Time Management: Working in the Right Environment for the Right Activity—The Document Development Zone

Most of us perform our daily tasks at our desk near the computer. Often this is not the best place to do certain activities or priority tasks that take more concentration and less distraction. Activities such as strategic thinking, reading, writing and development often require a different environment to assist in changing the mindset to help perform those tasks more quickly and efficiently. An advantage of technology tools, telework and remote work environments is that workers can now utilize the right environment for the right activity.

Here is one type of zone environment each worker should have ;

Document Development zone

In our knowledge-based economy most workers have reports, budgets and written deliverables that are required for the job. These written deliverables require concentrated thinking, as do reading and decision making, but they also require workers to be near their computers. Often workers get started on these written deliverables and become waylaid from the task because e-mail and communication activities are immediately reactive.

A recent Vanderbilt University study found that a person who writes a report while checking e-mail will take one-and-half times longer than if the tasks were done sequentially. To be more efficient in written tasks consider taking the computer to another location such as a coffee shop, quiet room, conference room or home. If that isn’t an option then log out of e-mail and database programs and set the phone to voicemail to limit the immediate reactive temptation. Creating this development zone will maximize time and improve quality of work.