The 12 Week Year – summary and review

The Big Idea(s) You probably have an execution problem more than you have a planning problem. Stop trying to plan annually. Plan and execute in 12 week blocks to help you focus and shorten the feedback loop between plans and evaluation. Have a long-term vision, but focus relentlessly on activities (lead measures, which you control) that will lead to the…

Seth Godin on perfect vs “good enough”

Now we get to my favourite sneak question… What does perfect look like? I would like you to list, when your project is working perfectly, exactly what is it? – What kind of profit does it have? – Who loves it? – What shape is it? – What colour is it? – What do the reviews say? Whatever is important…

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.…

The discipline death spiral

You make a bad decision (because everybody does).* You get busy fixing it – on top of all the other things you were already doing. You get tired and distracted. You start doing less of the right things, less well, and in more of a hurry. Because you’re in a hurry, you do less well in your interactions with people.…

Buzzy (Bee to Bee)

… is great when you’re working on your own, bashing through emails or making something. It’s less good when you’re making important decisions, working with groups of people or dealing with situations that require listening, sensitivity and thoughtfulness. Whether it’s caffeine or adrenaline, try to buzz at the right times… Or to do the right kind of work when you…

Back-to-back

Back to back meetings are a bad idea: Unless you or the chairperson is really good, you’re almost certain to be running late at the end of the first meeting. You need time – at least half an hour – to slow down, wrap up your thoughts from the old meeting, and get your head ready for the next one.…

30/90

What would happen if you made a 30/90 rule? It looks like this. 30 For every “ten minute job” that isn’t completely routine – an email, a payment, a quick call – allow 30 minutes in your schedule. Then you’ve got five minutes to be running slightly behind and get to the loo or make a coffee, ten minutes to…

A sense of urgency

No doubt about it: a sense of urgency helps us make get things happen and get stuff done. The problems come when we’re urgent about the wrong things: We’re urgent as we approach big deadlines, but not about early thinking, or doing each of the little pieces that together make up the job; We’re urgent about handling the problems in…

Time on our hands: la durée

The idea is really just this: time on a watch is not the same as time in your head. An hour can fly by or seemingly drag for eternity. Time as we actually experience it, rather than as we measure it, is subjective. We all know this intuitively, and our culture has idioms for it (“time flies when…”) but it’s…