Time Management: A Proposal I Once Read Essay

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Time management: A proposal I once read in a biography about Benjamin Franklin that he rested for 45 minutes per day around 2.00 in order to rejuvenate his energy. A treatise on cognitive neuroscience affirmed his belief albeit in a different way and with elaboration. It opined that particular moments of the day carried specific energy levels; that the morning provided the greatest resources of energy intensity, that midday (between 1:00 PM and 2.pm provided the least), and that from the hours between 3.00 and 7.00 tasks involved a different part of the brain and, therefore, more physical but less intellectual activities succeeded during this part of the day. According to this routine, therefore, the morning would be devoted to intellectual study, a brief rest during the 2.00pm time slot would replenish energies, whilst the afternoon would be dedicated to physical projects.

I tried this for several months straight for almost a year. At first I was reluctant to waste a portion of my day in rest and I experimented with the time of day accorded this rest and with the actual span of rest. I discovered that resting enabled me to awake earlier -- approximately 4.00 -- and to go to bed later -- approximately 12.00. I also discovered that I had to time my rest to occur not longer than and not shorter than 30 minutes for a more indulgent rest would leave me feeling grumpy whilst a briefer rest would make me more fatigued than before. So Franklin's idea of rest was contributive provided that it occurred within the perimeters of a certain time span. I also discovered that certain tasks did seem to correlate to certain parts of the day, namely that my energy levels were greater for some tasks than others during particular parts of the day and that whilst the morning was suited for intellectual / mental tasks, I was better able to do physically-oriented tasks in the afternoon....

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In the early evening again, I could concentrate on various mental tasks, and it was in this way that I structured my day.
Based on this experience I recommend that the company structure its program for its employees in the following way: employees concentrate their energies on intellectual tasks - such as information technology in the morning. For 30 minutes at around 2.00, employees be given the opportunity to socialize, or to rest (I have witnessed a corporation in Silicon Valley, for instance, that strings hammocks above its individual workspaces) in their particular way. The afternoon should then be devoted to physical labor. In this way, the work of the day is centered around the brain's capacity level for certain tasks and tasks are matched to energy capacity. Of course, I would recommend that further, more reliable and reiterated research be conducted in such a program before it be implemented in reality.

The attractions of such a program is that no equipment is needed. Secondly, traditional time management techniques group task according to level of importance, and this is, indeed, essential when time is running short and certain tasks need to be accomplished. However, when one has an inordinate amount of tasks to complete, one may find it more advantageous and productive to group these tasks according to energy equivalence and categorize them according to times of the day that are most suitable to their fulfillment. Doing it this way, will butcher torpor and help productivity immeasurably.

Other traditional time management techniques include: dealing with more challenging and less desirable tasks first before tackling others: structuring specific, time-aligned goals and rewarding oneself for completion of these goals; monitoring one's daily performance, assessing gaps in one's utilization of time, investigating why those gaps occur…

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