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Time-shifting your effort

Time-shifting your effort

Time-shifting can be a wonderful thing. I talked last year about how time-shifting is so helpful for entertainment and communication, which is why I suspected Clubhouse might have trouble staying relevant.

There’s another angle to be considered, and that’s time-shifting your effort.


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Part of this is pretty obvious, when you schedule your work around various other priorities and focus when it’s time to focus. If you have an information-oriented job, it’s often pretty easy to slide around your workload to fit your schedule.

However, looking ahead can help a bit more and I’ve seen this come up in two ways.


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The first is the weekly preview. My routines can vary a little bit, but I haven’t missed a weekly preview in a few years now. Some are more in-depth and some are rushed, but they always get done.

The beauty of these are to identify issues well in advance, because solving them the day they arise can be way more difficult. For example, if my wife and I both have a meeting at 3:00 one afternoon, neither of us can pick up our daughter from school. If we discover the overlap a week early, we can adjust schedules or find a friend to help. If we discover the issue at 2:55 that day, it’s a big problem.


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The second is just looking at the day ahead. A few days ago, I knew I’d have a busy Saturday morning running some errands, and I wasn’t sure the best route to get from one to the next. Complicating things further is that they weren’t easy things to just look up the address for (one was a weekly vegetable pickup, the other was an emissions test I needed at a place I didn’t know the name of).

In this case, I looked them up the night before and put the events (and addresses!) in my calendar. When I hopped in the car, Android Auto knew where I needed to be next and it was one tap from stop to stop.


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In both cases, I time-shifted my effort back to an earlier time in order to help future me have an easier time with things. I’m not always good about seeing those issues in advance, but the weekly preview really helps expose a lot of them, and then being wise enough to take the time then to solve them is something I never regret.

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