We have heard quite a lot about time management and productivity. The goal is to squeeze more production out of each unit of time. And, of course, it is an artifact that only 20th century folks can love with our obsession about efficiency.
But efficiency is not the only value out there. Indeed, over doing efficiency leads to tunnel vision and exhaustion. In other words, efficiency for efficiency sake is not strategically optimal.
In fact, there are three windows to assess strategic options – anticipating what will happen, assessing what is happening, and evaluating what has already happened. Future thinking, present thinking and past thinking.
Humans really suck at future thinking. We know that from experimenting on ourselves. We have too many biases to maintain objectivity about what is likely to come. Present thinking stops us from doing. We cannot assess what we are doing and do it at the same time. We can only act on mental auto-pilot. That leaves us with evaluating what has already happened.
My first point is that if you want to think strategically, you have no choice but to keep track of what has happened. If you don’t, you will have limited data to reflect upon. There are three aspects to doing this well. (1) collecting data, (2) tracking results, and (3) using results.
Here is a nice link to “eight task management” ideas and you will find that each idea relates to one or more of the above categories. Well, there is a simpler way of dealing with this. What you did either fits into the story you want to create or it does not. Think about that.
If you find that it does not fit, then you need to start learning how to say “no”.