time-management

Following Up

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • How do I follow up professionally?
  • How do I keep track of everything I need to do?
  • How do I find time to make sure I'm getting everything done?

This cast helps you be more efficient in following up.

We've talked about following up in numerous Career Tools casts. It's one of the marks of a true professional. People who follow up well, who don't let things fall through the cracks and who are in control of their workload stand out from the crowd. So how do you become one of those people?


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The Basics of Calendar Management (Part 2 of 2)

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • How do I make more time for my family?
  • How do I leave work on time?
  • What should I do at lunch?

This is the second of our casts that describe our recommendations about calendar management.

Last week, we covered some basics of calendar management, the most important of which was that effective managers think about managing their priorities a WEEK at a time - thinking in terms of weeks is the most effective way to stay strategic, and therefore effective.

We then covered our first, and perhaps most surprising point - Family First. Simple in practice ... schedule time for your family ON YOUR CALENDAR first. And then give THAT commitment the same level of focus as your other priorities.

This week, we cover our remaining points relative to managing your calendar ...

  1. Schedule time for email
  2. Nail down your strategic objectives
  3. Block out One on Ones
  4. Schedule time for a weekly network building lunch


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The Basics of Calendar Management (Part 1 of 2)

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • How do I make more time for my family?
  • How do I leave work on time?
  • What should I do at lunch?

This cast describes the first of our recommendations about calendar management.

We spend a lot of time talking to executive clients about how they spend their time, and how they manage their priorities through their calendars. Several times over the past couple of years we've talked about how when we start coaching an executive, we ask for two things immediately: an accounting of what they consider their priorities, and a print out of their calendar.

They almost NEVER match, except with CEOs and COOs.

If you're a thinking manager, you're not asking, "why?" but rather, "what can I do to avoid that?"

There are a few simple rules that get most effective executives (thank you Mr. Drucker) started off well, and they start with thinking a week at a time.


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Develop a Sense of Urgency in Your Team (Part 2 of 2)

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • How do I get to my staff to work faster?
  • How do I help my staff get their work done on time?
  • How do I set deadlines?

Today, we finish up our series on building a sense of urgency in your team.


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Develop a Sense of Urgency in Your Team (Part 1 of 2)

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • How do I get to my staff to work faster?
  • How do I help my staff get their work done on time?
  • How do I set deadlines?

You know you're a manager - really, truly in a role of managing others - when you get frustrated that things don't happen as fast as they used to. "Gosh, why don't they GET IT? Can't they SEE what kind of pressure we are (I AM) under?" What is taking SO *(@((&$^*@^Q@*#% LONG?"

That's what all that extra pay is for. ;-)

If you've wondered whether it's just YOUR team, it's NOT. We find a lack of a sense of urgency to be pandemic. Most managers spend time complaining about this very thing when we coach them. Executives quickly forget how easy it is to stop draining the swamp as a manager when you keep getting bitten by alligators.

So what can you do about it?


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Effective Executive/Efficient Assistant (Part 3 of 3)

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • How do I use my assistant?
  • What tasks should I give my assistant?
  • How do I manage the relationship with my assistant?

This week, we finish (finally!) our series on working effectively with administrative assistants.


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Effective Executive/Efficient Assistant (Part 2 of 3)

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • What do I do with an administrative assistant?
  • What kind of tasks can I give my admin?
  • How do I manage my admin?

This week, we continue our series on working effectively with administrative assistants. Given that this is part 2 of 3 parts, we've obviously had a lot to discuss on the subject.


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Effective Executive/Efficient Assistant (Part 1)

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • What do I do with an administrative assistant?
  • What kind of tasks can I give my admin?
  • How do I manage my admin?

One of the lost arts of the corporate world in the past 20 years is how to work with an administrative assistant. While we won't argue that a great deal of the "leaning out" of corporations has been a good thing, working with admins effectively is one of the painful legacies of the cutbacks.

Of the executives who are assigned admins, our experience is that very few know how to use them well. There are many ways that the fantastic opportunity an admin offers are squandered. But in virtually all cases, the fundamental failure of managers who execute this responsibility is that they fail to delegate enough to the admin.


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Time Management (Part 2 of 2)

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • How do I manage my time?
  • How do I make myself more efficient?
  • How do I manage my calendar?

Today, we cover the second in a two-part series of podcasts on Time Management. If you're new to the show or you didn't listen to last week's podcast, it's probably worth while going back and listening to the previous show first. Otherwise, you'll be joining the conversation half-way through and we all know how comfortable that feels. :-(

We recommend 4 1/2 steps to analyzing your use of time

  1. Roughly Assess Your Time - absolutely *no* materials other than pen and paper allowed!
  2. Capture Your Priorities
  3. Do a Rough Analysis
  4. (part b, only for the truly committed) - Do a "Drucker" Analysis
  5. Put Your Number One Priority on Your Calendar

That's it! We walked through steps 1 and 2 last week, today we cover the remainder.


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Time Management (Part 1 of 2)

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • How do I manage my time?
  • How do I make myself more efficient?
  • How do I manage my calendar?

Time management is a fallacy, we like to say. Time doesn't need you to "manage" it - it's been getting along just fine without you for billions of years. We can't manage time. But what we CAN manage is what we do with that time. And yet, the overwhelming evidence is that managers do NOT "manage what they do with that time." There's a shocking CHASM between our behavior in this area and our knowledge of what to do. In fact, Mark recently blogged on how busy everyone says they are, which irritates him. He looks at their calendars, and there's no EVIDENCE that they're busy. There are vast swaths of unscheduled time!

Peter Drucker, in the first prescriptive chapter of his seminal work, the Effective Executive, says it best (of course): "The output limits of any process are set by the scarcest resource. In the process we call "accomplishment", this is time ... Of the other major resources, money is actually quite plentiful ... People ... one can hire. But one cannot rent, hire, buy or otherwise obtain more time."

So, the question is, how can managers start to become more efficient about using the time that each of us has at our disposal? In fact, that's a great way to state it: STOP disposing of your time! It's not only your most precious resource, it's also your most perishable!

This cast will get you started doing just that.


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