Another tremendous opportunity from the good folks at Idealab for the operating companies, Making Time Work: Maximizing Your relationship with the Clock.
David Allen - practical list focused
Tony Schwartz - energetic, rhythm etc..
Time management wagon is easy to fall off, but try to get back on.
Things that get in the way to getting tasks done
- Is there a better option?
- is it a problem
- social media
- personal life
- incomplete info
- water cooler
- inadeequate tools
- moral decision
- last minute decions
- lack of clarity
- How we think about and approach work activity
- How we manage (and sometimes manage up) work impediments
- Tips and tools for getting stuff done
Urgent & Important Matrix
Important Goals Critical Activities Distractions Interruptions
To avoid interruptions
- stand up when people walk up to you
- put up a sign that says your busy
- move them to a conference room
- wear headphones
- tell them your busy
- hide someplace else, conf room, exchange desks with somebody
To handle interruptions
- Establish clear boundaries for yourself: Let people know when you are available, and when you are not.
- Create concentration blocks: Establish certain times (e.g. 0-11:00am every day) when you are only focused on important, urgent project work. People will come to understand you’re in your “zone” during these times and respect that.
- Implement the “Hair on Fire” Rule: Make it clear that your concentration block is unavailble time and should only be interrupted with matters of extreme importance. For example, establish an agreement like this, “If your hair is on fire, you can always come in. Anything less than that, please come back during my available times.”
- Telephone & email interruptions can be real time-stealers. Use voicemail in order to ensure you are focusing on what’s important and schedule time to return all calls later. Schedule blocks of time to respond to non-emergency emails.
- Learn to say “no”: When it’s done politely, most interrupters will accept the fact that they don’t need to interrupt you. For example, you might say “I’m on a tight deadline for an important project right now, can we discuss this at 3:00pm today? I’m sorry, but I’m not in a position to help at the moment.
Delegation with your supervisor
- Here is everything that I have on my plate right now.
- This is how much time I think I need to complete it.
- I’m concerned about doing a quality job on everything I’m working on right now.
- Can you help me realign priorities?
- Can we push one of these deadlines?
- can you help me taking this task off of my plate?
- Be ready to problem solve. Come in with solutions already in mind.
Delegation with a peer:
- Here is everything that we need to get done for this project.
- This is how much time I think we need to complete it.
- I’m concerned about getting everything done by our deadline.
- Can you help me by taking on this specific task and complete it by this specific time?
- If so, I’ll be clear to help you
Delegation to your staff:
- Begin with the end in mind - clearly specify the desired results.
- Identify constraints and boundaries. Where are the lines of authority, responsibility and accountability?
- Match the amount of responsibility with the amount of authroity. Understand that you can delgate some responsibility, but you cant delegate ultimate accountabiliy.
- Focus on results. Concern yourself with what is accomplished rather than detailing how the work should be done.
- Build motivation & commitment. Provide recognition where deserved.
A word about managing up…
- It’s easy to say you have no control over interruptions from your boss, or shifting priorities in the organization. There is some truth in that, and it’s the reality of almost any job.
- It’s okay to ask for help and insight into managing your workload
Take breaks if anything is longer than 90 minutes
People who are interrupted take 50% longer to complete a task & make 50% more mistakes. - John Medina, “Brain Rules”
- plan next day
- find cadence and take a break in between
- block off time