The 4 Ways to institute Quiet Time for Effective Time Management
Updated: Jan 25
In a digital world reeling with a steady diet of noise, Quiet Time is one of the most important time management techniques.
Too many tasks and too little time? You are not alone in feeling so. We all try to schedule our way to time management and then wonder where our day went. Until two years ago, I was in the same boat as you.
My work calendar was always full of appointments, and I used to run from one meeting, and during the pandemic, from one MS Team call to another. My work hours often began early and lasted till late evening. Often I fell asleep exhausted on my bed, sometimes with the laptop at my side. My family was not sure about my availability, even during the weekends. I used to work and only work, not having the time for much else. I was submerging deeper and deeper into a cesspool of busyness.
Until the afternoon when the annual promotion list came out in the company where I worked then. It was only late at night, when the lights in my home were dark, that I had time to check the email. Guess what? I felt indifferent seeing my name on that list. I realised that not having the time to enjoy my success was not the right way to live.
I wasn’t working in a high-profile job at a marquee company for being busy all the time.
That was when I decided to control my time rather than let time control me.
It took a series of small steps and considerable self-awareness to arrive at a stage where I now feel I have all the time to enjoy and savour my life. I deploy a few structured tools and techniques in my life and support my clients to take control of time. But the one tool that stands out with its simplicity and the impact it creates on one’s personal and professional life is Quiet Time — the most potent weapon in the time management arsenal, in my opinion.
Let us understand the problem in more detail before arriving at the solution.
The Steady Diet of Noise and the Great Resignation
Much of today’s digital economy is designed to distract us and remove downtimes from our lives. Surrounded by technology and prone to multitasking, the world is on a steady diet of noise.
And here’s one of the problems with that: if we do not make time for quiet reflection, we will repeat the frustrations of our current existence.
The constant clamour to schedule our way through the day, checking emails as soon as the notifications ting, and looking at our phones the moment they buzz are all distractions interrupting our working day. They lead to a loss of focus hours which are imperative to be productive.
A study reveals that each employee spends at least 1 to 3 hours daily on distractions. Considering 8 hours as the standard, a quarter of the working time goes towards non-productive tasks.
The diet of noise has only increased after the pandemic with overflowing inboxes and back-to-back meetings, and the incidences of ‘work-life’ breakups have risen in the corporate world.
In a quest to find a solution to these work-life breakups, many prominent companies examined the productivity data of their employees and customers. One such company was Microsoft, which studied the anonymous productivity trends of millions of its customers worldwide in 2021. The study revealed that one year into the pandemic, weekly time spent in Teams meetings more than doubled, and the average person sent 42 per cent more chats af