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February 24, 2006

OPT-IN: Management of Other People's Time

Other People's Money is the often maligned method to fund a venture. But to Get Things Done a leader must not only manage the money -- the budget, but get things done through people: management.

What is the First Rule In Management?

The good manager does not manage his time. He does not manage his people.


Nothing should sit on your desk
He manages Other Peoples' Time.

And Planning, Organizing, Leading and Controlling will follow.


Keep the ball rolling.
No paper should rest on your desk
The manager manages other peoples' time -- as well as other company assets -- talent and treasure.

I would submit that managers worry less about managing their own time; their own "to do lists" and focus on the subordinate's time.

So where does OPT-IN start?

The Manager's Desk.

Piles of paper are decisions not made. You, Gentle Manager get paid only for your experience, wisdom and judgment. Start with your workspace.

Think of your desk as a pyramid with the apex pointing up. Paper does not rest on your desk, nor your boss's desk.

Paper is never allowed in horizontal file piles.

Whenever a memo or an email attachment comes to you, it will slide off -- back to whoever carried it in. It will have your signature on it, an action to be taken (by someone else), filed or destroyed (by someone else). You will not let it rest on your desk -- even as you think about.

Do, Delegate or Destroy. Don't put that memo on the corner of your desk.


Paper should breeze off your desk
Empty inbox. Not Paper; not electronic.

I would suggest the Biblical reminder that, Today has enough trouble of its own. Do not carry today's worries -- today's paper -- on your work space for tomorrow.

Managers: Do not let the sun set on a piece of paper on your desk. Or an email in your inbox.


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Thank you (foot)notes:

The Management would like to thank Baby-Boo and The Dancer for volunteering for this article.

See Management: 10 Tips.

Posted by Jack Yoest at February 24, 2006 11:06 PM

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Jack, great advice on time management from the management side of things. That's a recent subject we've addressed at landingthedeal.com, and I'll link back to your site and your article. Thanks for some good advice.

Posted by: Dan Tudor at February 25, 2006 04:17 PM

Jack, nice article. In many respects I agree with you. However, I think there has to be a point of accountability and responsibility for a subordinate to manage their own time. Isn't it instead the job of the manager to raise the capability of the person, rather than to manage their time for them? Perhaps I am missing a point or two;)

Posted by: John Cox at February 26, 2006 03:38 PM

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