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Time management - Blending styles

Blending styles


Polychronic persons will generate a lot of ideas and be happy to explore most of them. The monochronic person will try to narrow the options and pursue the one that will get the job done. If you follow one path you will miss the benefits of the other.

The process of carrying out a brain storm activity is one good technique for generating ideas and eventually reducing them to a few from which you could formulate a plan.
Being too narrow in your approach may limit your plans but too many ideas may lead you to waste time inappropriately.


If you are polychronic or monochronic you may be able to get input into your work from colleagues with opposite personality.
This can be very useful when you are near to completing a piece of work where outside comment can improve the final product.

Good will

If you can recognise alternative traits in others you can use those to help you and in addition, the mutual respect of the differing approaches will enhance team spirit and co-operation.

Brain use

Time Management can be a bit of a ‘catch 22’. Most Time Management processes are designed by logical thinking, neat and tidy people whose thinking is dominated by the left side of the brain. Hence, they are promoting their own way of thinking. The problem is that the other 50% of the population find these methods less easy to use.

If you are not creative you don’t tend to move forward and you may rest on your laurels.
This means the monochronic person may remain in a rut using out moded methods, although in a highly structured manner.
In this way the thinking may be somewhat historically based.

Left brain thinkers want to know ‘what must be done now?’ whereas the right brain thinker starts with ‘what can be done now?’.
The right sided thinker will make a list of needs but may well go off at a tangent and begin to include personal as well as business items.
If we can appreciate how each party thinks we can perform better our selves.

Assess, plan, implement, monitor and act

Typically, when presented by a task we would go through a series of steps to reach a solution and put it into operation to complete it.
The method of ‘assessment’ and ‘planning’ of the polychronic person (or divergent thinker) would generate many ideas and may find it tricky to distil these down to a number that could form part of a credible plan for ‘implementation’.
Its progress would be ‘monitored’ and any deviations corrected by appropriate ‘action’.
On the other hand the monochronic (or convergent thinker) would try to condense any ideas down to the one key ‘solution’ and would be happy to implement it.
The blending of both styles requires recognition of the need for focus but the realisation that other plans may be relevant.
If there are problems you may need to take up another plan to get the job done.
The need for contingency planning is critical for task and project success over a period of time and projects. Clearly, some tasks will progress without a hitch but many others will not.

Don’t rush to a solution too quickly. The monochronic person may jump to a solution too quickly which sometimes needs more consideration.

A.P.I.M.A. (Assessment, Planning, Implementation, Monitoring and Action) is covered in more detail elsewhere [see ‘The Complete Project Management package’] and [see 'The Complete Project Management plus PRINCE2'].

Non - PRINCE2 information