Cycle Scheduling

Techniques developed to ease the workload and increase productivity are numerous and varied. Schools of thought on time management, leadership, production efficiency and so on are ever present to remind us that, when one technique fails, there is always another recommendation standing ready to take its place.

Cycle scheduling is a fairly modern technique designed to eliminate boredom or too much muscle repetition throughout the day. Instead of doing two hundreds repetitions of task A, followed by three hundred repetitions of task B, and so on, cycle scheduling discusses how doing shorter repetitions of each task can eliminate frustration and unsatisfactory performance. Two hundred repetitions of one task can seem overwhelming, and so therefore, a cyclical schedule of five repetitions of task A, then five repetitions of task B, followed by five repetitions of task C, and so on can bring interest and movement and mental acuity over time. At the end of the set of tasks, one simply begins again with five repetitions of task A, thus repeating familiar territory, but keeping the workload interesting, so that monotony does not affect quality or performance.

Employee turnover may be higher in tasks which involve monotonous repetition, since the challenge is not there for creative thinkers. Conversely, some employees prefer monotonous repetition over constantly having to think on their feet. In either case, cycle scheduling offers both short term variety and short term repetition, and this is especially useful for new employees who have not yet decided where their strength lies. In addition to this, cycle scheduling offers consistency in work performance which helps creatively challenged employees to still find familiar territory when performing their tasks. If, no matter what the tasks are, the cycle scheduling continues, each individual understands and feels like they can depend on what is coming next. When they dislike a task, they know when it will end.

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