Squirrels at a Rave: Productivity and Time Management

#productivity gettingthingsdone time-management Sep 01, 2022
red squirrels

As we prepare for our ever-popular work-session Extraordinary Performance: Getting Things Done,  I was reminded of a funny quote I saw on Facebook a while back. I literally laughed out loud and then shared the post, tagging my husband, and saying “Look! It’s me!”  He laughed too. 

And then he agreed! 

So today, as I’m busily preparing for our upcoming worksession, I found myself questioning why there is still such a high demand for this particular topic, given that we’ve been helping people to develop their time management skills for years. 

I mean, aren’t people getting it? 

And then one of my team, “I think people like the simplicity and practicality, Jane.  In a world of complications and distractions, people long for simple and straightforward.” 

It’s true.  Even after all these years, our course is still based around a simple framework –  The Eisenhower Matrix  – one that dates back to the 1930’s, and yet this timeless model keeps people signing up again and again. 

There are many arguments around the question of what stops people from managing their time more effectively, and an equal number of time-management courses developed to address the underlying causes of the problem.  We, however, take take a different approach and focus on solutions. 

Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort. — Paul J. Meyer

So, back to those squirrels… 

Do you ever find yourself in the midst of something only to slow down and realise that you’re not actually doing the thing you started? 

I will start writing an email and decide to look for a business card, only to find myself cleaning the whiteboard, putting a file away, answering the phone, dusting the handset as I put the stationary box back in its place, pick up a client file from my PA’s desk, wander into the pantry, put water in the coffee machine, go back into the office and resume my email…only to realise several hours later that I didn’t actually make my coffee. 

Sound familiar?  Well, there’s good reason. 

Time management today presents a paradox; that it's is both easier and more difficult to get things done, or rather the right things done, the important things done.  Why?  Because essentially we are faced with more  demands - on our workload, on our key relationships, on our energy.

So it’s actually more than just time management skills that we need to improve productivity, and perhaps the key to the longevity of our course lies in us enabling people to move away from what they have been doing, and towards what they should be doing. 

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