Thursday, June 9, 2011

On Being Efficient

Its funny how your thoughts/beliefs evolve over time. I used to think that multitasking was efficient and I worked hard at being able to multitask efficiently. I've since come to believe that multitasking is only efficient when you are engaged in many processes that do not require deep thought. If you are programming or are involved in any other "deep" thought activity, it is very expensive (time wise and otherwise) to keep switching modes. You are most efficient if you can spend 1, 2 or perhaps even 3 hours deeply focused on the task at hand.

The Energy Project Blog ( argues compellingly for 90 minute sprints as being the most efficient/effective.

The Four Hour Work Week ( also suggests some other valuable time management choices - such as only checking your email twice per day and grouping all calls at the same time.

These ideas are not unique, not non-obvious and are not rocket science, but they are effective. Sometimes we just need to remind ourselves of the good habits we should adopt or resume.

The challenge is to think critically about all the ideas we encounter and consciously decide which are valid/good and therefore should be adopted - and those which are invalid and should be ignored.

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