Getting Over the Hump: Activation Energy and Executive Time Management

I’m sure this isn’t so hard to do but imagine yourself staring at a mountain of tasks. You know you need to climb this mountain but taking that first step feels overwhelming. This mental hurdle is like the concept of activation energy in chemistry – the initial energy needed to start a reaction. In our daily lives, activation energy applies to getting started on tasks, especially those we find daunting.

For executives, this can be particularly true. Big decisions, complex projects, and endless to-do lists can create a high activation energy, making it difficult to even begin. This is where understanding activation energy becomes a powerful tool for time management.

The key is to lower the activation energy for important tasks. Here’s how:

Break it down: Divide large projects into smaller, more manageable steps. This makes the starting point less intimidating and creates a sense of progress.

Prime your environment: Have everything you need readily available to eliminate the mental friction of searching for things.

Batch similar tasks: Group tasks that require the same mindset together. This helps you stay focused and avoid the energy drain of switching gears.

Start small: Don’t try to tackle the entire mountain at once. Begin with a small, achievable first step. The momentum gained will make it easier to keep going.

Share with your team: Teach your staff how to lower their activation energy, and they will see improved results as well.

By employing these strategies, executives can overcome the initial inertia and dedicate their valuable time to truly impactful work. Remember, it’s all about getting over that first hump!

“The best way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”
– Walt Disney

Header image by Pixabay/

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