Dandori Decoded: Time Management Lessons from an Unexpected Source

The recently released video game ‘Pikmin 4’ for the Nintendo Switch introduces the concept of ‘Dandori’, defined as “the art of organizing tasks strategically and working effectively to execute plans,” essentially teaching a lesson in maximizing productivity and efficiency. Although Dandori may seem like a strategy unique to the game series, many of the tips and tricks that ‘Pikmin 4’ offers to master it are quite valuable in real life. Here are key lessons on efficiency and time management that can be learned from “Pikmin 4”:

Preparation and planning are essential.

In the fourth installment of the Pikmin series, the game frequently reminds the player to use planning tools like the ‘survey drone’ and map. These tools help the player to understand objectives and obstacles, and to formulate a strategy before acting. Similarly, setting aside time to plan and prepare without distraction is equally important in real life. Going into your day unprepared often leaves you scrambling to catch up.

Gather support.

In the Pikmin series, accomplishing meaningful tasks alone is impossible. Collecting and directing Pikmin, the game’s pint-sized workers who help in fighting and transporting treasures, is key to success. Pikmin help the player succeed and, conversely, depend on the player for protection and direction. Likewise in our professional and personal roles, building and maintaining connections and clearly asking for help when needed is just as essential.

Understand strengths and weaknesses.

The game features various types of Pikmin, each with unique abilities that lead to their success or demise. For example, yellow Pikmin can travel further and higher when thrown, and blue Pikmin can travel underwater. Sending a yellow Pikmin to retrieve a treasure in a pond will result in it drowning. Similarly in real life, you must understand your team’s strengths and weaknesses and assign tasks accordingly, not only to achieve your goals, but also to protect the wellbeing of your team. Success comes when everyone works together, utilizing their unique abilities.

Trust the process.

While completing Dandori challenges, the character issuing a challenge often reminds you that, “steady progress is also good Dandori.” There may be days without collecting treasure or increasing your score, but you will work on tasks that set you up for future success, such as removing obstacles, strategically increasing your workforce, or planning. This is a reminder that even if you’re not immediately meeting your goals, the work you’re doing to prepare and plan is just as important.

Trust your people.

In the game, to complete tasks efficiently and within time constraints, delegating Pikmin to complete tasks is key. Initially, the player may be apprehension about leaving Pikmin to complete tasks alone. However, overseeing each task individually wastes time and impedes progress. As in life, once you’ve prepared your people for success, you can’t afford to micromanage. You must trust that your team will complete their tasks so you can focus on planning and prioritization.

Decide what NOT to do.

Many challenges in the game are lost due to focusing too much on obstacles with simple workarounds. Sometimes, the game presents challenges that aren’t real obstacles, leading to time wastage. Deciding what does not need to be done is as important as planning what does. Ensure you weigh the risks and benefits of each task to meet your goals efficiently.

Don’t forget to upgrade!

In “Pikmin 4,” training the player’s skills and upgrading equipment is encouraged, though not always necessary to accomplish the goals. However, consistently enhancing the player’s capabilities makes the job easier and helps to reach the goals more quickly. Similarly, in life, investing time and energy into upskilling and research helps you tackle new obstacles, problem-solve, and achieve ultimate efficiency. Remember, as previously mentioned, accomplishing tasks alone is impossible. Ensuring your team is also well-equipped and skilled is crucial.

The deceptively simple and whimsical world of “Pikmin 4” is ripe with insights on productivity, time management, and goal achievement that we all can learn from. Take these nuggets of knowledge and start practicing Dandori in your own life. You’ll quickly discover the difference it can make!