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jerryking : overwhelmed   9

How One Silicon Valley C.E.O. Masters Work-Life Balance - The New York Times
By Bee Shapiro
Aug. 24, 2018

Daily Lists
I have a tomorrow list that I make the night before. I write down the three things I have to accomplish the next day. I try to wait until I get to the office before I’ll crack that open. I used to have a more organic approach, and my system just broke. With the complexities of the C.E.O. life — board calls, meetings, traveling and trying to be there for your family — you need a system.

Work Philosophies
This guy Tony Schwartz wrote a book that said: Time is a finite resource and energy is renewable. This was profound for me. For example, I enjoy the act of staying fit. It feels good, and the results are palpable. If I’m not getting exercise and seven hours of sleep, I’m not as good, so I view it as essential.

I also set themes throughout the week [JCK: thinking in *themes* or *layers* or *levels*]. I borrowed this from Jack Dorsey. It helps me and the people on my team minimize the content twitching that goes on. So if Monday is themed for business matters, and Thursday is more for recruiting, everyone knows. Content twitching is one of the reasons we feel overwhelmed and maybe not as productive. We’re constantly content twitching between apps and topics.
CEOs  Evernote  exercise  focus  Jack_Dorsey  metacognition  productivity  routines  Silicon_Valley  thinking  thinking_deliberatively  to-do  lists  finite_resources  Tony_Schwartz  work_life_balance  GTD  think_threes  personal_energy  overwhelmed  self-mastery  squirrel-like_behaviour  systematic_approaches 
august 2018 by jerryking
Do less this year but do it better
January 7, 2018 | FT| Andrew Hill.

Accumulating multiple commitments poses other risks, too. If you try to do more than one thing, you will not be as efficient as if you concentrated on a single task. A 2001 paper found that people toggling between tasks took longer to solve complex maths problems than those who concentrated on one job.....Doing less “comes with this harsh requirement that . . . you have to obsess [about what you choose to do],”.........people who pursued a strategy of “do less, then obsess” ranked 25 percentage points higher than those who did not embrace the practice. ....Beware the danger of collaborating too little — or too much.....Sometimes achieving more requires more than individual effort. Managers can play a role in helping thier employees exercise self-discipline. Too often, organizations measure success by volume of work done — the law firm’s billable hours, say — or try to match the size of a team to the perceived importance of the project. Sometimes, though, the best approach may be to simplify a process, cut the size of a team, or impose a new strategic focus. How can you and your team achieve more this year? Try taking something away: impose constraints.
Antartica  busyness  commitments  constraints  monotasking  obsessions  overcommitted  overwhelmed  productivity  resolutions  Roald_Amundsen  self-discipline  South_Pole  teams 
january 2018 by jerryking
Beware of linearity: The shortest distance to your future may not be a straight line - The Globe and Mail
HARVEY SCHACHTER
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Dec. 09, 2016

linearity – dominates our thinking as we tackle problems. “Western thinkers are so habituated to thinking in terms of linear models that we allow them to inform not just what we think, but the fundamentals of how we think....Linearity is a critical and – apparently – inherent part of our cultural DNA....It’s not easy to forsake linearity...it’s essential to guard against slavishly following its tantalizing direction. Start by reading trade journals from another industry or studying a topic you have no interest in. Look for the less obvious interconnections around you. Think like a songwriter: Choruses and bridges signal a break with the preceding verse or the patterns that come before. But a true bridge, unlike a chorus, never repeats. They urge you to look for bridge moments rather than assume past is prologue.
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Leaders are supposed to tell people the truth rather than what they want to hear. But fact checkers found Mr. Trump consistently at odds with the truth. And his supporters didn’t seem to care, assuming leaders lie anyway. TV host Stephen Colbert used the term “truthiness” to cover believing something that feels true even if it isn’t supported by fact. Says Fowler: “I wonder if truth-telling matters when people are interested in bigger issues?”
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One of the highly touted productivity approaches is to tackle your most important thing (MIT) at the start of the day. Get it done before the chaos of the day overwhelms you.

But productivity writer Cal Newport, a Georgetown University computer science professor, feels the approach is insufficient – calling it “amateur ball” while the professionals play a more textured game.

The problem is that it implicitly concedes that most of your day is out of your control. But someone who plans every minute of their day and every day of their week will inevitably accomplish far more high-value work than someone who identifies only a single daily objective. The key, he feels, is to put enough buffers in your day to handle the unplanned stuff that hits you. With those slices of times and a spirit of adaptability you will find your work life not as unpredictable as you assume.
early_risers  linearity  Harvey_Schachter  thinking  humility  Donald_Trump  unplanned  unforeseen  buffering  GTD  productivity  discontinuities  nonlinear_systems  randomness  interconnections  Jim_Collins  truthiness  truth-telling  slack_time  adaptability  overwhelmed  time-management  unexpected  Cal_Newport  straight-lines  bridging  non-obvious 
december 2016 by jerryking
How to manage your time like a president - The Globe and Mail
COLLEEN FRANCIS
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, May. 22 2015

time is a non-renewable resource.

“The Eisenhower Matrix” – is that all business problems can be grouped into one of four categories:

Urgent and important: a very short list of items where you must act immediately;
Urgent but less important: a short list of tasks where you would be better served to delegate right away;
Non urgent but important: a longer list of tasks that you must act on, but later;
Non urgent and unimportant: matters that don’t require your attention.

The key to managing your time in the Eisenhower Matrix is to be merciless and choosy about what deserves your time and focus right away. That needs to remain a very short list of tasks. If it isn’t, you need to reevaluate how you and your organization makes a distinction between urgent and non-urgent issues.

Just as important, know the value of your time and outsource anything that can be done for less than your time is worth.

Doing this, you avoid the trap of being too reactive or overwhelmed by a relentless inbox demanding decisions from you on issues both large and small.
attention  attention_spans  discernment  Dwight_Eisenhower  focus  overreaction  overwhelmed  priorities  relentlessness  self-discipline  time-management  urgency  worthiness  mercilessness 
june 2015 by jerryking
Busy and Busier
Oct 24 2012 | The Atlantic | James Fallows.

a lot of people are feeling overwhelmed is because people are not in true survival or crisis mode as often as they have been in much of our history. The interesting thing about crisis is that it actually produces a type of serenity. Why? Because in a crisis, people have to integrate all kinds of information that’s potentially relevant, they have to make decisions quickly, they have to then trust their intuitive judgment calls in the moment. They have to act. They’re constantly course-correcting based on data that’s coming up, and they’re very focused on some outcome, usually live—you know, survive. Don’t burn up. Don’t die.

But as soon as you’re not in a crisis, all the rest of the world floods into your psyche. Now you’re worried about taxes and tires and “I’m getting a cold” and “My printer just crapped out.” Now that flood is coming across in electronic form, and it is 24/7.....The thing about nature is, it’s information rich, but the meaningful things in nature are relatively few—berries, bears and snakes, thunderstorms, maybe poison oak. There are only a few things in nature that force me to change behavior or make a decision. The problem with e-mail is that it’s not just information; it’s the need for potential action. It’s the berries and snakes and bears, but they’re embedded, and you don’t know what’s in each one....Things on your mind need to be externalized—captured in some system that you trust. You capture things that are potentially meaningful; you clarify what those things mean to you; and you need maps of all that, so you can see it from a larger perspective. With better technology, I’d like a set of maps—maps of my maps. Then I could say, “Okay, which map do I want to work on right now? Do I want to work on my family map, because I’ve got family members coming over for dinner?” Then you can drill down into “Oh, my niece is coming. She likes this food, her favorite color is pink, her dog is named …” Then you can back off and say, “That’s enough of that map. What’s the next map I want to see?” Or: “I’d just like to read some poetry right now.”  [JCK: this is really an example of thinking in layers]
busy_work  course_correction  crisis  David_Allen  GTD  human_psyche  information_overload  James_Fallows  living_in_the_moment  mapping  mental_maps  metacognition  metadata  metaphysical  monotasking  productivity  nature  noise  overwhelmed  self-organization  sense-making  signals  stress_response  thinking  thinking_deliberatively 
november 2013 by jerryking
The agonies of too much choice
January 6, 2006 | Financial Times | by Robert Matthews.

Most people are easily overwhelmed by variety. Robert Matthews explores how this affects decisions from healthcare to mobile phones
The more options that were offered, the higher the probability of people avoiding complexity by walking away.....the level of choice offered to consumers should be tailored to their level of expertise, to reduce the risk that they deal with the complexity by walking away.
decision_making  psychology  choices  abundance  overwhelmed  walking_away 
february 2013 by jerryking
Do Your Commitments Match Your Convictions?
January 2005 | HBR | By Donald N. Sull & Dominic Houlder
The Idea in Brief
How many of us struggle harder every day to uphold obligations to our bosses, families, and communities--even as the quality of our lives erodes? And how many of us feel too overwhelmed to examine the causes of this dilemma? For most people, it takes a crisis--illness, divorce, death of a loved one, business failure--before we'll
refocus our commitments of money, time, and energy on what really matters to us. But why wait for a crisis? Instead, use a systematic process to periodically clarify your convictions and assess
whether you're putting your money (and time and energy) where your mouth is. Identify high-priority values that are receiving insufficient resources--or outdated commitments that are siphoning precious resources away from your deepest convictions.
Once you've spotted gaps between what matters most to you and how you're investing your resources, use a time-out (a sabbatical, course, or retreat) to rethink old commitments and define new
ones more consistent with your values. By routinely applying this process, you--not your past obligations--will determine the direction your life takes.

The Idea in Practice
To manage the gap between your convictions and commitments, apply the following steps.
Inventory Your Values
List the things that matter most to you, in specific language. For example, instead of "Money," write,
"Providing financial security to my family," or "Earning enough to retire early." Aim for five to ten
values, and write what you honestly value--not what you think you should value.
Assess How You're Investing Your Resources
Track how much money, time, and energy you're devoting to your values. For each value you've
listed, record the following:
• Percentage of your household income you devote to that value
- 2 -
• Number of hours per week you spend on the value
• Quality of energy (high, low) you devote to activities related to that value. (An hour spent on an
activity when you're fresh and focused represents a greater commitment than an hour spent when
you're exhausted and distracted.)
Identify Gaps Between Your Values and Commitments
Do some values on your list receive little or none of your money, time, and energy? Is there a single
value that sucks a disproportionate share of your resources away from other priorities?
Understand What Has Caused the Gaps
Disconnects between what you value and how you actually spend your time can have several
causes. Perhaps you've taken on obligations without considering the long-term ramifications. One
successful entrepreneur in New York had promised to spend more time with her London-based
partner. But when she decided to sell her start-up to a West Coast competitor through a five-year
earn-out deal, she had to move to San Francisco to run the business. She now spends even more
time airborne--torn between two conflicting commitments she made simultaneously.
Or maybe you've let others define "success" for you. One young banker earned colleagues' praise
for his extreme work ethic. When he became a father, he wanted to spend more time with his family,
which baffled his colleagues. Because he badly desired continued praise from colleagues, he
continued his workaholic ways--and effectively gave his colleagues the power to set his priorities.
Change Course
It's harder to recalibrate commitments when you're not facing a crisis. A time-out--a sabbatical,
course, or other device--can help you reflect and give you an excuse to break old commitments and
forge new ones. To avoid "commitment creep," abandon or renegotiate one old commitment for every
new one you make.
commitments  convictions  disproportionality  Donald_Sull  financial_security  HBR  indispensable  JCK  Managing_Your_Career  overwhelmed  reflections  resolutions  sabbaticals  slack_time  timeouts  values  what_really_matters 
march 2012 by jerryking
For Many Entrepreneurs, Running the Show is Stressful - WSJ.com
JANUARY 10, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | by COLLEEN DEBAISE.
Work-related pressure can lead to a host of stress-induced problems:
headaches, sleepless nights, irritability, weight gain and lost
productivity, among others. The best method of combating
business-related stress is to plan. Entrepreneurs who haven't updated or
assembled their business plan (for more on business plans, click here)
can feel directionless, inefficient and overwhelmed— all of which
contribute to stress. Writing out even a simple plan can prevent
overload while also providing a viable road map to success.
small_business  planning  business_planning  overwhelmed  directionless  inefficiencies  roadmaps  stressful 
january 2010 by jerryking
Can you spot a bad manager?
02-11-2008 column by Harvey Schachter relaying 10 ways that
serial entrepreneur Margaret Heffernan says she spots the incompetents.
If a manager displays any one of these behaviours, it should ring a
warning bell and more than two means you should sound the alarm.

(1) Bias against actions. There are always many reasons not to take a decision. Real leaders display a constant bias for action while the incompetents wait for more information, more options and more opinions.
(2) Secrecy.
(3) Oversensitivity.
(4) Love of procedure.
(5) Preference for weak candidates.
(6) Focus on small tasks.
(7) Allergy to deadlines.
(8) Inability to hire former employees/colleagues.
(9) Addiction to consultants.
(10) Long hours. Bad managers work long hours.
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LEADERSHIP: WESTERN WORKPLACE CULTURE REWARDS COWBOYS

Rebels and gamblers prosper in Western society - if they're male. In the TalentSmart newsletter, Nick Tasler notes the firm's emotional intelligence studies measure impulsivity: People who tend to make quick decisions and pay less attention to the consequences of their actions - in Wild West parlance, they "shoot first and apologize later."
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MARKETING: HOW TO COUNTER THE RECESSION MINDSET

By the time a recession is declared, we're already deep into it, so now is the time to counter the recession mindset that may be gripping your customers. ...in downturns customers want answers not information; the familiar, not something new; universal truths; direction; substance, not style; a limited set of choices; and time until it passes. Focus on the features and benefits of your product that promote saving, are necessary, and offer value. Prepare to make deals, but in a way that retains the value of your product and service. Remember that overwhelmed people are not interested in more information but want structure and clear direction on where to put their limited resources. Provide reassurance and context by talking about your firm's longevity.
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Reconfirm appointments one business day in advance. If you can avoid a last-minute cancellation, you gain back time that would be wasted travelling and waiting.
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The ten most powerful two-letter words in the English vocabulary are: If it is to be, it is up to me.
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bias_for_action  economic_downturn  Harvey_Schachter  howto  incompetence  It's_up_to_me  leadership  leading_indicators  longevity  managing_people  mindsets  overwhelmed  recessions  warning_signs 
january 2009 by jerryking

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