Category Archives: Time

Act Like the President: Let Your Calendar Boss You Around

“(Microsoft Chairman Bill) Gates, who operates a bit like an unofficial head of state, is managed down to the precise minute by an innumerable team of handlers and schedulers and assistants.” (The New York Times Magazine, September 7, 2014)

00371790-986900_152Looking for ways to improve your time management? Pretend you are Bill Gates, an “unofficial head of state.” On second thought, don’t stop at “unofficial.” Pretend you are the president, the official head of state. Imagine that when the president comes into his office in the morning, his chief of staff tells him, “you have a meeting with this foreign dignitary at 10, a press conference at 11, and a Rose Garden photo op with a dozen senators at 2.” The president does not announce, “You know what? I don’t feel like the Rose Garden today. I’d rather work on my speech.” No, like Bill Gates, he (or she — we can dream, can’t we?) allows his assistants to “boss him around,” managing his activities throughout the day.

Smart entrepreneurs will do the same.

Too often, I see business owners making decisions about what to do based on either what they’re in the mood for or what feels most urgent. Neither is the best choice.

Instead, make a time block. I doesn’t need to be quite like Bill Gates’ schedule, managed to the minute. Make one that is stringent enough to keep you focused, but flexible enough that you can live with it. Make no block shorter than half an hour; bigger blocks are better.

Then when you begin to work each day, let your calendar “boss you around.” You don’t have to make a slew of decisions according to your mood or who’s hounding you. You just set to work on what your calendar tells you to do.

Worth Repeating – July 2014

I recently tried out a new time and calendar management app called mynd. (It’s beautifully designed!) When I finish with all my appointments, it greets me with a message: “Free At Last! (You have no more events scheduled today.)” As we in the United States celebrate our nation’s independence, I hope this month finds you… Continue Reading

Play It Again – January Productivity Posts Worth Repeating

Hard to believe that this blog has been going for six years! In honor of my blog-iversary, I’m revisiting some posts from Januaries past that seem as fresh and useful now as they did when written. Whether you make resolutions or not, let your year (and every month in it!) begin by sharing an intention… Continue Reading

Power tips from the Financial Times for building your task list

A couple of weeks ago I was interviewed by Rhymer Rigby, a reporter working for  Financial Times, for an article he was working on about using to-do lists to get more done. Today the article appeared in the Management section! You can read the whole article here.  (The Financial Times requires you to register to… Continue Reading

Worth Repeating – September Productivity Posts (2013 edition)

Sometimes it’s not what we need to learn, it’s what we need to remember that matters most. In that spirit, I’m offering a small collection of primo posts from prior Septembers to usher you into autumn. Did you acquire a bad habit or two during the lazy days of summer? Time to shape up! Because… Continue Reading

How to say goodbye to a beloved (business) child

Come with me in the way-back machine, to a time very different from today. I’m thinking of 2009. As the year began, Lehman Brothers had recently collapsed and everyone had learned the phrases “mortgage-backed securities” and “toxic assets,” even if we didn’t know exactly what they meant. For a time the business world held its… Continue Reading

Relief From Time Change Trauma: Sleep Cycle App

We’re coming up on the weekend when most of the United States will return to standard time, and therefor much of the population will feel confused and groggy for several days, wondering what time exactly it is. It’s like having jet lag without the airport security pat downs. Is there anything that can help that… Continue Reading

Watching For the Wolves of Yellowstone

Planning to visit Yellowstone National Park with some members of my family, I was looking forward to a chance to spot some of the nearly 100 wolves that now populate the park. Since wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone 17 years ago, they have settled in the Lamar Valley, a little-visited area in the northwest corner… Continue Reading

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