Time isn’t the Gold Standard

As someone living with both ADHD and Autism, I’ve often felt that the traditional ways of viewing tasks — like merely gauging how long they might take — didn’t quite gel with my experience. Ever thought about how some tasks, even if they’re short, can feel like a mountain? That’s what I’ve been pondering, and I’m keen to share my perspective with you.

What’s up with this ‘Weight’ concept?

Picture two moments:

  1. Spending ten minutes trying to untangle a box of cables.
  2. Sharing a ten-minute chat with a friend.

Both might take up to ten minutes, but emotionally and mentally, they’re on different planets. This difference in ‘feel’ is what I describe as the ‘weight’ of a task. Some just weigh on your mind more, right?

Time? Maybe not the gold standard.

For many of us, especially those with ADHD or Autism, pegging down exact timeframes can be a rollercoaster. But sensing how a task might feel? That often strikes a chord more effectively.

A Peek into the Tech World

Within the tech realm, especially in Agile methodologies, teams often organize their work into ‘sprints’. These are short, focused periods where specific tasks are tackled. Now, when planning these sprints, there’s this process called impact assessment – it’s about figuring out the value or significance of each task. But here’s a thought: what if, alongside this, we also evaluated how hefty or challenging each task feels? It might provide a fresh lens, ensuring that the sprint isn’t just impactful but also mindful of the team’s well-being.

Why This Approach Makes Sense for Someone Like Me:

  1. A Friendly Nudge: Recognizing a heavy task helps me prepare mentally.
  2. Riding the Waves: Aligning tasks with my energy peaks? Game-changer.
  3. Smooth Sailing: Spacing out the hefty tasks means less turbulence throughout my day.

Could This Work for Everyone?

I genuinely believe this mindset shift can offer value to all:

  1. Keep That Spark Alive: Gauging the weight of tasks can prevent that dreaded burnout.
  2. For All the Team Leads: Grasping the ‘feel’ of tasks might make your sprints more balanced and harmonious.
  3. Sustain the Flow: Picking tasks based on their weight can keep the momentum going without being overwhelmed.

Wrapping Up

Looking through my ADHD and Autism lens, tasks are more than ticking a clock; it’s about how they resonate emotionally and mentally. Next time you’re drawing up a to-do list, consider this weight factor. It might just offer a fresh, more intuitive way to navigate your day!

This post was written by James Kindred

Oh, hey! I’m James Kindred - a graphic designer in Suffolk, UK, and I run Fork: a creative consultancy for start-ups and scaling brands. With over 25 years of experience, I work with start-up and scale-up brands to develop their identity, collateral and brand strategy.

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