Coincidence or not…still is funny!
By Edge Pereira
This is how my Microsoft Surface looks like after 6-months of daily usage.
For the record, I *love* my Surface. It replaced my iPad and my MacBook Air flawlessly, and I never went back to the Apple products. It is really a perfect companion. It if had a non-reflective screen I would even use it as my Kindle to read books.
No, I am not an unconsidered user. I am actually very careful with all my IT gadgets. I carry my Surface in a proper soft-material bag and I make sure it is always clean and tidy. My friends will tell you how I treat it. Below you can see a photo of my my Surface case. This is how I carry my Surface at all times!
However, despite all that, my Surface got these scratches in the side and in the logo behind. Every time someone comes to ask me about the Surface, I am full of praises, but as a good consultant I also have to inform about the sad news then I show these things to the curious minds I must say, it is a bit of a downer. Bugger.
I wish I could tell you my Surface experience is 100%. If wasn’t for the hardware, It would be.
*Please Microsoft, fix this in the next generation*
By Edge Pereira
By Edge Pereira
Traditionally, manager is an individual in charge of a group of tasks. A manager often, but not necessarily, has people who report to him or her. ( I hate the term subordinated )
However what I see most the time is someone who is in an eternal race between meetings and answering emails and phone calls. Also most managers I see don't have time to manage people who report to them. And this can be very frustrating.
If you think you are stuck in this cycle of frequently canceling your 1:1, finds delegation challenging and feel isolated...then you probably already feel bad enough.
instead of going on with this topic, how about if I share with you some steps I took that helped me to manage my day and also to develop a enjoyable team atmosphere. I did not develop all these ideas, mostly they are improvements of what I saw in great managers in my last decade of work in several countries....without working extra hours!
You can't give other people what you don't have. You're confused, insecure, disorganized? your team will be too. My goal is to devote sufficient time to get 100% clear on what I want to achieve; I generally do this by spending more time on priorities and follow-up, and less time in meetings. I try to reduce as much as I can my meeting times so we as a team can strategically focus in reaching the goals. Make everyone visualize the goal. The shared vision.
Refuse more meeting invites. I see too many project managers looking at their calendar and thinking of them as a Facebook contest. newsflash: it is not! This is a trap! Having a full calendar of meetings does not have anything to do with being busy or accomplishing more. Way to many people are measuring themselves by the number of meetings they have. Yeah, going to a lot of meetings may make you feel important...for a while, but this is not a good way to allocate your precious time. So, next time you get a meeting invite, ask yourself, "Do I really need to go?" If the answer is "no," decline the meeting, if the answer is "Yes", think again and try to weight the pros and cons of going. If after that the answer is still "Yes", then accept; otherwise, pick "No" as your default answer.
If you really think you need to attend, consider these 3 options:
Think this way, if you were sick during the meeting day, would it have it to be rescheduled? If "No" then that's it, you probably don't need to attend.
If “Yes” then ask yourself:"Am I here for strategic decisions or tactical decisions?" If you are there for strategic decisions, ask to have your part of the meeting close to the start. Then after that, you're probably safe to get out! Excuse yourself and go deliver. This leads to my next point...
Reduce your meeting duration. When you find yourself talking a lot, providing updates, and people are around in the room checking their phones, talking about football or anything else do yourself a favor: make 15-minutes your default meeting duration. If you find yourself making too many 1-hour meetings, you need to really work that out. Very rarely one needs hour long meetings; they should be the exception, not the norm. Here some things you can try?
Calculate how much costs 1 minute/meeting. The total cost of the meeting should not be larger that the time it takes to reach the decision.
Try the phone. Conferencing systems are there for a reason. Try to attend the meetings via phone; likewise try not to schedule a meeting when you can just discuss it personally in a chat or over the phone; and again, do not call someone to decide something that can be resolved in an email. Put effort in making lean meetings. Make it a game out of it and use it to show off your colleagues about how sharp, to the point and decisive your meetings are.
Now, remember about the beginning of the post? about you can only offer what you have? So, pass it on. Shape the model and let others mimic your style. Every time you see a chance to help others managing your time, do help them; and be careful not to step on people's toes in the process, but truth is vast majority of the times people are welcoming for time management tips and tricks.
Block your time. Now. This will send a very clear message to people that time is important and you should not attend meetings during specified hours. For example, I always block my time before 9AM, between 11:45AM and 1:30PM, after 4PM on Fridays. After I did this, nobody ever scheduled meetings during these times...and we are all here still alive and with status green in the projects (who would have thought, hey? ).
Use the free time. If you don't, someone will. Fight for it, it is your free time after all. Don't ever trade it off. You fought hard for it. Set aside time for e-mail, general internet things, 1:1. See this as a meeting with yourself. How much importance would you do if you were to meet yourself?
All this might be hard at the beginning, but the real goal of this in not only make others to see how much time we spend in useless meetings; most of all, is to make people do reasonable choices and maybe...just maybe the world still will exists tomorrow if your input is missed today.
These tips worked for me, so I am here just sharing them with you and I hope some of them can be useful for you as well.
By Edge Pereira