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Activity12
Duality1—TimeDuality
Purposes
To suggest practical ways by which time can be used more productively
To increase managers’ and supervisors’ creativity and assertiveness by
helping them gain more control over their own behavior
This activity aids in self-management, helps in clarifying personal goals and
increasing creativity, and furthers personal development.
Method
Often we can accomplish more by using one block of time for more than one
purpose. Dualizing is the conscious act of planning to do this. There are two
kinds of duality: time duality, and opportunity duality. This activity is con-
cerned with time duality. (Activity 13 introduces opportunity duality. The
two may be combined.)
If you practice time duality, it will become a natural part of your working life
and you can then consider whether you wish to extend it to your private life.
Time duality encourages us to plan to use time more effectively, but not to
feel guilty about inactivity or relaxation. It is important to remember that we
need relaxation and a balanced range of activity. Duality is particularly help-
ful when people have blocks of time during which they are underproductive
and yet need to be there. Such underutilization can lead to boredom and
stress. The extra achievement obtained from time duality can eliminate the
boredom and reduce the stress.
1. Reflect on your use of the time you devote (in the broadest sense) to work.
Include the time you travel to and from work, any time you spend at home
doing or thinking about your work, and any time you spend traveling or
staying away from home on business. Then identify those blocks of time
when you are not fully utilized: time when you could be doing or thinking
about something else. Examples include: time spent driving, walking, on
airplanes, in waiting rooms, in the sauna or spa, listening to music, in
meetings, or listening to presentations or lectures that do not demand
your full attention. Identify each separate block of time and write it in
Column 1 on the Time Duality Worksheet.
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2. Consider those activities that you need to wish or perform but that do not
require you to be in a specific plan to conduct them or can be conducted
using less than your full mental or physical concentration. Examples
include: reading, writing or making notes, learning a foreign language,
thinking, planning, or dealing with certain administrative chores. List your
items in this category in Column 2 on the worksheet.
3. Now, consider both lists and identify where list B fits into list A. For exam-
ple, while traveling on an airplane, you could engage in almost any secon-
dary activity that can be done sitting down, but it would be difficult to
read or write while walking. List the “fits” in Column 3 on the worksheet.
4. Make some specific plans to try to combine activities in one block of time.
List these in Column 4. Use the Guidelines for Time Duality to help you as
you implement your plans.
5. After each attempt at duality, review how you did and make plans to
improve your future performance. Use the Time Duality Review Questions
to aid in this activity.
Activity12:TimeDuality
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Reproduced from 50 Activities for Self-Development, by
Dave Francis and Mike Woodcock, Amherst, MA: HRD Press, 1992, 2008
Activity 12:
Time Duality Worksheet
Significant Blocks
of Underutilized
Time
Activities that
Could be
Conducted as
Secondary Tasks
Fits Plans for Duality

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