Issue No. 288 of Your Weekly Staff Meeting features Peter Drucker’s wisdom on “Know Thy Time” and a practical tool—a meeting cost calculator—to track your time. (It beeps!) Plus, this reminder: check out my Management Buckets website with dozens of resources and downloadable worksheets for your staff meetings.
Know Thy Time
Peter Drucker, the father of modern management, said that effective executives start with their time.
In the brilliant page-a-day book, The Daily Drucker: 366 Days of Insight and Motivation for Getting the Right Things Done, by Drucker (with Joseph A. Maciariello), the September 1 page urges, “Know Thy Time.” (Read my previous review here.)
"'Know thyself,' the old prescription for wisdom, is almost impossibly difficult for mortal men. But everyone can follow the injunction ‘Know thy time’ if one wants to, and be well on the road toward contribution and effectiveness.
“Most discussions of the executive’s task start with the advice to plan one’s work. This sounds eminently plausible. The only thing wrong with it is that it rarely works. The plans always remain on paper, always remain good intentions. They seldom turn into achievement.
“Effective executives, in my observation,
do not start with their tasks.
They start with their time.
And they do not start out with planning. They start by finding out where their time actually goes. Then they attempt to manage their time and to cut back unproductive demands on their time.
“Finally they consolidate their ‘discretionary’ time into the largest possible continuing units. This three-step process
• recording time
• managing time
• consolidating time
is the foundation of executive effectiveness.”
Most management and leadership tasks are the blocking and tackling variety—the basics. If you or your team, or your boss, could use a “Know Thy Time” refresher course—here’s a very practical tool that I use every day: the Time Is Money meeting cost calculator.
Here’s the product description on Amazon:
“Spend less time in meetings with Bring TIM!® (Time Is Money!). It’s the world’s first portable meeting cost calculator and clock that tallies the dollars spent during long company meetings. Simply enter the number of people in the meeting, estimate the average hourly wage, and press the large illuminated start button. Attendees see how much their meeting is costing in real time!”
I’m using it right now—so I don’t invest too much time on this eNews. It beeps every 15 minutes and reminds me to stay focused on my Top-Priority project and not to waste time on email or Facebook! It’s a great gift for your office. Example: how much time do you invest on “outside results” versus “inside results” in your weekly staff meeting? (See the Results Bucket chapter in my book.)
To order from Amazon, click on the graphic below for Bring TIM: Time Is Money—the Meeting Cost Calculator.
To order from Amazon, click on the graphic below for The Daily Drucker: 366 Days of Insight and Motivation for Getting the Right Things Done, by Peter F. Drucker with Joseph A. Maciariello.
Your Weekly Staff Meeting Questions:
1) Drucker recommends (in his September 3 insight) that you consolidate time. “To be effective every executive needs to be able to dispose of time in fairly large chunks.” In your typical day, how many minutes is your largest chunk—and what would be the ideal for you?
2) Drucker also adds, “Effective executives know that one rarely overprunes.” (See below.) When is the last time you did a pruning exercise on your own schedule and priorities? If you need help, read Necessary Endings: The Employees, Businesses, and Relationships That All of Us Have to Give Up in Order to Move Forward, by Dr. Henry Cloud.
Futility: Trying to Keep a Corpse from Stinking! - Insights from Mastering the Management Buckets: 20 Critical Competencies for Leading Your Business or Nonprofit
One of the big ideas from Mastering the Management Buckets (Chapter 4, The Drucker Bucket) is to read or re-read one book by Peter Drucker every year. My friend and mentor, George Duff, reads Drucker’s The Effective Executive once a year.
Why? It’s easy to forget the basics, like this Drucker insight on “Abandonment” (the pruning principle) from January 5 in The Daily Drucker:
He writes, “There is nothing as difficult and as expensive, but also nothing as futile, as trying to keep a corpse from stinking.
“Without systematic and purposeful abandonment, an organization will be overtaken by events. It will squander its best resources on things it should never have been doing or should no longer do. As a result, it will lack the resources, especially capable people, needed to exploit the opportunities that arise.
Far too few businesses are willing
to slough off yesterday, and as a result,
far too few have resources available for tomorrow.”
For more Drucker insights and book recommendations, visit the Drucker Bucket webpage.