Monday, September 7, 2009

Time Management

This weekend I took some time out to watch the Time Management talk by Randy Pausch.Randy Pausch was an Computer Science professor at CMU. He died of cancer in July, 2008. He was a great speaker and some of his lectures has become very famous in the last few years. The most famous one being “The Last Lecture: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams" which is one of the most inspiring talks I have ever heard.

The talk on Time management, however, is a more pragmatic talk and talks about techniques to manage time better. Again, the underlying principle in Randy’s talk is to maximize life and fun.

Here is the talk followed with my notes. The slides are available here.

1. Pragmatic Talk
    a. Time is only commodity that matters
2. Agenda:
    a. Set goals
    b. Avoid wasting time
    c. Deal w/ boss
    d. How to delegate to others
    e. Tools
    f. Stress and Procrastination
3. Slides on website, Red stars are important
4. Americans bad at dealing with time
    a. Waste time
    b. Time and money are equitable
    c. How much is your time worth/hr
    d. Costs company twice your salary
    e. 50000/yr --> 100k cost to org
    f. Decisions: Outsource vs. DIY
    g. Manage time as money
        i. Money is not well managed
        ii. Though better
    h. Money can be earned later, Time doesn’t comes back
    i. Boss == Academic Advisor/Parents
5. One good thief [11]
    a. Talk is composed mainly from nuggets from the 2 books
        i. Time Management for Teachers
        ii. Career Track Seminar: Taking control of Your Work Day
    b. Time Famine:
        i. Problem is systematic
        ii. Long term solution required
    c. This is Life Advice
6. Overall goal is Fun
        a. Maximize time is a means so that we maximize fun
    7. Typical Office worker wastes 2 hours/day[13]
        a. Messy desk etc.
    8. Manage time well to be successful
        a. Meta skills
        b. If you want to run with ppl faster than you, optimize the skills you have
    9. Planning [16]
        a. Great if you can cross stuff from your to-do list
        b. More important to do the right things adequately than Doing (wrong) things right
        c. 80/20 rule: Very small things on ur list is gonna matter most
        d. Experience comes with time and no shortcuts.
        e. When things don’t go well, you're learning a lot and it'll be better soon.
    10. Inspiration
        a. If you can dream it, you can do it.
        b. If you refuse to dream it, you won't do it.
        c. Disneyland: 366 days
            i. Used everyone of them
    11. Planning
        a. Daily/Weekly/Semester
        b. You can always change the plan
    12. To do lists
        a. Break stuff into small steps
        b. Boss: Grow your people
        c. Eat that frog. Start with the big one first
        d. *Covey's four quadrants
            i. Go to Quad 2 after Q1 rather than Q3
        e. *Paperwork
            i. No clutter
            ii. Touch each piece of paper/email only once
                1) Inbox is not to-do list
        f. Filing system
            i. All paper goes there in alpha order
            ii. Everything should have a place
    13. Desk [ime - 28:06]
        a. Atleast 2 monitors
            i. Left:
                1) To do list
            ii. Mid:
                1) Inbox
            iii. Right:
                1) Calendar
        b. *Speaker Phone
            i. Great for waiting
            ii. Timer: Great for making people guilty on other side     
            iii. Telephone Techniques
                1) Group your calls
                2) Keep calls short
                3) Use a headset
        c. *Thank you cards
                1) Very important
                2) Tangible way to tell someone how much you appreciated things
        d. Recycle Bin:
            i. Can dig stuff out
            ii. Post-its/notepad
            iii. Find a system for yourself
        e. Others
            i. Address Stamper
            ii. Kleenex
    14. Scheduling
        a. You don’t find time for important things, you make it
                1) By not wasting time on other things
                2) Learn to say no
                    a) “I’ll do it if nobody else steps forward”
                    b) “I’ll be your deep fall back," but you have to keep searching.
        b. Find your Most productive times
        c. Find your dead times
        d. *Interruptions
            i. 6-9 minutes, 4-5 minute recovery
            ii. reduce frequency and length of interruptions
            iii. No Email "ding"
        e. Cut things short
            i. Stand up, stroll to the door, complement, thank, shake hands
        f. Time journal
            i. Record your time
            ii. Update not at EOD
        g. Make up fake meeting b/w near by meetings
            i. Go to lib.
    15. Work-life balance
            i. Work fewer hours/get more done
    16. Focus on things that are important
            i. Smoking women concerned about noise of jackhammers on her unborn child
            ii. Effective vs. Efficient
    17. Procrastination
        a.   Quotes
            i. If I wait long enough it will go away
            ii. Parkinson's mail
        b. Make fake deadlines
        c. Get into a comfort zone
            i. Identify why you aren’t enthusiastic
            ii. Don't be afraid to ask people
    18. Delegation
        a. Authority with responsibility
            i. Empower ppl to get it done
            ii. Always do the ugliest/dirtiest job yourself
        b. Can't be vague
            i. Specific thing
            ii. Specific time
            iii. Specific reward/penalty for them
        c. Challenge people
            i. Delegate until people complain
            ii. Email: Get it in writing
            iii. Give objectives not procedures
            iv. Relative importance of tasks
        d. Never too early to delegate
        e. Reinforce behavior you want repeated
    19. Meetings
        a. No black-berries
        b. Agenda
        c. 1 minute minutes: an efficient way to keep track of decisions made in a meeting: who is responsible for what by when?
    20. Technology
        a. Computer's are faster but they take longer
        b. End to end
        c. It must make your life better
        d. New way of doing things
    21. Email Tips
        a. Save all of it/Searchable
        b. If you want something done, only one recipient.
        c. If you really want something done, CC their boss.
        d. Follow up after 48 hours
    22. Communication with Boss
        a. Write things down
        b. When's next meeting
        c. What's the goal
        d. Who to ask for help
        e. They want Results!
    23. General Advice
        a. No vacation if you're connected to work
        b. Kill TV
        c. Convert Money to Time esp if you have children
        d. Eat, sleep and exercise
        e. Never break a promise, but re-negotiate them if need be
        f. If you haven’t got time to do it right, you don’t have time to do it wrong
        g. Recognize that most things are pass/fail.
        h. Feedback loops: ask in confidence
    24. Reading
        a. One minute Manager
        b. 7 Habits
    25. Do it now
        a. Get a day-timer/PDA
        b. TODO list in priority order/Covey 4 quads
        c. Time Journal/Count hours of TV
        d. Revisit the talk in 30 days and ask "What have I changed?"
    26. "Time is the only thing you have and one day you may find that you have less than you imagined".

Since the formatting above is not great, Here are the notes in a one note format:



connectionfailure said...

I was going to leave a comment, but I didn't have time.

jude said...

An mp3 version is available here

anthony said...

This is a nice video..check this for more time management tips..

Sanya Singh said...

To plan our acctivity effectively and Effeciently we shold adopt the Timae Management Strategies. Good Article.Regards, SanyaTime Management

Jennifer Mark said...

Its a good approach I guess to have the fun in time management. Any work it may be the fun filled essence makes it a good approach to root to the level of success. I believe that in a proper time tracking and management the level of success is gonna come up with a priority. That is the only reason I have started using the cloud based hours tracking tool from Replicon.

Prescilla Priyanka said...

Developing time management skills is a journey that may begin with this Guide, but needs practice and other guidance along the way. Thanks for sharing about it.
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