It Works: Stories From The Book

Create your own purple patch

I had a client, Li, who was struggling to value his time. He felt like he never had a chance to get his work done. He was always in meetings, responding to hundreds of emails per day and then working late into the evening, missing out on time with his family. From time to time, he would fl uke into what he called ‘purple patches’ where he was able to be super productive.

Generally, it was when a meeting had been cancelled and he suddenly had a space in his diary where he could do some, in his words, ‘actual work’. We decided together that he needed to create ‘purple patches’ more consciously in his diary and I suggested that he block out the first two hours of every day. He then colour-coded this blocked time with the colour purple. Within three months, he was regularly having ‘purple patches’ and getting on top of things. Occasionally he had to be flexible and allow some of his purple time to be shared with others, but for the most part he was able to keep it clear in his diary.

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It Works!

In an actual experiment by the Israeli parole board, three prisoners who had completed around two-thirds of their sentences were ordered to appear before the parole board (consisting of a judge, a criminologist... More
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