Hot Monthly Info 2015

December – Don’t Get Ready; Get Started

Over the Thanksgiving holiday we had our entire family and grandkids together and the conversations with the three college students was particularly enlightening. Their approach to life was “don’t get ready, get started.” This is a great message for all of us, particularly the city planners reading this. It also called to my attention a new book, The Achievement Habit by Bernard Roth who says, “Stop Wishing, Start Doing, Take Command of Your Life.”

If you need a kick in the pants, read the entire book. In the meantime a few of his thoughts that I really liked include:

  • There is a big difference between trying to do something and actually doing They’re two totally different actions.
  • Almost without exception, people who have done great things have also experienced great failures – and in many cases, getting fired or a similar devastating failure turned out to be a gift that allowed them to ultimately find great success. (Very familiar in my life)
  • If you are mindful about what you have done, failure is a teacher.
  • On the list of words to be used as little as possible is the phrase “I have to.” The true situation is usually best described instead by “I want to.”
  • Interpersonal communication is critical so, speak for yourself. Say “I know,” “I think,” “My reaction is,” not “Everyone knows,” “We all feel.”

Have a great holiday,

the Management Doctor

November – Time Management Revisited

I have been working on a number of contracts that require meeting with various managers. I am amazed at how busy they seem to be and how difficult it is to get on their agendas. To me, it is often a sign of a manager that needs help, needs to prioritize, and learn how to delegate. Good managers need to have time to be available to the right people, including subordinates as well as free time to be creative. If you have staff waiting outside your door lined up to see you – you are a problem manager. In my ABZs of Planning Management book, I show my calendar from my last government job managing a staff of 350. I programmed all my high priority items each week and then I had 50% of my time free for other activities.

I used to teach a course on time management that included the now familiar; set clear goals and objectives, make priority lists each day, etc. While many of these are still helpful, here are a few new ideas from my readings.*

YOUR AWESOME TWO HOURS

Josh Davis in his book Two Awesome Hours (4) suggests that you can get the most important work done in two hours – find which two hours are for you; when your mental energy is at its peak. He also suggests:

  1. Give thought to what you should be doing next.
  2. Don’t fight all distractions; daydreaming may give you a refreshed and new focus.
  3. Connect your mind and body; eating, exercise, breaks, etc.
  4. Get your work place or office in order so its works for you.

BUSY – BUSY – BUSY

Tony Crabbe in his book, Busy (4) says that the Information Age gives us too much to do. Being busy doesn’t mean being productive. He suggests:

  1. Make tough choices about what to eliminate.
  2. Shift from managing time to managing attention.
  3. Focus on innovation, not productivity of more of the same.
  4. Develop deeper relations with fewer people.

FREE WEEKENDS

Elizabeth Saunders in her book, How to Plan Your Week to Keep Your Weekend Free (2) suggests:

  1. Front load your calendar to leave more open space as the week progresses.
  2. Set aside half of Friday to tie up loose ends so you leave on Friday work-free.

* My ideas come from my consulting practice, and:

1. Harvard Business Review

2. Harvard’s quick reviews free on the Internet

3. Bloomberg Business Week

4. Soundview Executive Summaries

Give them a try.

Also revisit December 2007 article by clicking here.

the Management Doctor