One of my most fascinating things I learnt in high school was about how objects moving in a straight line encounter a heavy body and go on to orbit it perpetually. The Earth, the Sun and the Milky Way itself all orbit around denser and heavier centers.
This principle applies just as much to the way we organize time. Time is a linear progression for all of us from birth to death, that we break into smaller, repetitive cycles. Can you imagine if the 70-80 years of our lifespan were 1 large, continuum rather than days, weeks, fortnights, months, years and decades? The very thought seems to drain meaning away from our lives.
The reason we do this is because we are creatures of habit. The natural cycles we see around us have influenced us to form habits around them. This principle applies not just to humans, but to every bird that migrates to a warmer place and every bear that tucks itself into hibernation.
Habits hold great sway over our behaviour. They can dictate several tendencies, from how regularly we exercise to how often we drink beer. And those habits over the long run can serve as tremendous force multipliers.
This applies to an even greater degree to teams. A team that develops the right rituals and habits (more broadly referred to as a ‘company culture’) can potentially be 10,000 times faster than one that does not. That is why, the agile methodology, arguably the most influential in today’s global workplace, has several cyclical rituals.
The tide of cyclical time surrounds us and will continue to do so for eternity. The question that begs us is how well we can align our own lives with these cycles to benefit from them to the fullest extent.
Inspiration: Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time – Jeff Sutherland