Time Management Tips from the Pros
February 20, 2014 | By David Shephard
“The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it,” – David Thoreau.
Sadly, if this is the case, the most valuable thing in our lives at the moment is Facebook and Flappy Birds. How we spend our time matters; it shapes the way our business grows and it determines the amount of joy we get out of work. If you are finding that there aren’t enough hours in a day and are in need of Candy Crush rehab, then consider these time management tips from the pros.
Frank Supovitz is the Czar of the Superbowl. His staff consists of around 20,000 people and his job is to plan and execute the mostly widely watched sporting event of the year. His top time management tip is building consensus.
He does this by remembering the names of people he meets and hand-writing thank you notes for jobs well done. He does this so that people feel appreciated and committed to their jobs and they are more likely to make an effort, even when they are doing things that they don’t enjoy.
For two weeks out of every four months, Bill Gates quarantines his time. No phones, emails, meetings or work of any kind. He uses this time to think. What he is thinking about is how his business has developed over the last quarter and where it should go next. It’s this focus on the big picture that created the Microsoft Empire.
Take time every quarter to sit back and look at the big picture, at your customer’s experience with your service or product and how that can be improved, on where you have been and where you are going. Having a sense of direction and purpose will help you to manage your time.
Four hour work week
Tim Ferris’ advice is that you should give yourself less time to do everything. Here he relies on Parkinson’s Law which says that tasks will fill the time allotted to them, and the more time we give them, the bigger they become. Ever noticed how you still end up working all day even when you have relatively little to do? That’s Parkinson’s Law in effect.
Ferris advises that you allot less time to tasks and you’ll be amazed at how much quicker you are able to accomplish them. He says that you will benefit from higher quality too as you’re more focused when you have very little time to complete a task.
Be bit literate
Mark Hurst points out that using technology is something we learned rather than a natural instinct. The problem is; we learned it in an ad hoc way rather than in the organized, structured way we learn math or science. This means that many of the bitstreams (sources of information) that we have been taught to include in our workday actually don’t produce results. Reevaluate the way you spend your time online to see which bitstreams really do add value to your life and your work and cut those which don’t.