Where do you spend your time?
Time management has an inherent focus of‘are we spending our time on the right tasks?’ For example it encourages us to ask questions like, ‘Is this task aligned to our goals?’ ‘Is it simply urgent but not important and therefore not worthy of my time? This is great advice, however our recent research showed that we have to add another layer to time management.
Myself & Deakin University did a study just to look at how people are handling this new fast-paced world and the amount of change that’s happening in business.
What we found is that most people spend their day in time pressure. This is where we have a series of tasks to complete that are within our capability, however they need to be completed in a short time frame. In other words there is a bunch of stuff that we can do quite well, but we have lots of it to do.
We found is that this type of pressure drains people & makes them feel tired, uninspired & disengaged.
In contrast people felt most alive and engaged at work when they were in creative pressure.
Creative pressure is where we have challenging tasks that stretch us & require us to bring our best self. For example, solving a difficult problem, come up with an idea or re-design an existing process.
Even though this type of pressure had a higher expectation, it juiced people & left them feeling energised. They walked away from this pressure with a sense that they loved their job and a sense of satisfaction.
Ask yourself where do you spend most of your time?
As an individual, can you block out parts of your day to do the creative stuff that challenges you & makes you feel alive? Also, if you are a leader, where does your team spend their time? Could you start to give them more creative pressure? Even if it is once a week where you give your team some sort of a creative challenge that really makes them bring their best self to work?
When you think about your time management don’t just think about whether the tasks are the right tasks but are they the right sort of tasks.