randy pausch time management

Your finite time– time is more valuable than money

  • how much is your time worth an hour? how much do you cost the company per hour?
    • 6k – my time is roughly about $40-$50/hour? $250/work day (Ben Franklin knew that a long time ago)
    • “Is this worth my time?”
      • What’s your household time budget?
    • Time famine– does anybody feel like they have too much time?
      • bad time management = stress
      • this is life advice
      • you can airlift all the food you want in to Africa to solve the problem this weeks, but what you really need is systemic solutions. You need to think long term and change fundamental underlying processes.
    • “How about not having ulcers?” – how to live your life, how to allocate your time, lead a happier / more wonderful life.
    • If you’re not having fun, you’re not enjoying yourself, why are you doing it?
    • The end is maximizing fun.
    • Typical office worker wastes almost 2 hrs a day. You shouldn’t feel guilty if they’re plaguing you– they plague everyone.
    • Success doesn’t make you manage your time, managing your time makes you successful.
    • Get good at the meta-skills. Find the way to optimize what skills what you do have.

Goals, priorities and planning

  • Why am I doing it?
  • Why is this on my todo list?
  • What is the goal?
  • Why will I succeed?
  • What happens if I choose not to do it?
    • Eliminate shit you don’t need to do!!
  • Doing things right vs doing right things.
    • Do the right things adequately is way better than
  • 100 things to do in my life
    • Why was I working on anything else?
  • 80/20
    • very small number of things contribute the vast majority of the value. Suck up to the best clients. The best blogposts. Shove the other stuff off of the boat.
  • If you refuse to allow yourself to dream it, you won’t do it. C’mon dude, this is your LIFE. This is IT.
  • Disney built in 366 days. “From the first shovelful of dirt to the first paid admission”. (How did you do it? We used every one of them.)
  • Failing to plan = planning to fail.
    • Plan has to be done at multiple levels. Hours, weeks, months, days.
      • You can always change your plan, but only once you have one.

To-do lists

  • Break it down into small steps.
  • “Get tenure” – really hard, I don’t think I can do that.
  • “I can’t pick up my room, too much stuff.”
    • Can you make your bed?
    • Can you put all the clothes in your hamper?
    • “You just cleaned your room!” “I cleaned my room!” everybody’s happy.
      • spent twice as much time than I could’ve done it myself, but that’s what being a manager is about. Growing your people.
    • Start with the ugliest task.
  • Quadrant– important / urgent.
    • “It’s due soon, and I know it’s not important, so I’m going right to work on it.”
  • Filing system – alphabetical order
    • big drawers
      • any piece of paper goes. no “where did you put…”
  • multiple monitors vs one monitor = desk vs airport tray
  • keep permanent todo list on one monitor
  • sleep better with empty inbox
  • calendar!! no brain to spare
  • start by announcing goals / agenda. I have 3 things I want to talk to you. That’s great, those 3 things I want to get done, thanks.
  • train to get rid of whatever you’re doing.
  • delegation
  • group your phone calls / you are not more interesting than lunch
  • write thank you notes, very important. tangible way to tell people you care.
  • SCHEDULE yourself. you MAKE time. OPPORTUNITY COST.
  • SAY NO.
    • If nobody else steps forward, I’ll do it, but you gotta keep looking. (Tells you their character.)
    • Find your creative time and defend it ruthlessly.
    • Find your dead time, schedule your mundane stuff.
  • interruptions
    • there’s a recovery time– 5 interruptions blows a whole hour.
    • no notifications!! designed to reduce interruptions, you go when YOU are ready.
    • “I only have 5 minutes”
    • Walk them to the door, compliment them, shake their hand. They should leave. Otherwise, start walking yourself.
  • Timebox/time journal
  • i want to make everybody more efficient, how do we collectively get more done
  • the idea is so you can spend time with people that you love, doing things that you love
  • playing for real stakes when you have people who are dependent on you

procrastination is the thief of time

  • If i wait long enough maybe i won’t have to do it (sometimes you get lucky)
  • If i only give myself two days, it’ll get done in two days (parkinson’s law)– kinda true, but still
  • If you push things right to the deadline, you get stressed, dependent on people, etc.
    • make up fake deadlines and treat it like its real
  • Identify why you’re not enthusiastic– you’re afraid you’re going to fail
    • sometimes you just have to ask

Delegation = authority + responsibility

  • empower them, trust them with the resources, budget, etc.
  • delegate, but do the ugliest/dirtiest job yourself.
  • treat your people well– dignity, respect, love. care about them and their development.
  • specific thing to do, specific date+time, specific penality/reward when the deadline is met, and it has to be for them, not you
  • challenge people. delegate until they complain. people want to be challenged and do more.
  • communication has to be clear– get it in writing, there won’t be disagreement.
  • give them objectives, not procedures.
  • tell people the most important thing to do.
    • get them done in the right order.
    • “what’s the most important thing?”
  • praise and thank people for doing good jobs.
  • meeting
    • don’t have meetings with people half-there (phones).
    • no agenda, i won’t be there.
    • what decisions got made? who is responsible for what by when?
  • sleep
  • never break a promise, but renegotiate what you have to
  • good enough is good enough

Leave a Reply