Last week, Andrew Wilt and I were working side-by-side. During a break in the daily grind, we decided to discuss time management. Time management seems to be one of those things we all have to deal with, and I had recently swapped tips and tricks with my peers. Since both of us have previously written blog posts about time management, we felt like the ideas were a step in the right direct, but they could benefit from some revision. So, Andrew and I had that discussion.
I just finished rereading Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time, by Jeff Sutherland. When I finished, I suggested the book to both my son James and my apprentice at Sustainable Evolution, Andrew Wilt. They both LOVED it. Andrew was enthused enough to suggest we start running weekly sprints and daily standups. In the coming weeks, I will write a book review and he will add his thought in a Scrum blog piece. I’m sure we will have follow-up posts as we move forward with this pilot and adopt this approach to working together. Since Andrew lives in one state and me in another, we will have to use technology to close the gaps.
This year, I have been working towards making my workspace a place that promotes creativity and productivity. Little did I know, my environment was having a huge effect on my output. This week, I am going to share some strategies I have implemented in my life that has boosted my focus and creativity, increasing both the quality and quantity of my work. Feel free to adapt these strategies to fit your working preferences, habits, and routines.
No, not THAT f-bomb, the other one. Fear. Twice in two days I have heard or read something that refers to fear and the description has varied from fear being an effective tool for achieving an outcome, to fear being an oppressive feeling that fuels self-doubt. Indeed, fear is a key driver in many of our actions. I have a fear of heights (or at least of falling from heights), have been fearful of losing my job, and have been afraid to ask someone out on a date. I have used fear (not proud, more an admission) to try and get my way or drive things the way I wanted them to go. The list is pretty endless on both sides and some fears will always be there. However, the fears around my abilities, my value, my competence, and especially about a job are gone. That loss of fear is enabling me to achieve what I didn’t think was possible. Here’s what has changed for me.
Be daring and just do it! Leap off of that cliff or jump that chasm.
Most of us see change as a scary cliff. It uncomfortable and we shy away from it--especially big change. The most traumatic things you can do in your life are change relationships, move households, and change jobs. But at times, you really do need to make adjustments. How do you know?
One of my favorite things I get to do at SEI is write weekly blog posts to engage with the public and our community. This was my first year writing in this format and I have learned a lot along the way. One year and 37 posts later (plus 32 posts by SEI mentor, Andy Ruth), 2015 has taught me 11 mandatory lessons every blogger should consider:
Throughout history, accomplished women and men have been sharing their daily schedules with the world in hopes that others will be just as successful. Their audience is broad and stretches from the young adults learning how to manage their first full-time job to managers and business owners looking for life hacks to shave an hour off their work day. Over the past few years, authors such as Timothy Ferriss, Chris Guillebeau, and Mason Currey (as well as many bloggers), have compiled lists of rituals and routines into books that have become bestsellers. Some of the advice are good reminders for past routines we have fallen out of, and some of it is just downright odd.
Being busy is not a synonym for productivity.
The thought in the old paradigm was: A busy person will find a way for it to get done. Nowadays, the saying is: A busy person will find a way for it to get done… until they burn out.
The question people should be asking is “How should I manage my energy?” not “How should I manage my time?”
There are a ton of survivor-style television shows out. You know, where one or several people get dropped in a location they do not know without anything (or next to nothing). They have to “make it” for some amount of time or form a tribe and work through the tribe interactions. When you get a new job, the experience can be very similar. You take the job, get a set of stuff and are expected to survive and thrive. Both follow Maslow’s Hierarchy of Basic Needs. Maslow stayed really busy creating a lot of theories about humans, and most are patterns that I use to understand what I need to give and get from a job.
Time is not money, time is life. Unlike money, we can’t get more of it by working harder, we can only learn how to better manage the time we have.
My grandfather, like most grandfathers, has about three favorite stories he manages to work into every conversation we have. In his story about working in the corporate world in the 1960s he ends it by saying this: if you don’t plan your day, someone will do it for you.
You know, if I just had time I would blog, or exercise, or take long walks, or be able to work 40 hours a week. Sound familiar? Time management is a challenging area for most of us and it’s something we don’t want to think about when it comes to our personal life and when engaging with friends. But in the business environment it is a must-have tool for your tool kit.