A CVO Manages Energy, Attention, and Time to Maximize Productivity: 

Problem-Solving (Productivity) is a function of Energy, Attention, and Time

This is a schematic diagram that how a laser cutter hack a chain locker.  

Like this case, a CVO (chief vitality officer) vitalize people to have enough energy, laser-focused attention, and sufficient time to solve a complicated problem. 


Tony Schwartz, author of "The Power of Full Engagement (2003)" and "Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time (2007)," suggests that people must be able to recharge 'Energy' efficiency and manage 'Energy' well to perform. 

Specifically, Schwartz (2007) recommends that 'Creating Energy Waves'. People have different energy wave cycles in a day. And CVO needs to identify people's cycle of energy wave and assign tasks in accordance with the energy wave. 

For example, a CVO can give a '90min. focused work time' for people at the first energy wave in the workplace (9AM ~ 10:30AM). Then, the CVO hosts a meeting to make a tough decision in 10:45AM ~ 12:15PM. Time-consuming tasks can be done in the afternoon Energy wave cycles.  

The CVO should utilize the best energy wave to people works efficiently. 


Herbert Simon, a Nobel laureate, suggested that "When information is plentiful, attention becomes the most scarce resource." around 40 years ago. Thus, the attention management is one of the most critical things to achieve a high productivity (Birkinshaw, 2015). 

Recently, Daniel Goleman, the author of "Emotional Intelligence," defines the 'Focus' as "a form of attentiveness characterized by "utter receptivity to whatever floats into the mind.". The 'Focus' state is 'open awareness', not selectively attentive in a task. The 'Focus' state is compatible with the concept of "The Flow" that was introduced by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (1990). The 'Flow' is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment. 

Probably, a CVO cannot encourage people having the full attention on work because there is a complicated dynamics of personal factors. But, a CVO can manage work distractions. Grenny (2015) suggests "Five ways to minimize office distractions".  One of Grenny's suggestions is 'Providing structure solitude', and this is related with utilizing the 'First Wave' in a day. People need an isolated space and time from distractions to build 'attention, focus, the Flow' state. A CVO may provide people the isolated space and time at the first wave to guide people into the fully attentive mental state.    

The CVO should manage distractions to people focus on works.


The key to managing time is 'Prioritizing tasks'. Inspired by Benjamin Franklyn, Steven Covey (1989) suggests a rule of prioritizing tasks. Priority should be given in the following order: 

1) Important and Not-Urgent

2) Important and Urgent

3) Not important and Urgent

4) Not important and Not Urgent

Deviated from our general belief, Covey suggests that Important and Not-Urgent tasks, aligned with 'Long-term mission, vision, values, and goals, must take a special attention. And Covey recommends 'Recharge Energy (Sharpen the Saw),  Focus on 'inner voice', and Invest time in the top priorities.' Thus, a CVO needs to identify 'meaningful works' of people to ignite their motivation to perform with investing their invaluable Time. 

The CVO should help people investing their time in a meaningful work.

In short, the CVO should manage Energy, Attention, and Time to maximize productivity in the problem-solving. 


1. Thomas Oppong (2017, June 18), How to Better Manage Your Energy, Time, And Attention to Achieve Peak Performance, Thrive Global,  https://journal.thriveglobal.com/how-to-better-manage-your-energy-time-and-attention-for-peak-performance-22b20b96ebc7

2. Tony Schwartz (2007, October), Manage your energy, not your time (by Tony Schwartz), Harvard Business Review, https://hbr.org/2007/10/manage-your-energy-not-your-time

3. Nicholas Carr (2013, November), Attention Must Be Paid ('Focus', by Daniel Goleman), New York Times,  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/03/books/review/focus-by-daniel-goleman.html

4. Wikipedia (2017), Flow (Psychology), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flow_(psychology)

5. Julian Birkinshaw (2015), Manage your team's attention, Harvard Business Review, https://hbr.org/2015/01/manage-your-teams-attention

 6. Joseph Grenny (2015), Five ways to minimize office distractions, Harvard Business Review, https://hbr.org/2015/12/5-ways-to-minimize-office-distractions

7. Steven Covey (1989), The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Free Press, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_7_Habits_of_Highly_Effective_People

Posted by Jeonghwan Choi

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