Thinking is a process carried on by our minds through which we manipulate information, analyse a situation, find solutions to our problems, and deal with our day-to-day activities. It is a mental process that originates from our brain it is interpreted by our mind, and our other body organs take final action on it.
The word ‘convergent’ means coming closer together. Therefore, it is implied that convergent thinking is a way of accumulating thoughts to reach one specific conclusion.
At the same time, ‘divergent’ means developing in different directions. This implies that divergent thinking takes a multi-way approach to solving a problem. Every individual has different ways of problem-solving. Some try to reach out to the most apparent form of solving a problem, whereas some think out of the box and deal with the situation in an unusual way. Some people are naturally convergent thinkers, while some are divergent.
In this article, we shall discuss the two types of thinking, Convergent Thinking & Divergent Thinking, and their implications on time tracking and scheduling.
Convergent thinking is embracing the structures of an issue and looking for a clear solution. It has only one implication and only one answer. In this manner of thinking, a person looks for the most obvious, viable, and successful way of dealing with a situation. It is a quick way of finding answers and leaves little, to no room for ambiguity.
Originality is one primary personality trait of people having a convergent thought process. Convergent thinking is ideal for those who seek the logic behind every action. They have a code of conduct and a set standard of rules which they carry out to perform their daily activities. Convergent thinkers are okay with their routines and do not wish to break the monotony of their lives. It is applicable in situations where only one solution is apparent on the face of it, and no strategies or discussions are required to conclude.
Examples of Convergent Thinking
- Multiple Choice Test: A multiple-choice test is an excellent example of convergent thinking. The test taker must analyze the question, evaluate the options, and select the best answer.
- Math Problems: Solving mathematical problems such as equations, geometry, or calculus requires convergent thinking. These problems have a single correct solution, and the solver must analyze the information and evaluate the options to find the right answer.
- Recipes: Following a recipe is an example of convergent thinking because there is a specific set of instructions to follow to create the desired result. The cook must analyze the recipe, evaluate the ingredients, and follow the steps to make the dish correctly.
- Assembly Instructions: Putting together a piece of furniture or a toy requires convergent thinking. The instructions provide a step-by-step process to follow to create the final product.
- Standard Operating Procedures: Companies and organizations use standard operating procedures (SOPs) to guide employees through specific tasks or processes. The SOPs provide a specific set of instructions to follow to ensure a consistent outcome.
Divergent thinking does not weigh logic superior to creativity. It is a creative way of thinking by which a person derives multiple solutions to his problems. In this way, a person thinks out of the box, does the unusual and decides the unapparent. It is a spontaneous way of decision-making through which creative ideas are generated and unexpected outcomes are witnessed. A person explores several choices before making a final call and draws quick conclusions.
The divergent thinkers’ risk-taking traits can make or break it for them. They tend to break the obvious and create a way through life in a non-regular manner. However, divergent thinking may not always have a positive outcome. The decisions made in impulse or haste can land the divergent thinker into some severe troubles.
Examples of Divergent Thinking
- Brainstorming: Brainstorming is a classic example of divergent thinking. It involves generating as many ideas as possible without judging or evaluating them. The goal is to produce a wide range of ideas, no matter how unusual or unconventional they may seem.
- Artistic Creation: Artistic creation, such as painting, drawing, or sculpting, requires divergent thinking. The artist must come up with unique and original ideas for their artwork.
- Improvisation: Improvisation, whether it be in theater, music, or comedy, involves coming up with ideas on the spot. The performers must think creatively and generate new ideas in real-time.
- Creative Writing: Creative writing requires divergent thinking as the writer must generate original and compelling ideas for their story or article. This may involve developing unique characters, plot twists, or settings.
- Problem Solving: When faced with a complex problem, divergent thinking can be useful in generating multiple possible solutions. By exploring a range of ideas, the problem solver can identify the most promising solutions to pursue.
How can you use Divergent vs Convergent Thinking in Time Tracking and Scheduling?
For time management, a person has to make several choices. They have to call on what has to be done, when it has to be done, and how it has to be done. Time tracking and scheduling cannot be done through a single method of thinking. It combines divergent vs convergent thinking, making time management effective and the scheduling optimum.
The convergent thinking would suggest the person become a high-value, dedicated, and goal-oriented person who will achieve and complete all the tasks before the deadline. At the same time, divergent thinking would suggest the person a shorter but more innovative way to complete the work by the deadline and have some leisure time for our personal lives. This happens to all of us, but let us discuss how to use divergent vs convergent thinking for efficient time management.
Convergent Thinking and Time Management & Scheduling
Choosing a Feasible Task: Take the work accordingly if you know your strengths and weaknesses well. This is the easiest and the most successful way of being an efficient employee. If you got yourself into some tasks that are not your genre or expertise, you would get stuck, losing a lot of time. The more accessible, the better.
Set a Timer: If you have already decided on your day’s tasks, divide them well into your entire day. You must fix a completion time for each job and adhere to them strictly.
Organise your Actions: Prepare a road map for each task to complete it timely and correctly. Organise your entire activity related to your work to smoothen your time management. Unorganised or haphazard actions can adversely affect your work scheduling.
Stay in the Moment: Do not jump into the other task till the time you have not completed your ongoing task. Focus on the work, and do not stress over future jobs. To achieve your goal effectively, it is essential to ace all your tasks, one at a time.
Take Breaks: Fix a time for your breaks as well. If you work continuously without taking appropriate breaks, there are significant chances of burnout, adversely affecting your time management and scheduling.
Repeat: You must religiously repeat all the five steps mentioned above to ace your time management and scheduling skills.
Divergent Thinking and Time Management & Scheduling
Set Smart Goals: Choose tasks that challenge your mental capabilities to develop new, fresh, and engaging ways to timely complete the tasks. Regular duties would let you be an ordinary employee, but if you set more visionary goals for yourself, you can be extraordinary.
Stress Management: The lesser the stress, the more the efficiency. Work on your stress management, and you will feel how well you can manage all your time and how efficiently you are scheduling the tasks.
Break the Work Pattern: Working on the same daily can make everything around you tired and dull. You would eventually start feeling tired and uninterested in your work leading to lethargy and incompletion of work. Therefore, to overcome this challenge, you must keep trying new ways of completing your tasks. This will not only help you to make your work exciting but can also help you to find ways to complete your tasks quicker.
Delegate: One person alone cannot take the responsibility of the entire office. Piling up work over one person can make them overburdened, drastically reducing his efficiency.
Delete: They say, “Work Smarter, Not Harder.” If you have any unimportant and not urgent tasks in your schedule, you must conveniently delete them. This would decrease your overall workload, saving some time for other jobs.
Know what works for you: Not everyone has the same time management skills. A person who is aware of his skills can achieve his goals on time every time. However, everyone can ace time management in one way or another. Therefore, you must know what technique works well for you and follow it.
Smooth time management and scheduling are a product of divergent vs convergent thinking. In the general course of life, to complete your tasks timely, you must choose an organised approach most of the time. However, sometimes hard work is not the key. In such cases, divergent thinking comes into play and helps you to make way to complete your tasks in much lesser time. Thus, a proportioned mix of these thinking styles would help you choose the best time management and scheduling techniques.