There are some time management issues that I have raised in my blog, and in my videos, that I believe can be answered using a digital simulation.
This diagnostic tool, which is taught in schools of operations research, is one that can be used to answer some of the specific conclusions I have drawn about time management systems. (I just happen to have a Masters in the field, but the last time I designed a simulation was… let’s just say it was a long time ago!)
I have been looking at different programmes that can be used, and haven’t found a cost-effective tool that can be used to do some simple modelling. Most of them are built for elaborate factory layouts and the like, but I’m looking to answer some simple questions such as:
- how much time can be saved using more scheduling and less listing? At what number of time demands does it make sense to make the switch? (In 2Time it involves an upgrade from Yellow Belt Scheduling to Orange Belt Scheduling)
- what’s the impact of a lot of email that’s stored in capture points for too long e.g. an email Inbox? At what point does email volume require an upgrade in skills?
- what happens when Acting Now is abused and we spend too much time pursuing certain time demands, disrupting our Emptying?
- when work is interrupted by unwanted distractions, what’s the cost to a professional’s productivity?
- what’s the impact of having instant access to email?
If you happen to know of any “lite” simulation tools floating around, please let me know!
There are lots of claims floating around about which time management techniques are better than others, and this is one way to make some general claims about which approaches are indeed an improvement, especially when the number of time demands increases, and new tools like smartphones become available.
I realize that at the end of the day everyone must use a personalized system that fits their habit pattern, but that’s not to say that specific information about the habits we choose don’t have consequences. They do, and the more information we have about them, the better we can manage our own systems.