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Mann Who Moved My Brain Time Attention 20080814 1218773331872917 9

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You can\'t control time...only what YOU do with it.

You can\'t control time...only what YOU do with it.


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  • 1. HELLO. Hi. Iʼm Merlin. I do 43Folders.com.
  • 2. WHO MOVED MY BRAIN? REVALUING TIME & ATTENTION MERLIN MANN 43FOLDERS.COM Today, I want to tell you about my pal, Mike Monteiro.
  • 3. MIKE MULEDESIGN.COM This is Mike. Hi, Mike!
  • 4. Mike makes things at MuleDesign.com.
  • 5. Mike had a problem. Mike hates meetings. Mike is also a huge smartass.
  • 6. Mike made these. They make you think about how you use peopleʼs time and attention.
  • 7. YOU ARE A BIG BARGAIN. It costs very little to get your attention. Especially if youʼre a “knowledge worker.”
  • 8. KNOWLEDGE WHUH, NOW? Thatʼs a Peter Drucker term. KWs are smart people who add value to information. They also have girly, smooth hands.
  • 9. 28% OF EACH DAY “Interruptions by things that aren’t urgent or important, like unnecessary e-mail messages — and the time it takes to get back on track.” “Lost in E-Mail, Tech Firms Face Self-Made Beast,” June 14, 2008 Interruptions are a huge pain. Intel estimates that interruptions cost them US$1B last year.
  • 10. People give you money because you know how to solve problems. Not because you move email around and respond to things that go “DING!”
  • 11. BLACK BOX JOB Hereʼs the thing: your jobʼs kind of weird. At least compared to your Grandfather. (Unless he was a pimp, or a spy, or something. Anyway.)
  • 12. {} specs meetings email pizza etc. (thing you do) plop! Flawless Work No one cares HOW you get things done; just that you DO. This is really hard unless you actively manage your time AND attention.
  • 13. Can you see the value of attention as clearly as the value of cash? Donʼt just say, “Sure, I do!” Really think about it.
  • 14. ∞ The things you COULD do are infinite, while your time and attention are FINITE.
  • 15. OPPORTUNITY COST Opportunity Cost means: if I do “this,” I necessarily canʼt also do “that,” “that,” “that,” and “OMG, THAT!”
  • 16. FINITE TIME, FINITE ATTENTION Concept: Joel Spolsky / JoelOnSoftware.com Joel Spolsky says only so many blocks can fit in a box. I agree. Joel Spolsky is smart.
  • 17. So, how do I keep my brain where I want it?
  • 18. FIVE PATTERNS (THINGS THAT TEND TO WORK) Well, hereʼs five things that tend to work. I call them “patterns.”
  • 19. FIVE PATTERNS 1 Identify Leaks 2 Govern Access 3 Minimize Notifications 4 Work in Dashes 5 Renegotiate These are realistic, but theyʼre personal, too. So, tweak them. Ready?
  • 20. IDENTIFY LEAKS Find giant holes that have filled with crap. Remove the crap. Then seal the leak.
  • 21. GOVERN ACCESS Stop allowing 100% access. Make mindful decisions about who gets access to you. And when. And for how long.
  • 22. WHO GETS ACCESS NOW? Ask yourself. Seriously, do it. Because it says a lot about who you are.
  • 23. MINIMIZE NOTIFICATIONS Turn off everything thatʼs not an actual “alarm.” Know what an “alarm” is?
  • 24. An alarm is something that says, “Hi. Stop what youʼre doing right now. Or youʼll die. Honk.”
  • 25. “DING!” The “DING!” means Facebook zombies & spammers get to interrupt you whenever it suits them. Up to 2,000 times each week.
  • 26. WORK IN DASHES Plan your work in small chunks that you can tear through easily.
  • 27. Rule of Thumb: If a task wonʼt fit through your typical window of availability, itʼs too big. Break it down.
  • 28. Get out of “Grizzly Bear Mode.” Stop scanning the campground for bears, and go make some damned sʼmores.
  • 29. TRAINING: 10/50 DASH 10 min Collect & Process 50 min Work 10 min Collect & Process Etc... An experiment. Ten minutes of “Grizzly bear,” followed by 50 minutes of making sʼmores. Repeat, D.C. al Coda.
  • 30. RENEGOTIATE This is a GTD-ish concept. Ask: “What could I change about this thing to make it ʻdo-ableʼ AND awesome?”
  • 31. QUALIFYING “YES” Renegotiation means “yes” can have shades.
  • 32. QUALIFYING “YES” • Kinda • Maybe • Later • A Little Learn to say, “Yes, but...!” Youʼll do more and be less stressed about all of it.
  • 33. FIVE PATTERNS 1 Identify Leaks 2 Govern Access 3 Minimize Notifications 4 Work in Dashes 5 Renegotiate These work. I swear. Try them today.
  • 34. Be like Mike: make things. And, seriously?
  • 35. BE A DAD NEVER be scared or embarrassed to defend your attention. Be a Dad for your brain. It needs you, okay?
  • 36. THANKS. (NOW, YOU.) Thank you for 45 minutes of your Time & Attention. I owe each of you three tokens.
  • 37. WHO MOVED MY BRAIN? REVALUING TIME & ATTENTION MERLIN MANN 43FOLDERS.COM Now, please ask me questions, and tell me where Iʼm full of shit.
  • 38. REALLY. THANKS. Best thing ever. “Weʼre DONE here.” Thank you very much.
  • 39. FIN. Last slide. Please stop looking at this, and go make things that are awesome.