Atul Gawande on urgency, planning and deliberation

I brought to surgery my particular persona, which is to want to have more planning and more deliberation inserted into situations where there doesn’t seem to be time. One of the really striking things is, we get this complaint for example that using a checklist in surgery, well, that’s fine, but in emergencies we don’t have time for that kind…

Rainmakers

Who makes good things happen in and for your organisation? Who gets referrals? Who finds new clients? Who gets donations flowing? Who brings in new volunteers? Who finds new rainmakers? Don’t neglect this harder-to-measure quality: slightly less skill in planting or with a plough – in other words, less than stellar technical performance – is forgivable in a person who…

Clarity. Simplicity. Focus. Action. (Redux)

Do you know what you need to do? Can you tell the difference between what’s important and what might be nice one day, and what’s piffle? Do you focus your attention on a maximum of three important goals at a time? Do you get them done? What are you going to do now?

Tim Ferriss on time management as priority management

This is a piece of advice from The Four Hour Work Week that I need to re-learn and re-apply on a regular basis: Slow down and remember this: Most things make no difference. Being busy is a form of laziness – lazy thinking and indiscriminate action. Being overwhelmed is often as unproductive as doing nothing, and is far more unpleasant.…

A frog a day…

Killing “big frogs” (sorry Kermit) has become a shorthand among a group of friends of mine for getting important done. I trace it back to reading Brian Tracy’s Eat That Frog! a few years ago, but it might have stranger and deeper roots – if so I look forward to being corrected in the comments. I was feeling frustrated today…

Questions of the day (leverage)

What is the biggest contribution that I can make to this team or organisation? What does it mean for me to be good at my job? What would be happening around me if I was good at my job? How would I feel? How would the people around me feel? What’s getting in the way? What do I have to…

Spare 15

What do you do with a spare fifteen minutes? Quite frequently, I’ll… Continue a Whatsapp conversation Skim the news See who’s been coming to DriverlessCroc Catch the next few minutes of whatever podcast or talk on youtube I’m listening to Read someone else’s blog More rarely, I’ll… Think about a half-formed thought for a blog post Make a foray onto…

Supervision

What are you worried about? Why do you want this person or task supervised? How much time and effort will the recording and reporting cost the person being supervised? How much motivation and goodwill? Is the supervision actually going to happen the way you think? How much time and effort will reading the reports, checking the output, meeting with the…

Bottleneck: little jobs and emotional friction

Thanks to JG. A particularly troublesome breed of little job are things left undone that hold up the work of other people – a decision that needs your input (or for you to decide), a design that needs your approval, feedback to your team from a key meeting, or a training you need to hold before your team starts a…

Finishing lines (1)

Or The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living Where are the finishing lines for your project? Some projects get finished up and wrapped up neatly, others (often work serving people, like education or government) are by nature never finished. If your project has no clear…