Time Management Expert, Event Speaker: Mark Lamendola

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Time Tips: Time Barnacles

Over time, ocean-going vessels collect barnacles on their hulls. For this reason, ships are dry-docked for maintenance that includes scraping off the barnacles. Absent this maintenance, those barnacles slow the ship down. Its engines have to work harder to move it through the water.

Our schedules collect barnacles, too. If we don't dry-dock ourselves occasionally to scrape these off, we lose time throughout the day. So, stop occasionally to assess how you're spending your day. Look for those barnacles and scrape them off. The tricky thing about this is those barnacles are hard to see. You have to give them more than a casual glance if you want to see them at all.

Some schedule barnacle variations:

  • Small, unnecessary tasks. For example, how many times a day do you check e-mail? This can sneak up on you, just the way barnacles slowly accumulate.
  • Extended conversations. You can spot this one by looking for "filler," repetition, and other clues that the real conversation has petered out. There's nothing wrong with acknowledging it was great while it lasted and saying good bye.
  • Interruptions. There is too much emphasis today on "being connected" and sacrificing your focus time in a slavish response to cell phones, instant messaging, and other interruptions. By assuming a false mantle of importance this way, we actually make ourselves less important both by perception (not important enough to ever be unreachable) and in fact (low focus = less accomplishment).
  • Social interactions. Observe the goings on in any office, and you'll see a large amount of socializing. A little of this increases productivity and reduces stress. But most people allow too much of it to occupy their time. This is one reason telecommuting results in such startling jumps in productivity. That, too, is being reduced as people also telecommute their socializing (with, for example, personal e-mails).



Do you want to radically improve how well people in your organization make use of the limited number of hours in each work day?

Contact me to arrange a time when we can talk about a presentation: mark@mindconnection.com. Why arrange a time? So I can give you full attention during the call. There's a really powerful time management tip. Ask me why it works.