The Cannibalization of Time

By Nuno Sobrinho | Business Designer at Monday

1. Because we do things wrongly

We need to question more and all the time. We need to question ourselves if there’s another way to perform the way we desire that would easier our life. Because we tend to accommodate and not question, we end up being very good and proficient doing things wrongly. If I use a tool or an interface to perform an activity for years, ignoring new tools and continuous improvement to make our days easier, I not only procrastinate innovation and adaptation but end up spending time instead of saving it.

2. Because we do not prioritize

Human beings have big struggles prioritizing. Distinguish what is considered urgent to perform from what is important, is hard. The emergency room here pops up when I reach a point where my agenda is full of urgent things and a few more important. This generally happens when we let important things drag for days until they transform themselves into urgent scenarios. The trick here is to manage well important things, so we can avoid them transform and become urgent. This way we can have more important things on the agenda than urgent, as long as we know how to manage and work it out. Knowing why, how and what to prioritize is critical. The more expert in prioritizing we can be, the more we promote time-saving.

3. Because we resist to change

Resistance is inherent to our nature. We resist more than we let flow. It is positive to resist a few things, namely, some food temptations or harmful addictions for example. Though, when talking about time under this subject, resistance is usually not a good friend. “Time flies”, it’s commonly said. Additionally, the environment we live in is changing faster than we have ever seen. If around us the speed of change is overwhelming, how can we resist to change that much? How’s it acceptable that we spend such a big amount of time resisting and doing the same old things or having the same old approach? We resist because we fear to fail, we resist because we prefer to stay comfortable where we are, we resist because we don’t feel comfortable in what we perceive as an uncomfortable context. We resist because we reject the unknown. Unknown doesn’t make us feel right nor confident. Sometimes I embrace projects where a client wants to discuss solutions in-depth on our first or second meeting, even before the official kick-off. How can we possibly know the solution at this stage, if we haven’t done any sort of inspiration activity yet? How can we possibly know what the solution might be if we didn’t bring the people we are designing for to the table yet? Because we resist, we don’t capitalize time, and we keep applying the same errors, same methods, same thoughts, which makes us spending time, though without acknowledging it.

4. Because we have no Plan B

Plan A is, generally, our only bet. If an unforeseen issue occurs and plan A doesn’t go through or as we planned, we feel we’re screwed. We tend to not dedicate any time thinking about a plan B, prior to action. We avoid good, thorough and structured plan. What if plan A doesn’t go well? What if we can’t make this happen? What can we prepare in case this doesn’t go as considered? Can we avoid the worst by having a backup?

5. Because we just don’t make it simple

This one is my favorite! The human being is not minimalist by nature. But we have to, more than ever. Technology, for example, changes too quick nowadays. We’re barely capable to follow daily news with the amount of information we’re faced with when we wake up and check our phone. If we don’t cut the extras and focus on what’s really necessary, we’re just spending extra time on things we don’t have to, and we shouldn’t. Minimalism is today, a great ally to perform efficiently and on schedule.

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