J.D. Meier's Blog

Software Engineering, Project Management, and Effectiveness

Manage Energy, Not Time

Manage Energy, Not Time

  • Comments 5

Manage energy, not time, to get more things done ...  This concept really resonates with me.  I also like it because it can be counter intuitive or non-obvious.

One way to try and get more things done is to, jam more in your schedule.  Yuck!  Unfortunately, that's a fairly common practice.

I actually have lots of practices for managing time (outcome-based work breakdown structures, managing outcomes vs. activities, prioritizing outcomes based on usage and value, avoiding over-managing minutia, using outcome-based agendas for meetings, distinguishing getting results vs. building connections in meetings, using time-boxes to deliver incremental results in projects, "zero-mail in the inbox" practice … etc.)   While I'm always open to new time management practices, I think I was getting diminishing returns from yet more time management techniques.

So stepping back, here's the situation … I was using a full arsenal of time management techniques, I was known for getting results, and yet I wanted to reach the next level.  What happened next was, I noticed a common thread among a few very different trainings and books around leadership and results.  Energy was a recurring theme.

Of course, then it made total sense (the beauty of 20/20 hindsight!).  We've all had that great hour of brilliance or that unproductive work week.  I did a reality check against several past projects.  It was easy for me to see the connection of energy and results, when all else was equal.  The problem was, I didn't have an arsenal of practices for managing energy.  It turns out, I didn't really need to.  Simply by knowing what drains me or catalyzes me helped a lot.

Now that I've been aware of this underlying concept for a while, I have learned a few practices along the way.  One practice I use is I explicitly ask the team when and how often do they want to deliver customer results (i.e. how often do they want to see the fruits of their effort?).   I balance this with capability, customer demand, project constraints and a bunch of other drivers, but the fact that I explicitly try to leverage energy and rhythm, helps crank the energy up a notch (and, as a bonus, results).

  • This is a follow up to my post, Manage Energy, Not Time . A few folks have asked me how I figure out

  • How do you manage the things that you can't look away from? the things that "drain" you? You can't make everything into a catalyst. Do you suck it up for short periods of time and manage the drain?How do you change the energy?

  • Routines help build efficiency and effectiveness. Consistent action over time is the key to real results.

  • Routines help build efficiency and effectiveness. Consistent action over time is the key to real results

  • 导读今天发现了这篇非常精彩的,内容超级丰富的文章,实在忍不住,转载于此。


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