Just Seven Things

Exploring why and how we do what we do, and how we can do it better

Strange Bedfellows: The Relationship between Mood and Time Management

Cumulus 4 by Marcin Rybarczyk

Cumulus 4 by Marcin Rybarczyk

Again, it must be where my mind is at the moment. The challenges of time management and personal effectiveness all seem to be appearing in the shadows and the greyness conscious, rational, systematic approaches to the problem.

I think I need to start to believe the statement made in  Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s excellent Fooled by Randomness

‘We will see that we are not genetically fit to be rational and act rationally’ – there is a divorce between those who have ideas and those who carry then out in practice

(Here is the link to the string of posts on the impact that Fooled by Randomness has had on me)

I make this observation as I monitor myself into a next phase of effectiveness. I am getting a lot more focused on My3Things for each of my areas of accountability/ personal vision and goals (I have extended out my own use of the term My3Things from its use within Madgex for 360 degree feedback – just a useful way of managing a ‘dashboard’ of top 3 priority actions over seven areas of accountability/ vision & goals)

The multiple ‘to-do’s’ enable me more flexibility to manage to time, priority urgency or balance (of tasks under each category). However, the sheer gut ‘wanting to do something’ is something that shifts according to a variety of factors. Amongst a long list:

  1. Prior work effectiveness: what have I already achieved, and am I on a roll?
  2. Response to energy levels: I experience quite a hard resistance to starting certain tasks when tired. It normally relates to how much reward my conscious has tagged the outcome with.
  3. General ‘happiness’: I seem to have quite a strong chained relationship between happiness, creativity and effectiveness 

So – back to prior simplicity points – rather than consciously trying to be rational (per the Taleb comment), is this another case of us turning off the rational and the conscious? Rolling with the (mood) punches whilst ensuring that we are always just actioning in accordance with multiple sets of priorities. Arguably (and I have practically experienced this), this strategy doesn’t work only when we don’t have a sufficient range of prioritised actions we could be undertaking. And it involves us being sufficiently proactive in order that we create sufficient buffer and space to turn off the need to manage to time and priority urgency.

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3 thoughts on “Strange Bedfellows: The Relationship between Mood and Time Management

  1. I agree completely that our mood and energy level effects our time management and effectiveness. What is interesting though is that I have seen people who consciously do something to change their mood and energy, suddenly become more effective. It is important to be aware of this relationship. It is even more important to realise that we are able to change our moods and energy. The first topic in my 7 steps to create an extra hour a day is “There is no such thing as time management” — it’s all about self management. You can find the article at http://www.time-management-central.net/no-such-thing-as-time-management.html

  2. Many thanks Michael. I found the article here: http://www.time-management-central.net/time-management-article.html

    I like the idea of conscious awareness of the need to shift mood and energy levels. I stumbled across the following at the bottom of http://www.43folders.com: http://www.rtqe.net/ObliqueStrategies/

    I can imagine a deck of cards for mood and energy?

  3. Pingback: Time Management - Blogwatch - It’s not about Tips and Tricks - Time Management Resources from AskTheManager.com

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