15 Fabulous ways for Technical Leaders for making more time in a day
In this article, we will be looking at fifteen ways of making more time for technical professionals, leaders and managers in a day. You should keep the following in mind if you want to have more control of your time to carry out some of the most important tasks for yourself at the same time keeping people around you happy and sane.
When you sit with a nice girl for two hours, you think it’s only a minute. But when you sit on a hot stove for a minute, you think it’s two hours. That’s relativity. – Albert Einstein
You don’t find time, you make time. You can make time for whatever you really want to do, so if you don’t find time for it, perhaps you don’t want to do it. Perhaps you should find a way to do it.
1. Don’t do things you’ve already assigned to others, even if you must let them make mistakes.
Don’t redo work you’ve assigned to others. When you do, you pay several times for same work: first with the time to explain it to them, then with the time to take it back without hurting their feelings (which really won’t work), then the time to repair any damage they’d done, and finally the time to do it yourself.
Whenever someone showed signs of making a mistake – even of uncertainty – you should not grab the work back under the pretense of teaching them something. You must let them make mistakes. It’s part of the price you pay, and it’s more efficient in the long term.
Don’t redo work you’ve assigned to others.
This means that you should not interfere with other people’s job once you have given them the control to do that in their own way. Even if the person doing the job is making mistakes you should gently point them out to him and take corrective actions as soon as possible. The key here is to enable people to take responsibility for their work without worrying about the unnecessary administration madness.
You need to remember that you will have to work with people and they’re not going to be perfect; there will be times when they will let you down. They’re going to make mistakes, and if you demand perfection from them, you’re going to be hard to work for. The good people will leave. Therefore you have to overlook your own and other people’s imperfections. When you overlook, you’ll be able to overcome.
2. Avoid administration like the plague
Choose your own priorities and don’t wait for a crisis to organize your activities. When you are appointed as the leader of a group, not only do you have to organize time for other people, but even worse, you have to organize it for yourself. The true test of a leader is what she does when there’s nothing to do.
Choose your own priorities and don’t wait for a crisis to organize your activities.
3. Don’t waste time trying to prove your competence.
Avoid trivial technical arguments to prove your technical superiority. As your career advances you have to let go of certain things. Arguing over minor technical points indicates you’re still holding on. When you are really technically superior, there isn’t any long argument because you can convince people swiftly and easily.
This is one of the big time wasters of amateurs fighting for their competence in one of the many unimaginable ways you can think of. The professionals know that there is always someone better than you at any given point of time and they don’t willingly participate into heated discussions or arguments vying for dominance and power.
Avoid trivial technical arguments to prove your technical superiority.
Remember it is the Dinosaur Brain that is working for you, when you are trying to get into an argument with someone as pointed by Albert J Bernstein in his seminal book, The Dinosaur Brains.
Seeing someone else lose his or her temper or begin an obvious power play can pull you right into your Dinosaur Brain too, leading to what is unscientifically known as the Godzilla meets Rodan effect: There is a great deal of sound and fury; buildings shake but little gets accomplished.
4. Don’t waste time arguing about wasting time.
Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now – Faust, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
5. Pay attention to what you do when there’s nothing to do.
Your attention is in short supply. There is only so much you can pay attention to, and there are so many things that compete for your attention daily.
Generally, it’s easy for us humans to divide our attention fecklessly such that nothing receives our full attention and so nothing effective gets done.
Beware idle-loop chatter
Competition for your attention isn’t always external, either. For instance, your logical brain CPU has a sort of “idle loop” routine. If nothing more pressing is commanding your attention, your idle loop will chatter away on some low-grade worry or indolent concern, such as “What’s for lunch?,” or replay a traffic incident or argument. This of course then interferes with intuition, problem-solving and creative processing, and you’re back to working with half a brain again.
You might hear yourself often saying, “I’d love to, but I don’t have the time.” Or some new task comes up at work, and you think you just don’t have the time to attend to it. It’s not really time that’s the issue. Time is just something you allocate. It’s not that we’re out of time; we’re out of attention. So instead of saying you don’t have time, it’s probably more accurate to say you don’t have the bandwidth. When you overload your bandwidth— your attentional resources—you’ll miss things. You won’t learn, you won’t perform your work well, and your family will begin to think maybe you have a brain tumor or something.
If you’re really paying attention you can accomplish marvelous things. Paul Graham, in his book Hackers and Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age, suggests that “a navy pilot can land a 40,000 lb aircraft at 140mph on a pitching carrier deck at night more safely than the average teenager can cut a bagel.”
The teenager’s mind is easily distracted, and that doesn’t seem to be one of those things that gets any better as you age.
The pilot, on the other hand, is really, seriously focused. In that situation, a moment of indecision or error, and you’re spectacularly dead. We need to develop that sort of concentrated focus but without the inherent risk of incineration.
6. Get at least two for the price of one.
This does not necessarily mean that you should have good negotiating skills so that you can get two apples at the price of one. What this means is that, you should be doing your work as efficient as possible, so that you get two tasks done at the time of one. This calls for an incessant increase in your productivity to get the maximum effectiveness of your work or job. And in order to achieve that, you should be continuously striving for the improvement of your skills and capabilities for the job.
The Swiss are not just efficient, they’re doubly efficient. Rather than ask for riches, the Swiss asks for something that will produce income, something that will continue paying in the future, even after God is no longer around to create or buy milk.
And like the Swiss, successful problem-solving leaders seem able to create situations where they get a little more out than they put in. Yet at the same time, these situations seem to benefit everyone involved; nobody gets cheated.
7. Act as review leader.
You can keep up with what’s going on technically by leading technical reviews for other teams. It gives you a chance to practice your people skills. At the same time, you get the benefit of hearing your best technical people trade views about the very projects you’re working on now.
8. As as editor.
You can also review, but in a different way. You can read technical papers for journals and act as as reviewer or editor. It forces you to dig into some good technical content, and you get lots of brownie points with management for doing it. It also improves your own writing skills.
9. Be a tutor.
We have all these online technical courses on the internet such as video tutorials, webcasts and podcasts, but everybody seems to hate just sitting in a little room and watching them. You can volunteer to tutor people who were taking the courses. It sharpens your communication skills, your one-to-one handling of people, but even more, it gives you a chance to really learn the technical material in depth. You get far more out of it technically than any of the students do.
10. Coordinate a speaking or training program.
Get yourself appointed as coordinator of some visiting speaker programs. That means you get to attend every speech, seminar, or class that’s done by an outside expert, if you’re interested. But better than that, you get to spend time with these visiting experts, time when you can discuss any subject you want. It’s like having private tutoring from the smartest people that money can buy. And most of the actual coordination work can be delegated to someone else.
11. Use your car pool.
You can also make use of your company car pool to keep up technically. You can spend your commuting hours with your best technical people. All you have to do is keep the conversation steered away from other subjects.
12. Share the reading load.
You could never keep up with all your technical reading until you and your peers realize that you have the same problem and decide to share the load. Each can read something and report on it to the others. Sometimes, the first reader can tell them to skip half the material. Sometimes they can skip it all. You get multiple times the coverage now for the same effort.
The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes. – Marcel Proust
You simply cannot read every book that has ever been written in the history of mankind. Your lifetime will not permit it to do that even if you spend all of your awaking hours by just reading books. What is the point of reading all that stuff if you don’t have time to discuss it with your friends, colleagues and other fellow people to get the full understanding or what you have read.
It is the multitude of perspectives about a thing or concept that matters the most about knowledge rather than a single narrow-minded view of things. It is only through that you get far ahead in time.
13. Have a good lunch, but a creative one.
14. Listen to what other people have already learned.
15. Let other people show you how smart they are.
By giving other people some time and space, you are building an organization of trust by giving them respect through listening and learning from their experiences is one of the most time savers in life. You can easily lean on someone trust-worthy for making trivial decisions at the right time since the other person shares the same interest with you , this is both mutually fulfilling and productive.