Last week I participated in the Productivity Success Summit (http://productivitysuccesssummit.com/) and one of my favourite presentations was The Time Themed and Mode Based Work Methodology by Mike Vardy.
The big takeaways for me were:
- Time Theming vs Time Chunking
Many traditional productivity methods focus on blocking off chunks of time in each day for specific projects. While Mike didn’t seem to frown on that, one of the core concepts he referred to was the idea of theming.
A theme is an overarching focus that provides a framework for your brain to organize tasks and priorities.Start time theming and increase #productivity! Click To Tweet
You take a denomination of time (day, week, month, year – potentially even hours) and decide in advance what type of activity you’ll focus on in that period.
– December = closure (focus on finishing things)
– Saturday = household chores
– Sunday = family time
Instead of moving unfinished to-dos to the next day (or next sequential time chunk), move them to the next appropriately themed time period. This keeps you focused and avoids the guilt associated with incomplete tasks while keeping the items on your list.
- Mode-Based Work
Rather than scheduling your time around projects, block off your time according to the mode you need to be in to best complete the work. Mike referred to the TREAT acronym to help assign task modes:
Theme – as discussed earlier
Resource – a person, place, or tool required
Energy – physical or mental energy required
Activity – the type of activity involved
Time – how long the task is expected to take
Neither themes nor modes are strictly new ideas in the world of productivity, but it was interesting to consider them together in this particular way.
You can check out more on Mike’s site: www.productivityist.com