Autonomous Project Time at Method Schools Any position within any organization includes the demands of time management. Depending on the organization, employees likely have a variety of tasks they are required to juggle and may have very little time to do anything but task-oriented times from day to day. This type of working conditions can create not only employees that become task oriented, but an overall organization that is limited to tasks as well. Task oriented employees and thus, organizations can place any organization at extreme risk from inventing new practices, procedures and tools to stay current and competitive in their respective markets and in today’s world, can ultimately lead to organization extinction. According to Daniel Pink and researchers, Devi and Ryan, in his book on what motivates humans titled Drive, autonomous motivation involves behaving with a full sense of volition and force, where controlled motivation involves behaving with the experience of pressure and demand toward specific outcomes that is perceived external from the self. This “acting with choice” can have a powerful effect on individual performance and attitude. Some organizations develop initiatives that support employees in prescribing undivided time to non-task related duties and only include creative efforts towards new solutions, processes and tools that move the organization forward and committed to innovation. For example, Tom Kelley, General Manager of IDEO, provides autonomous time for his employees and has found that the “ultimate freedom to experiment with new ideas” can foster true innovation within any organization. At Method Schools, we have created Autonomous Project Time (APT) where employees are required to devote half a day each month to research and develop their own projects. This time is entirely employee driven and independent time to be spent on projects such as reading on the latest trends and best practices, analyzing data to generate improved instructional practices, researching case studies on student motivation, creating new systems and practices to better serve families or discovering or developing new tools to further engage and promote growth for students. We encourage this time not to be spent “catching up” on tasks, but rather on time away from the mundane tasks that can crowd out potential autonomous and creative time. We are new at such an implementation, so we have started with half a day each month and try to divide up the staff that takes the time, so there can be ample coverage of other duties while each group takes their autonomous time. The goal is to offer a half day a week - which is about 10% of their time and fits with our original breakthrough10 concept - and to continue to build it into the ongoing transitional culture of our organization until this time feels natural to our employees. At the end of each month, all employees share out what they have been working on and hope to achieve during their exploratory and constructive time. This is where meaningful collaboration and progress can genuinely take place. As a charter school, our foundation and overall vision are built around providing choice to families and offering unique and personalized modalities from which students can learn. This practice can greatly enhance those offerings to families within an environment in great need of diverse and unconventional solutions.