When one thinks of Peter Drucker in a business setting they have one of two stereotypes: old school outdated management dude OR The Rule when it comes to business effectiveness.
I’m somewhere in the middle. I just read the late Peter Drucker’s “The Effective Executive“. It’s a great book, but it is step backward from more recent business books that build off of this base. I did take some very important lessons from the book. Some of the most important are:
- Eliminate time wasters
- Ask: What can be outsourced?
- How do people waste your time, how do you waste theirs? How can you stop?
- Work in 1 and a half hour blocks with no distractions.
- Being well-rounded is a sign of mediocrity
- Effective people play strength, and look for strengths in others
- Know weaknesses but don’t exploit them
- Create well designed systems for efficiency
- Put First things First. Ask: What is most important?
Those are just a few of the principles that I found most useful. Drucker also talks about decision making and developing action plans, which is an essential part of being a “effective executive”. This book is great for people who are part of a corporation or own a business. Given that the book is less than 200 pages and is the foundation for almost every management book today, I say read it!
Most people have trouble managing their time. It doesn’t matter what one’s profession is because even in our personal lives we get caught up in clutter.
Do you find yourself with your books on your lap and your Facebook page open, all the while eating chicken noodle soup?
Do you ever talk about doing things, yet never do them?
Do you wait till the last second on an important project?
Chances are if your like most people you’ve answered yes to at least 2 of these questions. It’s not a big deal. We’ve all been there. The important thing, however, is that we learn from our past procrastinations and get some real rituals going in order to get things done.
The problem these days is that there are too many applications for our brains to focus on. Without discipline we tend to focus on 2,3,4, or possibly more applications all at once.
What are you talking about…applications??
Think of our brains as computers. Now think of everything you have to do around you as applications. These could be studying, socializing, working with customers, writing, travel planning, playing a musical instrument, and especially your messing with your phone.
If you think about it, nearly everyone focuses on multiple applications at once.
You may be watching tv, on facebook, writing a paper due tomorrow, have your iPhone in your palm sending meaningless texts out, and eying that book you really want to read but haven’t had TIME. Multi-tasking lowers your IQ more than Marijuana. That is a fact, Google it.
It’s no wonder you haven’t had time. You’ve been continuously focusing on 5 things. If you train your brain long enough it can accomplish 5 things at once, but for most people it is extremely beneficial to drop all the clutter and focus on one thing at a time.
Text Resources for Time Management
I’ve read a couple great books on the subject of time management. These books also will help you with a whole host of other things and shed light on opportunities that you may have missed, had you not seen them.The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
This book is awesome, and I can’t recommend it enough. I read it a while ago and in fact the original book was published in 1989 (my birth year). The main idea is that you must first be able to manage yourself in order to manage your time. The principles in this book are timeless. Stephen Covey teaches you to be proactive instead of reactive with time management ideas that will blow your mind.The 4-hour Work Week by Tim Ferris
The 4-hour work week is a bit of a different style than the 7 habits. This book gets you thinking outside of the box. It makes you realize that you don’t have to suffer through the 9-5 dungeons of today’s workplaces…if you don’t want to. It’s a book that has taught me about risk and the benefit of learning new things. If you don’t like to read, you should buy it anyway just for the resources is has.
Video Resources for Time Management
At the end of the day it’s about your strategy and the ability to put what is most important first. Distractions will really hurt you.
If it is social networks block them from the root of your computer by going to this website. This method of blocking will allow you to block the websites so they don’t work on any browser. (I did this on my work computer and now I am a champ!)
If it happens to be a person that is bugging you then learn to work outside of wherever you are at. Examples are the library, Starbucks, and other places that will give you some peace of mind.
Read the books, apply the ideas, and I promise you will have more time then you will know what to do with. Not only that, but you will feel more accomplished.