March  2007     Edition 23
Defragmented Thinking

Defragmented Thinking is the result of the physics of why things get fragmented in the first place

  ... and it’s not always a good thing.  

It’s a natural phenomenon that when you add and remove things

of different sizes or quantities, fragmentation occurs.   It’s why you should “defrag” your disk drive on your PC every so often; Programs and files will load faster.    Ever wonder why competitive products in the grocery store all have the same size box or container … It’s because the grocers insist on that otherwise their shelves would become fragmented and they would have to spend a lot of time defragmenting them, i.e reorganizing them.   If you have a garage or basement, every so often you have to “re-organize it” … It’s because the items you place or remove are different sizes, or of different quantities.

Fragmentation leads to inefficiency.

  It takes more time to find something, and it takes more time to gather all the pieces.

Your Calendar gets Fragmented too.

  Unless you schedule everything in exactly the same size “chunk”, your calendar gets fragmented, and you end up with 30 minutes here, 15 minutes there, 5 minutes here, etc … usually filled up with checking email, making phone calls, or just casual thinking.   Nothing wrong with this although you could be more efficient.

Critical Thinking sometimes requires a chunk of time

… at one time.   Because most people do not “schedule” thinking time, it gets squeezed into the fragments that result from the natural way your calendar gets fragmented..   The thinking in these fragments of course is necessary, as you think all day.  But if you want to improve Headscratching on the more crucial aspects of your business, you should do this in scheduled blocks of time.  

The Takeaway
.  Fragmentation occurs because of the physics of different sizes and quantities.   So your time will always get fragmented … no way around it.   Given this, you need to make a conscious effort to ensure your critical thinking is not always conducted in these fragments, but consist of an activity all its own.

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