Five different coloured poker chips on top of each other

50 Pence Tasks and Poker Chips

  • What stops us from deploying our time management intentions?  
  • How often do we remain ‘busy’ without considering where our time is best spent? 

At ICC, we believe that everyone knows what they should be doing but, often, procrastination, habit, and personal comfort zones get in the way of laser-focus on the important stuff and we prioritise the smaller, less valuable activity instead. 

This is an age-old issue, and a baseline theme in many of our performance coaching sessions. Alongside working on individual motivations, we’ve noticed that by simplifying the process we can also increase our appetite for scheduling discipline. 

Consider the 50p tasks, numerous but contributing little to your overall delivery value: 

  • How many do you smash through each day? 
  • When do you do them?  
  • Are you the most appropriate person to be doing them?  

Achieving a number of small tasks can feel like a win (and can often motivate us to keep a similar pace with other more value-driven tasks). But what if you are slaying these tasks when your energy levels are at their highest point in the day? How about simplifying your time management process by time blocking – allocating high-energy activity to the most valuable tasks and reserving time for 50p tasks when your energy is in less demand?  

Two questions: 

  1. What tasks require your highest energy levels? 
  2. How might you optimise your allotted time to get the most value from your activity? 

One method that we use is gambling! While not advocating the concept of gambling (or using chance as a time management method), we find poker chips help to apply an element of rigour to how we spend our day: 

Poker Chip Time Blocking 

For a relatively small investment, purchase 24 poker chips and immediately allocate a pile of 6-9 for your sleep. Then, go about deciding how you will spend the rest. As each chip represents an hour, you will find that you are much more disciplined about what goes into each one, how quickly they are spent, and who you allow to spend them for you! 

It’s time to put your best intentions into action 

Start by actually having a time management process! We find that nobody makes improvements without having a process to work to. Then, simplify the process. If it’s inaccessible, cumbersome, complex or confusing you will not use it. 

Let your priorities dictate your schedule, not your schedule dictate your priorities 

Let us know how you get on! You’re In Cool Company.

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