Monday, 17 March 2008

Mind the gap

For a wee while now this phrase has been something of a mantra for me. As part of my attempt to develop daily discipline and improve what is known as "time management", I've been conscious of the gaps that occur during the day (both at work and at home) - e.g. time between meetings. Productivity is improved if the gaps are used wisely.

Something else that I've been contemplating for a while are triggers - little signals that indicate all is not well-ordered in my world. One of these is that my pile of reading material is growing ever larger. Strangely I don't mind this happening at home, but at work it's a warning sign.

Anyway, a while back I came across some research on the
BBC website which stated the following:

... a study in Holland had suggested that the more people's days were fragmented, the more they read, regardless of their educational background.

"Which is completely counter-intuitive but I don't see anything to contradict it."

Another study he had conducted had indicated that people felt they did not have enough time in their days.

Certain activities were almost fixed - like going to work, picking the kids up from school then taking them to ballet lessons - and required them to co-ordinate with others.

Inevitably there were sometimes breaks when the co-ordination was not precise.

"What I'm arguing is that over the last 30 to 40 years the organisation of time has become fragmented, less predictable - someone is late, or you arrive early and are waiting for the kids to come out of school.

"Those moments are good for reading."

Put the two thoughts together and progress is made - fill the gaps by reading some of the backlog.

That Hideous Man has a similar but different thought process going on...

2 comments:

His Girl Friday said...

my motto is....have a book, will travel... ;))

I have some of my best read times, waiting for this or that appt, etc

lucy said...

i am really quite an effective user of "gaps"...i can unload a dishwasher & feed the dog while i am waiting for my water to boil...when i read "mind the gap" however, another term came to my mind which is from john o'donohue's last book "to bless the space between us". what does it look like to use those "gaps" to bless? hmmmm....i may feel a post brewing.

i also find that when i have too much going on (fragmented, perhaps) and i don't want to think too much, i head straight for a novel that does not require much of me. again, hmmmmm....

thanks for this!