This question is derived from the idea that not all hours are created equal. In practice, however, we often act as if they are, randomly scheduling activities throughout the day without regard for what went before or what is coming after.

When scheduling calls, I often see people suggesting times when they have gaps in their schedule rather than times when they will get the most out of the call. One client calls this the tendency to “battle through” no matter how we are feeling.

My invitation is that instead of trying to manage our time we instead shift to thinking in terms of managing our energy.

Once we make this shift, it frees us up to start asking some interesting questions like:

  • When am I typically most productive?

And bringing it into today:

  • What are the top 3 things I would like to accomplish today?
  • And when am I likely to be at my best for each of these tasks?

This clearly isn’t a hard science but the more you pay attention the more I would imagine you will start noticing patterns.

If you want to delve deeper into this idea, Episode 5 of my Time Academy Podcast explores this in more depth.

Questions in the Image:

  • When am I typically most productive?
  • What do I find easy to concentrate on?
  • Who and what give me energy?

Want to Read More Around This Topic?

18 Minutes by Peter Bergman (link to If I am being honest this is the book I would love to have written and is the one that most closely aligns with my own thinking. The author, Peter Bregman, argues that it isn’t about getting more done, it is about getting the right things done.

Nurturing Curiosity – Daily Practice: This is part of the Nurturing Curiosity series of tools, insights and questions designed to help nurture curiosity as part of our daily practice. In point of fact, every interaction we have is an opportunity to question what we are observing and how we and others are seeing the world. Also remember that questions come in many forms throughout our day – a bird lazying about on an overhead wire might be asking “Where might I find more moments of rest during my day?” And indeed, “What type of rest do I need right now?” A bouncing ball in the distance is prompting me to wonder “When might I play basketball with the kids?”

About Tom O’Leary

My mission is to help others think differently – meaning more broadly and deeply – and thereby make better decisions. The key to thinking differently lies in our curiosity.

The more we question, the more possible answers we uncover, and the more we expand what we thought possible. Life has taught me that possibility lies not so much in seeking answers but in learning to ask better questions – the ones that help prioritise what is truly essential.

And yet, in a culture obsessed with efficiency and productivity, the paradox is that much energy and resources are wasted by a bias towards action over contemplation. If you are answering the wrong question, it doesn’t matter how ‘hard’ you work, you are still answering the wrong question.

That is why I am a big advocate of nurturing curiosity and innovative thinking at all ages, particularly amongst leaders because of the impact they have on us all. In my vision, leaders aren’t boxed in by traditional thinking or established playbooks. They are curious, open to fresh ideas and diverse perspectives, fostering a culture of exploration and learning.

How Might Tom Help?

  1. My first invitation is to take maximum advantage of the free content on this site.
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