Identifying a problem
Interestingly enough, what I have noticed about myself and about my group this week is very in line with one of this week’s reading by Schwartz (2007) about managing energy effectively. As usual, I and some members of my group have put a lot of time into making this week’s decisions; however, our efficiency and concentration was questionable. I (and some of my group members too, I think) were a little bit low on energy this week, and we tried making up for this by simply staying in class longer and putting more time into the course – which is, according to Schwartz (2007) a very common response to rising demands.
Our group has been going through some turbulent times in the last few rollovers and we all realized the need to work harder on this project in order to get back on track. At the same time, at our weekly meeting on Wednesday, we were all a little bit de-concentrated (for various different reasons) and our productivity and decision-making processes were not as effective as they could be. Therefore, we responded by staying in the labs longer; however, we were not productive the whole time. Since all the decisions in this simulation are so interrelated and I feel like I need to have an understanding of what everyone else in the group decides to do, I often found myself procrastinating and dozing off while I was waiting for my other group members to make their respective decisions. Furthermore, other obligations have been starting to pile up for me, so I allocated less of my focus and brain energy to this course.
Schwartz (2007) identifies four main sources of energy for humans: the body, emotions, the mind and the spirit. What I think was not in place for me out of this four this week was the mind. As Schwartz (2007) noted, distractions while working can be really costly and a temporary shift of the attention can increase the time necessary to finish a task. That is why I think that the fact that I and also some of my other team members were a bit de-concentrated this week decreased our energy and effectiveness.
As for the reasons of why I was de-concentrated, next to other obligations and a bit of general tiredness, I think the fact that our team has been performing so poorly in the last few rounds has definitely had a negative effect on my motivation and my willingness to actually come to this class and put energy into it. In my last journals I have mentioned the problem of feeling demotivated because of our continuously worsening results. I think overcoming this issue by maintaining a positive mindset is becoming increasingly difficult for me and that might also contribute to me not being so willing to allocate that much of my energy to this course anymore; as I am feeling discouraged by my efforts not paying off.
In order to overcome the problem of not being focused, Schwartz (2007) suggests the reduction of interruptions for a short period of time and allocating that time to fully concentrate on one task. I think if my team and I are ever going to turn our situation around in this game, we will definitely have to work on the efficiency of our decision making processes; possibly by decreasing other distractions and really concentrating on the task ahead of us. I am hoping that by becoming more concentrated and efficient in our meetings, we can achieve better results and I will feel less like I am wasting my energy on something that doesn’t pay off; and this way hopefully I will be more willing to dedicate my efforts towards this course again.
Schwartz, T. (2007). Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time. Harvard Business Review, 85(10), 63–73. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.auckland.ac.nz/login.aspx?direct=true&db=buh&AN=26555015&site=ehost-live&scope=site