time-management

Calendar Management Details – Chapter 2 Priorities In The Morning

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • When should I schedule my priorities?
  • Why do priorities get scheduled in the morning?
  • For how long should I work on my priorities?

This guidance recommends proactively scheduling time for your key responsibilities in the morning, versus afternoon or early evening, "when everyone’s gone."

Most of us are terrible at managing time. We are terrible because first, you can’t manage time, and two, we don’t switch to thinking about our priorities, and managing THEM. And, alas, for many of us, as managers, if we DO schedule time for them, we do it at the END of our days – consigning them to the ash heap. Here’s what really effective professionals do.


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Calendar Management Details Chapter 1 – Shorten Free Time

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • How can I use my calendar to be more productive?
  • Free time on my calendar is good right?
  • What should I fill my free time with?

How to improve your effectiveness by eliminating long open periods from of your calendar.

Many managers we know (ourselves included) LIKE having longer unscheduled blocks of time on their calendars. This is antithetical to effectiveness. Let’s manage our calendars differently.


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How To Handle Meeting Killers - The Rambler

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • What do I do with difficult people in my meetings?
  • How do I keep control of my meetings?
  • How do I change meeting behavior?

This guidance recommends how to address behaviors in meetings that reduce meeting effectiveness, based on a popular 2012 Wall Street Journal article. This Chapter deals with handling a Rambler – someone who talks and talks and talks ... and talks.

A recent WSJ article headlined “Meet The Meeting Killers” talked about how different behaviors in meetings can ruin the meeting. It’s in the 15 May 2012 edition, and is available to non-subscribers, at least for a time.

This is our answer to those behaviors. And, we’ll address both running meetings of your team, and cross-functional meetings, where you have less direct authority.


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Work Family Balance - Chapter 1 - Go Home

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • How do I achieve work/family balance?
  • Is work/family balance a myth?
  • How do I fit all my work in and go home on time?

This guidance describes the fundamental error in trying to achieve “Work-Family Balance” and how to solve it forever.

The Work-Family Balance challenge is such a common question that it inevitably becomes one of the first answers Mark gives when he takes open questions at gatherings.

The answer to the problem is simple, and it starts with understanding that we have all been solving the wrong problem.


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Big To Small Meeting Agendas

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • How do I arrange an agenda?
  • What should go first on an agenda?
  • How do I make sure people stick to an agenda?

This guidance tells you how to structure meeting agendas around the biggest, most important items.

What should come first on your meeting agendas? How do you divide time among four or five items that you want to discuss or decide or action?

It’s not hard – put the most important item FIRST, and give it plenty of time.


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How To Address Social Media Abuse

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • How do I deal with my directs using social media during work?
  • Can I treat top and bottom performers differently?
  • How do I eliminate time-wasting by my directs?

This guidance tells you what to do when one of your directs spends too much time on social media.

We’re not against social media, honest we’re not. It does a lot of good – we like Facebook, and LinkedIn. Mark doesn’t love Twitter, but he’s got an unusual perspective. We love the benefits of social media.

But “constantly” checking Facebook, or tweeting “incessantly” – that’s probably ineffective. What do you as a manager do when one of your directs is having trouble drawing the line on what is “too much”? Our answer will surprise many of you.


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Delegating To The Floor

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • What do I do when my directs don't want to give up unnecessary work?
  • How do I get my directs to do the tasks I want them to?
  • How do I delegate more to busy directs?

This guidance describes how to help individual contributors handle an overload in work.

What do you do when you’re a frontline manager and you get more work to do? Well, if you’re smart, you delegate. To your directs.

But usually if you’re busy, so are your directs. So what do THEY do when you give them more, only they’re already fully “busy”?

They delegate too. To the floor. Here’s how.


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Community Relationships

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • How do I deal with my community roles and work?
  • What can I say about my company to others?
  • How can I contribute to my community?

This cast gives a guide balancing your professional countenance with your community relationships.

A few weeks ago on our Facebook page, we asked: what are you doing to use your professional skills to improve your community? Many people posted about the projects they were involved with from working with children to marketing for non-profits.

We absolutely support all your efforts to improve your communities. And, there are some cautions about your behaviors which prevent problems in both your professional and your community efforts.


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Right Of First Refusal - Part 2

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • Can I say no when someone asks for a meeting?
  • Do I have to accept meeting invites at any time?
  • What do I do if my boss demands a meeting?

This cast concludes our discussion on how to use your calendar more proactively.

We regularly get requests from managers wanting to know how they can either be a good executive, or increase their chances of becoming one. We often get the sense that they're asking because they think there's something different or hidden that makes for an effective executive. There is just an air of their questions and assumptions that there's a mystique around becoming or being an executive.

We don't think that's really true. We can understand it. It certainly is a harder job than most people realize, and almost no one understands how demanding being a very senior executive is at a large multi-national corporation. It's not for the faint of heart.

But as for being effective, there are all kinds of things managers can do as managers that will prepare them to be an effective executive.

It's probably frustrating to hear, but many of the activities or strategies or tactics – most of them, in fact – are available to anyone, and are just basic blocking and tackling around effectiveness and efficiency in general. And when it comes to effectiveness, the first lever is time. Most of us are terrible around our "time management" skills, but really good executives are really good at it.

Right of First Refusal is one of the ways they do it, and you can too.


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Right Of First Refusal - Part 1

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • Can I say no when someone asks for a meeting?
  • Do I have to accept meeting invites at any time?
  • What do I do if my boss demands a meeting?

This guidance describes how to use your calendar more proactively.

We regularly get requests from managers wanting to know how they can either be a good executive, or increase their chances of becoming one. We often get the sense that they're asking because they think there's something different or hidden that makes for an effective executive. There is just an air of their questions and assumptions that there's a mystique around becoming or being an executive.

We don't think that's really true. We can understand it. It certainly is a harder job than most people realize, and almost no one understands how demanding being a very senior executive is at a large multi-national corporation. It's not for the faint of heart.

But as for being effective, there are all kinds of things managers can do as managers that will prepare them to be an effective executive.

It's probably frustrating to hear, but many of the activities or strategies or tactics – most of them, in fact – are available to anyone, and are just basic blocking and tackling around effectiveness and efficiency in general. And when it comes to effectiveness, the first lever is time. Most of us are terrible around our "time management" skills, but really good executives are really good at it.

Right of First Refusal is one of the ways they do it, and you can too.


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