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The only time management guide you will ever need

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The most valuable asset you have in your life is time. If you had infinite time on this planet, you could achieve every single thing you wanted. The time limitation is the biggest burden of our lives. Therefore the first rule of success is to manage time wisely.

In 77 slides you will get to know all the best time management techniques. You will learn how to manage distraction, organize yourself, deal with procrastination and how to organize your to-do lists.

The presentation has six parts:
1. The biggest time wasters
2. Procrastination
3. Eliminating distractions from your life
4. Organizing yourself
5. Productivity tricks
6. Agile and lean time management ideas

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The only time management guide you will ever need

  1. 1. Time Management Blaz Kos www.AgileLeanLife.com
  2. 2. The mindset There are three main reasons why we are here: • to enjoy life having deep connections with people and nature • to grow personal improvement • to contribute creating value Either you move forward or you go backwards. Going forward feels much better. You should become the best version of yourself.
  3. 3. To go forward you have to manage your time wisely, because it‘s the most valuable asset you have in your life. Available time = wasted time + invested time
  4. 4. Time flies. You‘re the pilot. Take control.
  5. 5. THE ONLY WAY TO REACH YOUR MAXIMUM PRODUCTIVITY You have to find your powerful why that gives your life a deeper meaning and makes everything else secondary. Why do you want to be more productive? Simon Sinek: Start with why
  6. 6. Agenda 1. The biggest time wasters 2. Procrastination 3. Eliminating distractions from your life 4. Organizing yourself 5. Productivity tricks 6. Agile and lean time management ideas
  7. 7. 1. The biggest time wasters 
  8. 8. Time wasters are all activities you do during the day that lead to no real progress.
  9. 9. Ten biggest time wasters 1. E-mail 2. Instant messaging (IM) 3. Meetings and socializing 4. Social Networks 5. Daily News 6. Conferences 7. Smart phone and tablet 8. Logistics 9. In-between time 10. TV, movies and games
  10. 10. E-mail • Fake feeling of progress, urgency and importance • You feel like you have done something and you feel connected • Feeling of security and social proof REALITY • Biggest distraction and enforced to-do list of other people • You never check only e-mail (online time wasters loop)
  11. 11. E-mail • Zero inbox policy. No e-mails, no burden. • Alternative: Keep everything in the inbox, but only if it doesn‘t bother you. • Delete, delegate, do immediately / take action. • Look at your e-mail account on your desktop computer only twice a day. • Only answer the important e-mails. • Try to reply e-mails with only one word or one sentence at the most. • Use templates (for customers etc.) - Yesware
  12. 12. If you want to have fewer messages in your inbox, send and answer fewer e-mails.
  13. 13. Why do you feel guilty if you don't reply all the e-mails? • You want to be seen as a good person • You want all of your e-mails to be answered (karma) • You believe other people will resent you • Overactive conscience: False guilt is always looking for people to please and rules to be kept. E-mail guilt ANSWER E-MAILS TO PEOPLE YOU REALLY CARE ABOUT
  14. 14. Instant messaging (IM) TURN OFF NOTIFICATIONS OPEN YOUR CHAT WINDOW ONLY • When you face some creative challenges you cannot find a solution on net • When you need additional motivation to conquer your daily goals • When you need to relax after your daily working capacities have run out • When you feel like you need to have a deep conversation with someone • When someone really needs your help and advice
  15. 15. Meetings and socializing • We are social beings • Offline version of e-mail and IM • Meetings are the biggest time wasters besides e-mail • 50% of meetings are completely unnecessary and useless • Preparation, change of location, small talk, exchange of opinions etc.
  16. 16. Only schedule a meeting for… COLLECTIVE BRAINPOWER AND GOAL ALIGNMENT • Setting the strategy • Business planning • Brainstorming ideas • Building relationships with your team • Selling • Building relationships with your customers
  17. 17. How to run a successful meeting 1. Ask yourself, can we do it over phone, e-mail etc.? 2. Minimize logistics and motion 3. Have clear objective and desired output of a meeting 4. Invite as minimum people as possible, only players 5. Stick to your schedule and agenda, have a timer 6. Ban technology 7. End with action steps and do the follow up
  18. 18. Social Networks • Social Networks can be either asset or liability • Dramatically increased social pressure A SIMPLE SOLUTION • You can unsubscribe from most of your “friends”, because who cares what they are doing, and • You can fill your news feed with some motivational quotes, life hack news, and other articles and pictures that will boost your motivation. • Use page blockers like StayFacusd
  19. 19. Daily News • Daily news gives us sense of (fake) connection with the world • Most of the news is negative & brings fake feeling of urgency and importance • The news is history. It already happened. You have zero influence. • If you want to co-create the future, you need to empty your mind, make some creative free time and focus on your goals. Great minds think and discuss ideas; average minds discuss events and news; small minds discuss people.
  20. 20. Technology is not bad. Our behavior can be.
  21. 21. Conferences • New knowledge, new people, new sales, new possibilities, motivation… BUT… • Few conferences per year can really add value to your life, and those are usually the conferences where you know exactly who you want to meet or at which you can generate some sales leads. • New knowledge – rather MOOC • New connections – rather targeted networking
  22. 22. Smart phones and tablets • Every interruption with an incoming call means losing focus, switching from important work to the phone call, and getting back to work with a possible (negative) change of emotional state (if people have bad information for you). • When doing any of important tasks, you want to make sure that your mobile phone is switched off or put on silent. • In today’s life, smart phones and tablets are all-in-one distractions – news, social networks, games and similar time wasters; right in your pocket. • UNINSTALL ALL THE SH*T THAT WASTES YOUR TIME
  23. 23. Logistics • Driving from one place to another can be a big waste of time. • Reduce logistics as much as possible. • Listen to audio books or podcasts while driving. • Don‘t use phone while driving.
  24. 24. In-between time and motion • Going to a meeting • Waiting for people • Waiting for your computer to load • Switching from e-mail to social networks • Waking up and snoozing your alarm clock 5x • Looking for files and folders on your desk or desktop DELETE, DELEGATE, OUTSORCE AUTOMATE, OPTIMIZE, ORGANIZE
  25. 25. TV, movies, games & browsing internet • We all need some entertainment. Some. • TV is nothing but a multimedia ad player • When you are watching TV, you are not living your life, you are wasting it. • People on the other side of the screen are living their dream lives. • Same goes for social networks and browsing web. If you prefer browsing internet, install a web nanny and stop.
  26. 26. Worry • Worrying brings only unproductive tension • A few minutes of extreme negative feelings equals energy of an average working day • Create „worry period“ or postpone worry • Make a plan, take action • Most of the things you are worrying about are just construct of your imagination. Most of the things you worry about never happen. • Build up your emotional security
  27. 27. Graphic by James Clear after Mr. Money Mustache.
  28. 28. HAPPINESS INDEX Source: Agile trail
  29. 29. Exercise 1 1. Rank all the time wasters from 1 to 10 2. Brainstorm ideas how you can deal better with the time wasters 1. E-mail 2. Instant messaging (IM) 3. Meetings and socializing 4. Social Networks 5. Daily News 6. Conferences 7. Smart phone and tablet 8. Logistics 9. In-between time 10. TV, movies and games
  30. 30. 2. Procrastination 
  31. 31. Why do you procrastinate? 1. Laziness 2. Lack of energy and stress 3. Unreasonably big goals 4. Lack of competences 5. Addictive behavior 6. Fake passion 7. Fear and self-sabotage
  32. 32. Laziness • Identity shift • You have to see yourself as a ultra-productive person
  33. 33. Graphic by James Clear.
  34. 34. Lack of energy and stress • Exercise • Diet • Enough sleep and sex • Drink water • Five to six meals through day • No unhealthy snacks • Veggies and fruits • Manage your energy, not time
  35. 35. Having unreasonably big goals • Don‘t bite off more than you can chew • Dream big, but start small • Slice and dice your big goals into small steps
  36. 36. Lack of competences Level up your game 1. Psychological capital 2. Talents 3. Knowledge & IQ 4. Skills 5. Emotional intelligence 6. Social intelligence 7. Experience (to certain extent) 8. Values 9. Views & Beliefs 10. Social capital 11. Personal brand
  37. 37. Addictive behavior • You can’t really quit your addictive habit • You can only replace it with a new habit • You want to replace most of your negative habits with positive ones • Negative habits should become triggers for positive ones Go read a book every time someone turns on TV.
  38. 38. Charles Duhigg’s “Habit Loop” in The Power of Habit.
  39. 39. Fake passion & no talent You want to make sure that your goals are totally aligned with your own: • life vision • life mission (why?) • and values • your competences • N1: Follow your passion • N2: Follow your effort
  40. 40. Fear, self-sabotage and perfectionism • If you are fighting your subconscious fears with your discipline only, the subconscious will always win. • The fear of failure • The fear of success • Perfectionism (cognitive distortion) • When things are perfect, that's when you need to worry most.
  41. 41. Exercise 2 1. Laziness 2. Lack of energy and stress 3. Having unreasonably big goals 4. A lack of skill 5. Addictive behavior 6. Fake passion 7. Fear and self-sabotage 8. Perfectionism Why do you usually procrastinate?
  42. 42. 3. Eliminating distractions 
  43. 43. The best way to deal with distractions is to eliminate all the distractions way before they get a chance to kick you out of the flow.
  44. 44. Dealing with distractions • Identify your main distractions • Don‘t count on your self-discipline • Build a system that will help you eliminate all the distractions • Put a “do not disturb” sign on your office or private room door • Turn off your phone • Install a web nanny and block all the fun sites you are addicted to • Close e-mail and the IM application • Do the same with all other potential distractions
  45. 45. Energy vampires Negative people are ultra-uncomfortable distractions in your life. Not only do they waste your time, they also suck the energy out of you. ARE YOU AN ENERGY VAMPIRE? • You feel like a victim (of the country, system, primary family…) • You bitch, whine and complain a lot • You are completely dissatisfied with your life • You are not grateful for what you have in your life • People hesitate when you want to spent time with them
  46. 46. NO POLITICS Don’t lose precious energy on battles that don’t really matter. Every time you fight with pigs, you get dirty.
  47. 47. Multitasking • Don’t try to feel more productive or busy by multitasking. • You can find hundreds of scientific studies that very clearly show that multi-tasking doesn’t work.
  48. 48. Exercise 3 1. E-mail and IM 2. Meetings 3. Managers 4. People stopping by 5. Phone calls 6. Etc. 1. Identify your main distractions 2. How can you systematically unsubscribe from them to work more in the flow?
  49. 49. 4. Organize yourself 
  50. 50. Understanding your values • Values are the core source of making decisions in your life • It doesn’t matter what you say, what matters is how you make decisions and what you do • Immediate implementation is the key • Only the things that you focus on will grow • If you want to make progress in a specific area of life, you will have to rearrange your values and shuffle new priorities
  51. 51. Important and urgent tasks • Unsuccessful people prioritize urgent tasks • Adrenaline • Easy accomplishments • Fake feeling of progress • Successful people focus on important tasks • Important tasks are all the tasks connected to creating value, delivering value and capturing value • You should spent 80% of your time on important tasks
  53. 53. Source: James Clear
  54. 54. Know your KPIs Sales • Number of calls, number of meetings, number of closed deals… Marketing • Engagement level, number of leads, number of new customers… Secretary • No administrative bottle-necks, making other people more productive… INNOVATE YOUR WAY UP
  55. 55. Organizing your tasks – Core lists • Vision List • The 100 Days List • Personal Sprint Backlog (14 days) • Daily 3T list for 2 to 3 daily flows – FIRST THING IN THE MORNING • Use Kanban board 3D: DELETE, DELEGATE, DO
  56. 56. Organizing your tasks – Other lists • Not to do list • Maybe someday list • Idea list • Personal improvement list • Reading list • Anti-shopping list • Grocery shopping list etc.
  57. 57. Eat that frog
  58. 58. Know your limits • You have daily limits for how much you can actually do. Do not overestimate your daily energy capacities • There is never enough time to do everything, but there is always enough time to do the most important things • Manage your energy, not only time • SET LIMITS • HAVE ENOUGH MARGIN • TAKE A STEP BACK
  59. 59. Exercise 4 1. Important tasks 2. Urgent tasks 1. Write down your most important tasks in the company you work for 2. How are urgent tasks preventing you to work on important ones? 3. How can you organize your to-do lists better?
  60. 60. 5. Productivity tricks 
  61. 61. The time-boxing technique • You reserve certain hours of the day in your calendar for your important activities and company goals • Make sure you begin whenever you time-boxed the time • Starting something will automatically lead you to the next step • When you start something, your brains want to finish it and you can use that to your advantage Time-box 1 to 3 working flows per day
  62. 62. The saw story • Never forget to sharpen the saw • Physical level – diet, exercise, sex and sleep • Emotional level – connect with people, be grateful and optimistic • Mental level – read, do brain exercises, create etc. • Spiritual level – have a purpose, give back to the community, help coworkers • Also don‘t forget to put down the saw • Rest is as important as work • One day per week • One extended weekend (4 days) for every quarter and • Additional two full-time weeks (14 days) a year.
  63. 63. Take breaks after the flow After 2 – 3 hours of focused work take a 20 – 30 minute break • Have a snack • Stretch • Take a short power nap • Go for a walk
  64. 64. Transaction costs How much of your resources does it take to start a new activity? • Increase transaction costs for unproductive activities (don‘t have junk food at reach) • Decrease transaction costs for productive activities (shortcuts on your desktop)
  65. 65. Other practical advice • Clean your desk and have everything in place • Be minimalist and try to have as few things as possible in life • Asset-light living and living „in the cloud“ • Know your biorhythm • Two computer screens • Use productivity apps • Have growth mindset and always improve yourself • Bring solutions with a problem (problem solving mindset)
  66. 66. 6. Agile & Lean
  67. 67. Lean • Remove all the waste • The biggest waste is doing/building something nobody wants • Wrong assumptions are mother of all f*ck-ups • No business plan survives first contact with the market • Learn with great speed – experiment, test, measure • Measure everything • Create, deliver and capture value (no money = no value) • Don‘t be a zombie (live life don’t only exist)
  68. 68. Waste and causes of waste 1. Poor work methods and lack of skills 2. A little understanding of the entire process 3. Poor communication and weak personal network 4. Lack of organization and technology gaps 5. Layout, long set-up time and avoidable interruptions 6. Complexity 7. Historic supervisory roles and historic behavioral patterns 8. Buying things you don‘t need 9. Poor suppliers and partners who don‘t perform 10. Irrelevant performance measures
  69. 69. Agile • Work in small teams • Kanban board: Visualize as much as possible (Kanban) • Bi-Weekly sprints • Daily Scrum: Short morning meeting with your team • Constant improvement (Kaizen) • A no interruptions day / Themed Day • Creative day • Execution day • Learning day etc.
  70. 70. The right values in your environment • Your values + 5T • Talent • Technology • Tolerance • Transparency • Transcendence 5T
  71. 71. Additional Resources Blaz Kos www.AgileLeanLife.com • James Clear: Transform Your Habits • Richard A. Swenson: Margin • Brian Tracy: Eat That Frog • Stephen R. Covey: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People • Simon Sinek: Start With Why • AgileLeanLife Productivity Framework