Think Time… It’s Now Or Never on 24 maja, 2002

I recently read an article published in the June, 2005 issue of Fast Co. magazine. Linda Tischler wrote an essay entitled “Death to the Cubicle!” In it, she says ‘Collaboration is great, but sometimes I’d kill for a door.’

With the advent of open offices and shared arenas for team communication, the issue of privacy and focus in an employee’s workspace has become more than just privacy and focus. It’s now about job performance and productivity.

The article goes on to quote Dr. Tom Davenport, professor of Management and Information at Babson College, who conducted a year long survey of a cross-section of professionals and found there were three factors that determined white collar performance:

Management and organization
Information technology
Workplace design

I would argue that all of these items are connected. Just as paper, time, space and digital file management are all connected. It’s not one at the exclusion of the other. It is finding a way to connect the dots with all of these factors in order to live and work in a more harmonious environment.

Focus and concentration are key time management elements that are necessary to help execute on your priority tasks and achieve your personal and professional goals. Not only are focus and concentration difficult to achieve, but different styles require different levels of each. Some need to concentrate in shorter periods of time than others and some need to focus only on certain topics.

I have always advocated that each employee is entitled to ‘think time’. When I say this during my workshop, some of the faces staring back at me look like they are waiting for the magic answer. But there is no magic answer.

It doesn’t matter whether your think time is achieved in the shower, on the way to work or at your desk. As long as you get it and guard it on a daily basis. Even 15 minutes a day means you will have achieved over an hour of think time by the end of the week. One employee I saw put a short curtain on a spring-loaded curtain rod and placed it across her cubicle doorway. It was her way of saying to the world ‘please don’t bother me now because I need this time to concentrate and work on this project’.

You may not need a curtain rod, but find a way to carve out and protect your think time. You deserve it!

Copyright 2005 Cynthia Kyriazis. All rights reserved.

Cynthia Kyriazis is an organizing and time management consultant, trainer, speaker, coach and author with over 20 years management experience in multi-unit corporations. Organize it, a division of Productivity Partners, Inc. is an organizational training firm she founded in 1995 and has been serving Fortune 500 clients ever since. Cynthia works with business and their employees to help improve performance and realize productivity gains.

Cynthia has appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Kansas City Star and the Legal Intelligencer. She currently serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO), member of the National Speakers Association (NSA), member of the Kansas City of the International Society for Performance Improvement – (ISPI-KC) and consultant to the American Coaching Association.

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