Success story to time management


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Success story to time management

  1. 1. An Illustrated Success Story to Time Management
  2. 2. For all who are trying to make time management work
  3. 3. For a long time I have been trying to make time management work. Courses, Books, many articles, flashy apps They all worked... ... for a week, maybe two Until I almost gave up ... almost ....
  4. 4. So, I thought well, let me just make only ONE tip work and take it from there I thought maybe if one piece is in place, then everything else will fall into place ....
  5. 5. What sounded like a self-illusion was probably my best idea ever
  6. 6. The difficulty was to find one tip that is really trying to perfect. Well it is easy to find “a” tip. In fact, that is the problem ... there are too many of them. I had read many time management books, the classics ... so many tips ... One tip always resonated a lot with me...
  7. 7. Get ONE important task done each day and leave the office happy I thought “great!” Sounds simple enough! Let’s go for it!
  8. 8. Day 1: I walk into the office, just grab a coffee, and get started! Well, that means check mails first.... Ok, next come two meetings. I haven’t yet started with the most important task (what was it again?), but the day is long ..... Well you know how this goes .... don’t you?
  9. 9. A few meetings, some burning issues, water cooler chats later, I found myself going home ... Loser’s dinner is bitter! In 8 hours, I have not been able to spend 2 hours on one important task. I am not giving up. So, goal for tomorrow is to start with the most important task and work on if for two hours until it’s finished.
  10. 10. Pretty determined the next morning, I start with the most important task (and I remember it’s the market analysis). I ignore the emails flashing up like a hero. That is until Jane’s mail comes - it sounds urgent. A few others talk about it, the latest burning issue. No doubt, I will help! It takes most of the day, several meetings and endless discussions to realise that it is not as “hot” as initially thought, phew! What was this thing again that I wanted to work on? Darn ....
  11. 11. Another failure and today’s lesson is clear: Urgent almost always beats important - even if the urgent task is completely unimportant. I have a brilliant idea: First, I will block 2 hours every morning to work on the most important task of the day first. Second, I will not check any mails and ignore all “urgent” tasks (in those 2 hours).
  12. 12. Block times to work on important tasks, then reserve specific times to work on urgent stuff, emails and other tasks that do not require deep concentration. Put these times in your calendar.
  13. 13. Who would have thought that to make just this one tip work, I had do actually change the way I work and how I organise my day! But I like my ideas. In fact I feel more confident than ever! It makes sense; the reason why I never get important things done is because I always get distracted with other stuff ... Anyway, can’t wait for tomorrow!
  14. 14. Winner’s dinner is sweet! Great day! I worked like a clock. Maybe not a Swiss one, but a good start. Had difficulties to concentrate for two hours en block, but I ignored “urgent” stuff until about 10:30 and then jumped onto it and got it done efficiently! Getting used to this kind of concentration is like training a muscle; you have to exercise it for a few weeks without giving up!
  15. 15. In all these discussions on urgent vs important I realise: I am not sure what actually is important. That makes it difficult to decide what to do in that two hour block in the mornings... I remember this talk about the 80/20 rule or Pareto’s law ...
  16. 16. Important tasks are those that contribute to your department / company achieve their objectives. Validate what you think is important with your boss / your customer. Look at department scorecards, company goals. Ask: Is what you are doing really as important as you think. Schedule to do this at least once every 6 months. It is surprising how we choose to ignore evidence that doesn’t align with what we believe.... a huge opportunity! You can use the Eisenhower method or just divide tasks into important and less important. The key is that you consult the people that you work with. And think from the company’s perspective. This will reduce the biases that we typically have.
  17. 17. Seems to all make sense. So tomorrow’s most important task is to think and plan what is actually important. I look at our company’s objectives. Well, nothing that I can influence .... but where was this department scorecard again? Aha, a starting point. I review all tasks that I do and consider what is important for our department. That helps. Will chat to my boss tomorrow.
  18. 18. My boss is somewhat surprised. He didn’t know I was even doing half of these tasks. After some discussion, he can follow my logic. I get his buy-in. This is pretty cool. In fact, as I walk out, he thanks for my proactiveness! Review which tasks are non- essential. Find a way to stop doing those and focus on the important tasks (that sounds like Pareto!) “Boss, here is the full list of tasks that I regularly do. But here are some tasks that I also do that seem to not connect to any of our department’s objectives... I suggest I stop doing these and spend more time on important tasks!”
  19. 19. Encouraged from this event, next day I talk to my internal customers about the weekly report I compile for them. Turns out the most important parts are the ones that are the easiest to do ... Another Pareto lesson here: Check which parts of your tasks are the the most valuable and find a way to stop doing the rest (e.g. talk to your customers). “Joe, this part of the report takes me 2 hours each week!” “That part of the report is not essential. It is only nice to have for us. If it takes that much effort, we are happy if you don’t do it anymore.”
  20. 20. Eliminate as many unimportant tasks as possible and plan the ones that need to be done This is not the time to question your plans. It is not the time to switch tasks or interrupt it for other things. It’s the time to actually do it! The less important a task is, the more efficient you should get it done At the end of the day, ask yourself if you have spent enough time on important tasks or if you got sidetracked into “urgent” non-important tasks? Ask yourself what went well and what you can do better Be honest with yourself and see mistakes as learning opportunities This is the way I have been working in the last few weeks to get my time management improved: a little cycle, I called it “improvement cycle,” that I ran through every day. And every day I have learned and improved one small thing. Can you see how my story ran through this several times?
  21. 21. Analyse what went well or poorly, is it something in your planning or how you executed your plans? Think about the reasons why things went well or poorly. Analyse your dayAnalyse your day Today, what went ...Today, what went ... Well? Poorly? I have been able to spend 2 hours uninterrupted on the most important task first thing in the morning. I did struggle to concentrate for 2 hours en block Why?Why? I have blocked the time in my calendar. I have blocked time for urgent tasks and emails afterwards. Because it was difficult not to jump onto urgent tasks and cut out interruption that is going around in the office. How can IHow can I do more of it / apply to other areas? change this in future / do better? It helps to separate tasks, plan conscious time for it. This principle can be applied on all tasks & task types. Continue to be focused. Not get sidetracked. Continue managing interruption. What can you learn from both the positive and the negative examples and apply more broadly? I have used this little tool for 10 minutes at the end of each day. It really fueled my progress
  22. 22. I had always heard of a not- to-do list, but never knew what it means. With all the changes in the last weeks, I did one for myself: - Don’t compile certain chapters of the report. - Stop doing tasks that add no value our department goals. - Don’t open every new email as it comes in (check in bulk at certain times only). - Stop going to unimportant meetings.
  23. 23. I thought time management is about planning better, but it is actually much more. I had to stop doing things. It is hard to stop doing things that you are used to doing. And the fear: What if there is not enough work for me to do? Will I lose my job? Did I dig myself a hole? My boss asked if I now have more time to work on a special project (his pet project). I took on that project. It was hard! I had never done this before. So many changes in little time. That was the hardest thing....
  24. 24. It was really difficult to learn new things. It was a bit frustrating initially. But as I got better, I really started enjoying it. It was exciting to get better. I got to meet different people in the company, work with them and learn more about our department and company. Who would have thought that would happen. And the coolest thing: my boss asked me to present the project results to other senior managers. I was happy they saw value in what I have done. And who know where this will lead me :) Once you stop doing the minutia, you have the time to focus on the big hitters
  25. 25. Well, I didn’t think it can be that difficult to make just one tip work. I had to change the way I plan my days and work on different types of tasks. Surprisingly, I had to understand which tasks are important for my role. And then I had to have the courage to stop doing these tasks. This was the most difficult part: Accept that some of the tasks I was doing are actually unimportant, stop doing what I am good at and start doing things that I am not good at. And I am so glad I did that! It opened new horizons and new opportunities for me... “Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm” - Winston Churchill
  26. 26. At, we believe that it is better to make ONE great tip work than failing at 10 tips thrown at you. Invest all effort to make this ONE tip work. Learn other tips if you need them to make the ONE tip work. Don’t worry about tips that do not support the ONE tip.
  27. 27. FREE eBOOK FOR YOU: •Get our free ebook on time management •Download this presentation in pdf and more Click the link below: management-ebook
  28. 28. Who am I? Murat Uenlue, PhD (Engineering), internationally accredited Project Manager (PMP) working in the airlines industry where I have been managing multi-billion dollar projects. Time management is not only a necessity in my profession but also a great link to my passion: working with people and supporting them to achieve their potential. I have been fortunate enough to be teaching, managing and coaching great people for almost 20 years. Feel free to email, tweet, blog, and pass this presentation around the web. But please don’t alter any of its contents when you do. Thank you! Visit our pages for more information © 2013 Murat Uenlue. All Rights Reserved
  29. 29. time-management-ebook Did you like the story? Share with your friends. Thank you :) Just click the link below to get the free ebook yes the link really works :)