More is not necessarily better.

Carter uses the terms “maximizers” and "satsificers".  She says maximizers are people who collect all the information they can find before making a decision. Satsificers are people who determine criteria for success and then  stop looking for information once they meet it. If I end up reading this book, I'd like to see how these two ideas can be applied to writing.

I tend to become interested in concepts I've already dabbled with myself. A couple of years ago, I had to determine a baseline of home maintenance I could live with and just work to that, because I had only one day a week that I wasn't working or doing elder care. I couldn't do my share of house and yard maintenance in one day and have any kind of a personal/recreational life. Last fall when I came back from vacation I was in better physical shape than I'd been in before I left because of all the biking and walking I'd done while I was away. Since I was stronger and had better endurance, I tried to exercise harder so I could exercise for a shorter period of time each day.

So you can see that the concepts Carter writes about grab my attention.

She is a supporter of the unit system, too. Like Tony Schwartz, she advocates 90-minute units.

Finding Your Sweet Spot could be a good summer time management read for me.

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