December 2018

By Time and Thought teaser image
As this session comes to an end It ends with evidence that one can produce great result by much planned thinking. Thinking by having ideas as thoughts and applying information to the thoughts in many ways for solutions you can be satisfied with. Hours spent on assignments, work and many daily activities could be more successful with more focus on the results. The time spent in achieving the result comes into play when telling the story or keeping records, otherwise a huge amount of time on a poor result seems like an excuse for a less than satisfactory output.

The audience, customers and examiners can tell when a thought has gone through a refined process. They do not see the time spent generating ideas, but the resulting product tells the story of the path that a thought went through.

Some existing literature argue that the efficiency of work should be judged on output and not time. The current system of reporting how many hours we work a day leads to less productive work and time-based judgement of work does not optimum results as some people are daytime people and others night-time people.

Others say judging work based on time leads to a fixed set of standards with expectations based on timing. For an area like design, one could spend many hours troubleshooting and have a grand idea in a very short span of time. That “eureka!” moment comes at different times for us. The challenge is knowing how to balance time and effort for the best result. Our balance can be influenced by incentives, they help us focus on what we gain after the result. 

The Parkinson’s Law states that “work expands to fill the time available for its completion.” This means that we can choose the amount of time spent at each task. What comes to mind are how ideas suddenly appear when it is close to deadline, one is forced to decide and conclude on tasks. Knowing the time available for work helps in the proper planning of work filled with thoughts.

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Patricia Kio
Patricia is a Ph.D. student in the College of Architecture

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