Saturday, 15 December 2018

One thing at once


We are all under pressure to multitask - to deal with emails, messages and reminders whilst also doing our 'real job'.

Even when not under this avalanche of inputs, many of us choose to listen to music as we work. We eat lunch at our desks as we work.

Students update their facebook pages (and more) whilst they listen to lectures

All this means our productivity is increasing, right?

Wrong!

For most of us it means our performance dips.

A recent research study shows students who multitasked on their laptops during lectures scored consistently lower in tests (by about 17%) than their non-multitasking peers.

We seem to have difficulty balancing priorities among all the tasks - dealing with trivial rather than important issues because they require less concentration and thus fit well in a multitasking scenario.

But failing to concentrate on, and effectively deal with,  the important items  on your agenda is not a recipe for success.



Saturday, 8 December 2018

Stop working


On a recent business class flight, the guy next to me got out his laptop and worked on if for most of the flight. I ate the meal, had a drink, snoozed a little and did a crossword. 

Who was the most productive?

Well of course, he would claim he was. He got some work done.

But that is like people who confuse productivity with production. Doing more is not necessarily being more productive.

In my relaxed time onboard, I was not doing nothing.  I was contemplating, thinking and reflecting. I went into meetings later that week much better prepared and I am convinced the decisions I took that week were ‘better’.

We get so little time to consider and reflect, it is worth taking the time to stop and do so when you can. In the broader sense, you might get less done ... but your productivity will increase.

Saturday, 1 December 2018

Is TRIZ for you?

I only recently cam across TRIZ - a (Russia-originated) problem solving and creativity guide for 'the rest of us' - those who are not creative by nature.  Part of its 'secret' is that it is built 'on the shoulders of giants' - an analysis of past patents and patent applications from which it draws out 'innovative principles'.

So, to solve a problem you simply (?) decide what type of problem it is, find which general category it falls into, see what people have done in the past - and identify the broad category of solution; apply this broad solution to your problem to create your solution, your new product or whatever.

This is a relatively analytical approach to creativity - whoever would have thought that was possible,

Such an approach may or may not suit you and your team - but I recommend you read up and try it. You have little to lose - and you might dramatically improve your creativity.