I’ve been listening to some of the podcasts at Manager Tools, while I’ve been running. Two advantages – if I’m listening to someone talk, I’m less likely to notice how unfit I feel, and I keep running, and the podcasts are some of the most practical management advice I’ve seen anywhere.
One piece of advice I’ve been pondering has been about calendar management. Two of their recommendations (the first two) boil down to – limit your time, because you will be more efficient. Specifically, Mike and Mark recommend:
schedule your family time first – i.e. set yourself a time that work stops, and stick to it
specifically set aside time for email, and only answer email during that time – you’ll find yourself ignoring email that doesn’t matter if you don’t have time for it
They argue, very persuasively, that if you know your time is limited, you use it much more effectively. It’s interesting, because working mothers have been saying this for years. I’ve lost count of the number of times I have had a conversation with a working mother lamenting how much more efficient they are now than they ever were before they had kids, and how they get negative credit for leaving early despite that efficiency.
It’s great to see two well regarded management writers making that point, without even realising that it is a feminist one.