If I were paid a penny for each conversation around the difficulty of achieving work-life harmony, I would have been a multi-millionaire by now. We all have been part of such iscussions, either listening to someone’s complaint or talking about it ourselves. We started Sapience five years ago with the specific objective of providing a technology solution to address this issue. Ever since, our entire team is always thinking and debating best practices that can help individuals to achieve their goals at work while ensuring quality ime with friends and family. Let me assure you though that this note is not a Sapience sales pitch, but about a powerful concept that we came up with recently.
Like most elegant ideas, this concept is simple. We have practiced time management, task management, and various other tricks/hacks that we have heard from someone or read somewhere to get better at managing our day, but success still evades most of us. I would like to introduce a new approach that we refer to as the “Golden Hours”.
What is “Golden Hours”, you may ask. Imagine a day in which you block 4 hours for doing the right things (by the way that’s only around 25% of our total awake time). What is these four hours were spent as follows:
- Body and Soul Hour : this is when you exercise, meditate, walk, jog or whatever activity that you enjoy and which takes care of your health needs.
- Family Hour : one uninterrupted hour with family – we have found that dinner time for conversations (no TV) and playing with kids is a great way to achieve this. If you are taying alone, maybe you can call your family or friends or just curl up with a good book or listening to your favorite music.
- Silent Hours @ Work : Now this is the key to managing distractions and being able to complete the important tasks each day. Imagine an hour of focused work time when your cellphone is on mute, email and chat popups are disabled, and avoid the temptation of doing any personal work and taking breaks (Silent Hour). The objective is to spend time on the high impact and important work that often gets sidetracked by the urgent but low impact interruptions. Try and have at least two such silent hours.
On careful observation, you would see that these Golden Hours help you address the important things in life – your Health, Family, and Job. In my humble opinion, that should be the order of these three things. While the concept is simple, sometimes people ask us how we can they find these Golden Hours – “Which time of the day should they be” and “How do we plan them”. My suggestion – instead of force- fitting them, think about how you spend your day to find the right slots for each activity. You might not be aware, but you have a pattern, you tend to do certain things at a certain time, it is just not visible to you yet. On careful observation, you would find the right slots for the Golden Hours.
There are wearables and mobile apps that help you track personal fitness. Sapience can help you do the same at work. It discovers your work patterns, lets you set goals to achieve the desired focus time, and encourages you with points and badges.
Go ahead and try the Golden Hours and let us know if they worked for you. Look forward to hearing your thoughts on improving the concept or other ideas that combine echnology and best practices to achieve a fulfilling day.