Workplace change is a time management problem. Not the to-do list, prioritising, task orientated kind of time management. The psychological kind.
Where did the Summer go? September always seems to be a time of change, this year more than ever.
This photo was taken in 1916, when five of my great uncles came home on leave from the Western Front.
The TIR report I got is straight forward and pulls no punches. It is enlightening about how others view me and positively provides an action plan on how to change.
Jacqueline Veater – Regeneration Service Manager, Local Government
The TIR report is exceptionally good, and very accurate about my time use, and the frustrations that this causes
Tim Mutton – Managing Director, TPM Marketing
The TIR report gave me new insight and told me where and how to take action.
Mike Priestley – Sales Coach
Time is money – recent research by Philip Zimbardo and magnifymoney.com shows your time perspective determines how you spend or save money, with some surprising results.
Your time perspective predicts your attitude to risk-taking and planning, so when it comes to your finances, it’s important to know whether you’re mainly Past, Present or Future orientated.
It turns out people who think about the Future – and who are better at planning, might be buying too much insurance. And whilst they understand the maths and are more financially literate, that doesn’t necessarily equate to healthy finances.
Conversely, people who live in the past, especially Past Negatives base their financial decisions on memories (and bad memories, at that) , not predictions. That means they take less risks and are more prudent. They might miss out on the boom times, but they’ll still be there when everyone else is bust.
It’s the people who like to live in the Present that I most feel sorry for. The credit card companies love their impulsiveness and the way they like to indulge themselves and their friends. But they’re heading for a life of debt and poverty if they don’t re-balance their lives, as well as their finances.
So Benjamin Franklin was right, time is money. And with all three of these profiles, the way that you’re hard-wired determines your attitude to saving and spending your hard-earned cash. Unless you do a spot of rewiring, your choices and strategies are going to be limited, aren’t they?
So how do you rewire your attitudes?
Step 1 is to find out where you are. You can do that by completing a Time Intelligence Report. Click this link to find out more.
Step 2 is to start getting a bit more of what’s missing in your life and re-balance. If you’re stuck in the past, or the future, bring yourself up to date by allowing more pleasure into your life, here and now. Stop and smell the roses. Pick a few. Give them to someone you care about. If you’re too present, drag out an old photo album and trigger some good memories, get nostalgic.
Step 3 is to repeat Step 2 until you’re equally good at being in the past, the present or the future, when you want and when the time is right.
You might even save yourself some money.
I have a confession. Last year I wrote about dealing with workplace interruptions, it’s consistently been one of the most popular posts . You can read it here. But yesterday I didn’t follow my own advice. I was three-quarters of the way through a task, (upgrading WordPress for this blog) when I allowed myself to be interrupted. I was carrying out a complicated, manual process, that I’d never done before. I was following written step by step instructions, but lost my train of thought. When I got back to the task, I forgot that there was still one step to do. When I tried to fire up the site again, it didn’t work. Two hours later, with the help of Mohit Gupta, who’s an unbelievably helpful member of a fantastic WordPress Facebook group, I discovered what I’d done – or hadn’t done. God, I felt stupid.
“Bigger chunks of work have natural break points”
What have I learnt? That bigger chunks of work have natural break points, and where I left off wasn’t one of them. So if you can’t find a good place to pause, push through to the end of the task (I couldn’t because I already had brain-fry), or else leave yourself a great big marker where you left off. If I’d done that last one I would have known there was still one step left to do. When I used to draft contracts, that’s exactly what I did when faced with an interruption or distraction.
I also learnt to ask for help earlier rather than later. When you work on your own, it’s easy to become very self-reliant and imagine that it’s better to solve all of the problems you encounter on your own. But there are people in your virtual team who are happy to help.
I won’t make that particular mistake again, but I’ll probably be making others, it’s the best way to learn!
Lionel Messi may be the best footballer in the world, but according to this excellent article in Slate.com, he’s lazy. He doesn’t put in as much effort as Neymar, the other best footballer in the world. He covered less ground in his last game against Switzerland, made fewer sprints (31 v 57) and spent a lot less time in high and medium intensity activity. But Messi has been voted man of the match in all four games he’s played at this World Cup. Neymar has played in as many games, and got man of the match in only two. What’s going on here?
“… Messi is making a big impact, despite his paltry performance figures”
These days, stats on footballers are easy to come by. There are performance analysis programmes like Prozone, that give reams of data, so that coaches can compare one player with another. They measure – yards covered, tackles made, passes completed – all things that correlate in some way with effort. But it’s clear Messi is making a big impact, despite his paltry performance figures. Four goals and one assist. He’s a shark, cruising effortlessly for long stretches of the game, then going for the kill before anyone even realises what he’s up to.
“he’s highly valued even though his visible work rate may be lower than his colleagues'”
Messi is a rare case where people aren’t confusing effort with effectiveness. His impact is obvious despite the raw performance analysis, and he’s highly valued even though his visible work rate may be lower than his colleagues’. Work rate – there’s an old-time productivity phrase. It’s something that’s held in high regard in English football and in the English-speaking world workplace. The England football team did a lot of running around and put in a great deal of “work”, but to no avail, the result was two losses and a draw. Completely unproductive, because they didn’t get beyond the group stage.
Many workplaces actually encourage this culture of valuing work rate over effectiveness. Busy work attracts far more attention than effortless productivity. People will tell you how busy they are, have a diary full of meetings and conference calls and work late. How productive are they really?
The biggest favour you could do for your team and yourself would be to recognise the people who are having the biggest impact, but who don’t seem to be making much effort. Maybe they leave work on time, don’t send as many emails, don’t go to as many meetings, but if you really looked, you’d vote them man or woman of the match.