[MUSIC] Welcome to Carnegie Mellon online For more multimedia from Carnegie Mellon University, visit www.cmu.edu/multimedia [MUSIC] >> [APPLAUSE] >> Thank you That’s very kind but never tip the waiter before the meal arrives >> [LAUGH] >> Thank you Gabe and Jim I couldn’t imagine being more grateful for an introduction These are two people that I’ve known a long, long time I taught here at the University of Virginia I love the school It’s just an incredible place filled with tradition, and history, and respect The kind of qualities that I really admire, that I wanna see preserved in American society And this is one of the places that I just love for preserving that I think the honor code alone at the University of Virginia just is something that every university administrator should study and look at and say, why can’t we do that too So I think there are lot of things about this place to love I’m gonna talk today on the topic of time management The circumstances are as you probably know a little bit unusual I think at this point I’m at authority to talk about what to do with limited time >> [LAUGH] >> My battle with pancreatic cancer started about a year and a half ago Fought, did all the right things, but as my oncologist said, if you could pick off a list that’s not the one you’d wanna pick So on August 15th, these were my CAT scans You can see, if you scroll through all of them, they’re about a dozen tumors in my liver And the doctors at that time said, you are likely to have three to, I love the way they say it, you have three to six months of good health left All right, optimism and positive phrasing It’s sort of like when you’re at Disney, what time does the park close? The park is open until 8:00 >> [LAUGH] >> So I have three to six months of good health Well, let’s do the math Today is three months and 12 days So what I had on my day timer for today was not necessarily being at the University of Virginia I’m pleased to say that we do treat with palliative chemo, they’re gonna buy me a little bit of time on the order of a few months if it continues to work I am still in perfectly good health With Gabe in the audience, I’m not gonna do push ups cuz I’m not gonna be shown up >> [LAUGH] >> Gabe is really in good shape But I continue to be in relatively good health I had chemotherapy yesterday You should all try it, it’s great But it does sort of beg the question, I have finite time Some people said, so why are you going and giving a talk? Well, there are a lot of reasons I’m coming here and giving a talk One of them is that I said I would, right That’s a pretty simple reason And I’m physically able to Another one is that going to the University of Virginia is not like going to some foreign place People say aren’t you spending all your time with family And by coming back here for a day I am spending my time with family, both metaphorically, and literally because it turns out that many of you have probably seen this picture from the talk that I gave This are my niece and nephew, Chris and Laura And my niece Laura is actually a senior, a fourth year here at Mr Jefferson’s university So Laura, could you stand up so they see that you’ve gotten taller? There we are >> [APPLAUSE] >> And I couldn’t be happier to have her here at this university and so that’s Laura The other person in this picture is Chris And, Chris, if you could stand up so they see you’ve gotten much taller >> [APPLAUSE] >> And they have grown in so many ways, not just in height And it’s been wonderful to see that and be an uncle to them Is there anybody here on the faculty or Ph.D students of the History Department? Do we have any history people here at all? Okay, anybody here is from history, find Chris right after the talk Because he’s currently in his sophomore year at William and Mary, and he’s interested in going into a PhD program in history down the road And there aren’t many better PhD programs in history than this one >> [LAUGH] >> So I’m pimping for my nephew here >> [LAUGH] >> Let’s be clear, all right >> [APPLAUSE] [LAUGH] >> So what are we gonna talk about today? We’re gonna talk about, this is not like the lecture that you may have seen me give before This is a very pragmatic lecture And one of the reasons that I had agreed to come back and give this is because Gabe had told me and many other faculty members had told me that they had gotten so much tangible value about how to get more done And I truly do believe that time is the only commodity that matters So this is a very pragmatic talk And it is inspirational in the sense that will inspire you by giving you some concrete things you might do to be able to get more things done in your finite time So I’m gonna talk specifically about how to set goals, how to avoid wasting time

How to deal with the boss, originally this talk was how to deal with your adviser but I try to broaden it so it’s not quite so academically focused And how to delegate to people Some specific skills and tools that I might recommend to help you get more out of the day And to deal with the real problems in our life, which are stress and procrastination I mean, if you can lick that last one, you’re probably in good shape And really, you don’t need to take any notes So I’ll presume if I seen your laptops open, you’re actually just doing IM, or email, or something >> [LAUGH] >> If you’re listening to music, please at least wear headphones I would always say But all of this will be posted on my website And just to make it really easy, if you wanna know when to look up, any slides that have a red star on them are the points that I think you should really make sure that you got that one, all right? And conversely, if it doesn’t have a red star, well, [SOUND] >> [LAUGH] >> All right, so the first thing that I want to say is that Americans are very, very bad at dealing with time as a commodity We’re really good at dealing with money as a commodity We’re as a culture very interested in money and how much somebody earns is a status thing and so on and so forth But we don’t really have time elevated to that People waste their time, and it just always fascinates me And one of the things that I noticed is that very few people equate time and money and they’re very, very equitable So the first thing I started doing when I was a teacher was asking my graduate students, well, how much is your time worth an hour? Or if you work at a company, how much is your time worth to the company? What most people don’t realize is that if you have a salary, let’s say you make $50,000 a year, it probably costs that company twice that in order to have you as an employee because there’s heating and lighting and other staff members and so forth So if you get paid $50,000 a year, you are costing that company, they have to raise $100,000 in revenue And if you divide that by your hourly rate you begin to get some sense of what you are worth an hour And when you have to make tradeoffs of should I do something like write software or should I just buy it or should I outsource this? Having in your head what you cost your organization an hour is really kind of a staggering thing to change your behavior Because you start realizing that, wow, if I free up three hours of my time, and I’m thinking of that in terms of dollars, that’s a big savings So start thinking about your time and your money almost as if they are the same thing Of course Ben Franklin knew that a long time ago So you gotta manage it and you gotta manage it just like you manage your money Now I realize not all Americans manage their money That’s what makes the credit card industry possible And apparently mortgages too, so >> [LAUGH] >> But most people do at least understand They don’t look at you funny if you say, well, can I see your monetary budget for your household In fact, if I say your household budget, you presume that I’m talking about money when in fact the household budget I really wanna talk about is probably your household time budget The Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon, students would come in and during the orientation I would say, This is a masters program, everybody’s paying full tuition, and it was roughly $30,000 a year And the first thing I would say is if you’re gonna come into my office and say, I don’t think this is worth $60,000 a year, I will throw you out of the office I’m not even gonna have that discussion And, of course, they would say, God, this posh guy’s a real jerk and they were right But what I then followed on with was, because the money is not important, you can go and earn more money later And what you’ll never do is get the two years of your life back So if you want to come into my office and talk about the money, I’ll throw you out But if you want to come into my office and say, I’m not sure this is a good place for me spend two years, I will talk to you, all day and all night, because that means we’re talking about the right thing, which is your time, cuz you can’t ever get it back A lot of the advice I’m gonna give you, particularly for undergraduates, how many people in this room are undergraduates, by show of hands? Okay, good, still young >> [LAUGH] >> A lot of this, put into Hans and Franz on Saturday Night Live, if you’re old enough, hear me now, but believe me later, right? A lot of this is gonna make sense later And one of the nice things is I gave the volunteer to put this up on the web I understand that people can actually watch videos on the web now So this is- >> [LAUGH] >> So a lot of this will only make sense later And when I talk about your boss, if you’re a student, think about that as your academic adviser, if you’re a PhD student, think of that as your PhD adviser And if you’re’re watching this and you’re a young child, think of this as your parent because that’s sort of the person who is in some sense your boss And the talk goes very fast and, as I said, I’m very big on specific techniques I’m not really big on platitudes I mean, platitudes are nice, but they don’t really help me get something done tomorrow The other thing is that one good thief is worth ten good scholars and, in fact, you can replace the word scholars in that sentence with almost anything, all right? So almost everything in this talk is to some degree inspired, which is a fancy way of saying lifted, from these two books

And I found those books very useful, but it’s much better to get them into distilled form So what I basically done is collected the nuggets for your bath I like to talk about The Time Famine I think it’s a nice phrase Does anybody here feel like they have too much time? >> [LAUGH] >> Okay, nobody, excellent And I like the world famine because it’s a little like thinking about Africa You can air-lift all the food you want in to solve the crisis this week, but the problem is systemic, and you really need systemic solutions So a time management solution says, I’m gonna fix things for you in the next 24 hours is laughable, just like saying, I’m gonna cure hunger in Africa in the next year You need to think long term and you need to change fundamental underlying processes because the problem is systemic We just have too many things to do and not enough time to do them The other thing to remember is that it’s not just about time management That sounds like a kind of a lukewarm, talk on time management, that’s kind of milk toast But how about if the talk is how about not having ulcers, right? That catches my attention, so a lot of this is life advice This is how to change the way you’re doing a lot of the things and how you allocate your time so that you will lead a happier, more wonderful life And I loved in the introduction that you talked about fun because if I brought fun to academia, well it’s about damn time [LAUGH] If you’re not gonna have fun, why do it, right? That’s what I wanna know I mean, life really is too short, if you’re not gonna enjoy it People who say, well, I’ve got a job that I don’t really like, and I’m like, well, you could change >> [LAUGH] >> But that would be a lot of work You’re right, you should keep going to work everyday, doing a job you don’t like Thank you, good night, right? >> [LAUGH] >> So the overall goal is fun My middle child, Logan, is my favorite example I don’t think he knows how to not have fun Now, granted, a lot of the things he does are not fun for his mother and me >> [LAUGH] >> But he’s loving every second of it And he doesn’t know how to do any that isn’t ballistic and full of life And he’s going to keep that quality, I think He’s my little Tigger And I always remember Logan when I think about the goal is to make sure that you lead your life I want to maximize use of time, but really that’s the means not the end The end is maximizing fun People who do intense studies, and log people in video tape and so on and so forth, say that the typical office worker wastes almost two hours a day, all right? Their desk is messy They can’t find things, missed appointments, unprepared for meetings They can’t concentrate Does anybody in here, by show of hands, ever have any sense that one of these things is part of their life? >> [LAUGH] >> Okay, I think we’ve got everybody So this is a universal thing, and you shouldn’t feel guilty if some of these things are plaguing you because they plague all of us They plague me for sure And the other thing I wanna tell you is that it sounds a little cliche and trite but being successful does not make you manage your time well Managing your time well makes you successful If I have been successful in my career, I assure you it’s not because I’m smarter than all the other faculty I mean, I’m looking around and looking at some of my former colleagues and I see Jim Cahoon up there I am not smarter than Jim Cahoon, okay? I constantly look around the faculty in places like the University of Virginia or Carnegie Mellon and I go damn, these are smart people, and I snuck in >> [LAUGH] >> But what I like to think I’m good at is the meta skills because if you’re gonna have to run with people who are faster than you, you have to find the right ways to optimize what skills you do have So let’s talk first about goals, priorities, and planning Any time anything crosses your life, you’ve gotta ask, this thing I’m thinking about doing, why am I doing it? Almost no one that I know starts with the core principle of, there’s this thing on my to-do list, why is it there? Cuz you start asking, well, why is it? I mean, again, my kids are great at this That’s all I ever hear at home is, why, why, why, right? And sooner or later, they’re just gonna stop saying why, and they’re just gonna say, okay, I’ll do it, right? So ask why am I doing this? What is the goal? Why will I succeed at doing it? And here’s my favorite, what will happen if I don’t do it? If I just say I’m just not The best thing in the world is when I have something on my to-do list and I just go, nope >> [LAUGH] >> No one has ever come and taken me to jail I talked my way out of a speeding ticket last week, it was really cool >> [LAUGH] >> It’s like the closest I’m ever gonna be to attractive and blonde >> [LAUGH] >> I told the guy why we had just moved and so on and so forth, and he looked at me and said, well, for a guy who’s only got a couple of months to live, you sure look good >> [LAUGH] >> And I just pulled up my shirt to show the scar and I said yeah, I look good on the outside, but the tumors are on the inside >> [LAUGH] >> He just ran back to his cruiser >> [LAUGH] >> So that’s one positive law enforcement experience for me >> [LAUGH] >> So the police have never come because I crossed something off my to-do list

And that’s a very powerful thing because you just got all that time back The other thing to keep in mind when you’re doing goal setting is a lot of people focus on doing things right I think it’s very dangerous to focus on doing things right I think it’s much more important to do the right things If you do the right things adequately, that’s much more important than doing the wrong things beautifully, all right? Doesn’t matter how well you polish the underside of the banister, okay? And keep that in mind Lou Holtz had a great list, Lou Holtz’s 100 things to do in his life And he would sort of once a week look at it and say if I’m not working on those 100 things, why was I working on the others? And I just think that’s an incredible way to frame things There’s something called the 80 20 rule Sometimes, you’ll hear about the 90 10 rule, but the key thing to understand is that a very small number of things in your life or on your to-do list are gonna contribute the vast majority of the value So, if you’re a salesperson, 80% of the revenue is gonna come from 20% of your clients And you better figure out who those 20% are, and spend all of your time sucking up to them Because that’s where the revenue comes So you’ve got to really be willing to say, this stuff is what’s going to be the value in this other stuff isn’t, and you’ve got to have the courage of your convictions to say, and therefore I’m going to shove the other stuff off of the boat The other thing to remember is that experience comes with time, and it’s really, really valuable, and there are no shortcuts to getting it So, good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement So if things aren’t going well, that probably means you’re learning a lot, and it’ll go better later [LAUGH] >> This is by the way why we pay so much in American society, for people who are typically older but have done lots of things in their past, because we’re paying for their experience, because we know that experience is one of the things you can’t fake And do not lose sight of the power of inspiration So Randy’s in an hour long talk, and we’ve already got our first Disney reference [LAUGH] >> Walt Disney has many great quotes The one I love is, if you can dream it, you can do it And a lot of my cynical friends say yada, yada, yada, which I say, shut up [LAUGH] >> All right, inspiration is important I’ll tell you this much If you, I don’t know if it was right, but I’ll tell you this much If you refuse to allow yourself to dream it, I know you won’t do it So the power of dreams, are that they give us a way to take the first step towards an accomplishment And Walt was also not just a dreamer, Walt worked really hard Disneyland, this amazes me cuz I know a little bit about how hard it is to theme park attractions together And they did the whole original Disneyland park, in 366 days That’s from the first shovel full of dirt, to the first paid admission Think about how long it takes to do something, say a state university >> [LAUGH] >> By comparison So, it’s just fascinating When someone once asked Walt Disney, how did you get it done in 366 days? He just dead panned, we used every one of them So again, there are no short cuts, there’s a lot of hard work in anything you want to accomplish Planning is very important One of the time management cliches is failing to plan is planning to fail And planning has to be done at multiple levels I have a plan every morning when I wake up, and I say what do I need to get done today? What do I need to get done this week? What do I need to get done each semester? That’s sort of a time cuz I’m an academic, and that doesn’t mean you are locked into it People say yeah, but things are so fluid I’m gonna have to change the plan, and I am like yes, you are gonna have to change the plan But you can’t change it unless you have it And the excuse of I’m not gonna make a plan because things might change, is just this paralysis of I don’t have any marching orders So have a plan, acknowledge it, you’re gonna change it but have it so that you have the basis to start with To do lists How many people here right now if I said can you produce it, could show me their to do list? Okay, not bad, not bad The key thing with to-do-list, is you have to break things down into small steps I literally wants in my to-do-list when I was a junior faculty member at the University of Virginia, I put get tenure >> [LAUGH] >> That was naive [LAUGH] >> And I looked at that for a while and I said, that’s really hard I don’t think I can do that And my children, Dylan, and Logan, and Chloe, particularly Dylan, is at the age where he can clean his own damn room, thank you very much, but he doesn’t like to And Chris is smiling, cuz I used to do this story on him, but now I’ve got my own kids to pick on [LAUGH] >> But Dylan will come to me and say, I can’t pick up my room, it’s too much stuff He’s not even a teenager and he’s already got that move

And I say well, can you make your bed? Yeah, I can do that [SOUND] Okay, can you put all the clothes in the hamper? Yeah, I can do that You do three or four things and then it’s like well, Dylan, you just cleaned your room >> I cleaned my room And he feels good He is empowered [LAUGH] >> And everybody’s happy And of course, I’ve had to spend twice as much time managing him as I could have done it by myself But that’s okay That’s what being a boss is about, is growing your people no matter how small or large they might be at the time The last thing about to-do-lists or getting yourself going, is if you’ve got a bunch of things to do, do the ugliest thing first There’s an old saying, if you have to eat a frog, don’t spend a lot of time looking at it first [LAUGH] >> And if you have to eat three of them, don’t start with the small one [LAUGH] >> All right this is the most important slide in the entire talk So if you wanna leave after this slide, I will not be offended cuz it’s all downhill from here And this is blatantly stolen, this is Stephen Covey’s great contribution to the world, he talks about it in the Seven Habits book Imagine your to do list, most people sort their to-do-list either, the order that I got it, throw it on the bottom, or they sort it in due date lists, which is more sophisticated and more helpful, but still very, very wrong So looking at the four quadrant to-do list, if you’ve got a quadrant where things are important and due soon, important and not due soon, not important and due soon, and not important and not due soon Which of these four quadrants do you think, upper left, upper right, lower left, lower right., which one do you think you should work on immediately? >> Upper left >> Upper left You are such a great crowd And which one do you think you should probably do last? >> Lower right >> Lower right And that’s easy That’s obviously number one That’s obviously number four >> But this is where everybody in my experience gets it wrong What we do now is we say, I do the number ones and then I move on to the stuff that’s due soon and not important When you write it in this quadrant list, it’s really stunning cuz I’ve actually seen people do this And they say,okay, this is due soon, and I know it’s not important, so I’m gonna get right to work on it [LAUGH] >> And the most crucial thing I can teach you about time management, is when you’re done picking off the important and due soon, that’s when you go here You go to it’s not due soon and it’s important, and there will be a moment in your life where you say, hey this thing that’s due soon but not important, I won’t do it [LAUGH] >> Cuz it’s not important, it says so right here on the chart [LAUGH] >> And magically, you have time to work on the thing that is not due soon but as important, so that next week, it never got a chance to get here Because you killed it in the crib [LAUGH] >> My wife won’t like that metaphor [LAUGH] >> But you kill the or you solve the problem of something that’s due next week when you’re not under time stress cuz it’s not due tomorrow, and suddenly you become one of those Zen like people And we just always seem to have all the time in the world, cuz they’ve figured this out All right? Paperwork The first thing you need to know, is that having cluttered paperwork leads to thrashing You end up with all these things on your desk, and you can’t find anything And the moment you turn to your desk, your desk is saying to you, I own you [LAUGH] >> I have more things than you can do [LAUGH] >> And they are many colors, and laid out [LAUGH] >> So what I find, is that its’ really crucial to keep your desk clear, and we’ll talk about where all the paper goes in a second And you have one thing on your desk, because then it’s like [SOUND] now it’s Thunderdome, me and the one piece of paper, right? And so I usually win that one One of the mantras of time management is touch each piece of paper once You get the piece of paper, you look at it, you work at it, and I think that’s extremely true for email How many people here, well, I’m gonna take it for granted that everybody here has an email inbox How many people right now have more than 20 items in their email inbox? [SOUND] I am in the right room Your inbox is not your to-do list, and my wife has learned that I need to get my inbox clear Now sometimes this really means just filing this away, and putting something on my to-do list But remember the to-do list is sorted by importance, but does anybody here have an email program where you can press the sort by importance button? It’s amazing how people who build software that really it’s a huge part of our life and getting work done haven’t a clue Now, that’s not a slam on any particular company

I think they all have missed the boat and I just find it fascinating, because everybody I know, or most people I know, have this inbox that, all right, I gotta ask, how do you have more than 100 things in their email box? I’m just not gonna keep going, this is too depressing >> [LAUGH] >> [COUGH] So, you really wanna get the thing in your inbox, look at it and say, I’m either gonna read it right now, or I’m gonna file it and put an entry in my to-do list And that’s just a crucial thing, cuz otherwise every time you go to read your email you’re just swamped, and it’s just as bad as the cluttered paper You’re all trying to figure out how that heading goes with that picture >> [LAUGH] >> A filing system is absolutely essential, and I know this because I married the most wonderful woman in the world, but she’s not a good filer >> [LAUGH] >> But she is now, because,- >> [LAUGH] >> After we got married, and we moved in together, and we resolved all the other typical couple things, I said, we have to have a place where our papers go and it’s in alphabetical order, and she said, that sounds a little compulsive >> [LAUGH] >> And I said, okay, [LAUGH] honey So I went out to Ikea and I got this big nice, way too expensive, big wooden, fake mahogany thing, with big drawers So, she liked it, cuz it looked kind of nice, and having a place in our house where any piece of paper went, and was in alphabetical order did wonderful things for our marriage, because there was never any of this, honey, where did you put, blah, blah, blah, right? And there was never being mad at somebody because they had put something in someone else’s place There was an expected place for it, and when you’re looking for important receipts, or whatever it is, this is actually important, and we have found that this has been a wonderful thing for us I think file systems among groups of people, whether it’s a marriage, or an office, are crucial, but even if it’s just you, having a place where you know you put something, really beats all hell out of running around for an hour, going, where is it? I know it’s blue And I was earing something when I read it I mean, this is- >> [LAUGH] >> This is not a filing system >> [LAUGH] >> This is madness A lot of people ask me, so Randy, what does your desk look like? So, as my wife would say, this is how Randy’s desk looks like when he’s photographing it for a talk >> [LAUGH] >> The important thing is that I’m a computer geek, so I have the desk off to the right, and then I have the computer station off to the left I like to have my desk in front of a window whenever I can do that This is an old photograph These have now been replaced by LCD monitors, but I left the old picture because the crucial thing is it doesn’t matter if they’re fancy high-tech, the key thing is screen space Lots of people have studied this How many people in this room have more than one monitor on their computer desktop? Okay, not bad So we’re getting there, it’s starting to happen What I’ve found is that I could go back from three to two, but I just can’t go back to one There’s just too many things, and as somebody said, it’s the difference between working on a desk, like at home, and trying to get work done on the little tray on an airplane In principle, the little tray on the airplane is big enough for everything you need to do It’s just that in practice, it’s pretty small So multiple monitors I think are very important, and I’ll show you in a second what I have on each one of those And I believe in this multiple monitor thing, we believed in it for a long time That’s my research group Our laboratory a long time ago, at Carnegie Mellon That’s Caitlin Kelleher who’s now Dr Kelleher, thank you, and she’s at Washington University in St Louis, doing wonderful things But we had everybody with three monitors, and the cost on this is absolutely trivial If you figure the cost of adding a second monitor to an employee’s yearly cost to the company, it’s not even 1% anymore So why would you not do it? So, one of my walkways for all of you is you should all go to your boss and say, I need a second monitor I just can’t work without it Randy told me to tell you that >> [LAUGH] >> Cuz it will increase your productivity, and the computers can all drive two monitors, so why not? So what do I have on my three monitors? On the left is my to-do list All sorts of stuff in there We’re all idiosyncratic, my system is that I just put a number zero through nine, and I use an editor that can quickly sort on that number in the first column, but the key thing is it’s sorted by priority In the middle is my mail program Note the empty inbox >> [LAUGH] >> And I try very hard, I sleep better if I go to sleep with the inbox empty When my inbox does creep up I get really testy So my wife will actually say to me, I think you need to clear the inbox >> [LAUGH] >> On the third one is a calendar That’s a, this is from a couple of years ago, but that’s kind of like what my days would be I used to be very heavily booked And I don’t care which software you use, I don’t care which calendar you use, I don’t care if it’s paper or computer, whatever works for you

But you should have some system whereby you know where you’re supposed to be next Tuesday at 2 o’clock Because even if you can live your life without that you’re using up a lot of your brain to remember all that And I don’t know about you, but I don’t have enough brain to spare, to use it on things I can have paper or computers do for me So back to the overview On the desk itself, let’s zoom in a little bit Look, I have the one, and one thing I’m working on at the time I have a speakerphone This is crucial How many people here have a speakerphone on their desks? Okay, not bad, but a lot more people don’t Speakerphones are essentially free, and I spend a lot of time on hold, and that’s because I live in American society, where I get to listen to messages of the form, your call is extremely important to us >> [LAUGH] >> Watch while my actions are cognitively dissonant from my words >> [LAUGH] >> It’s like the worst abusive relationship in the world >> [LAUGH] >> I mean, imagine a guy picks you up on the first date and he smacks you in the mouth and says, I love you, honey, that’s pretty much how modern customer service works on the telephone >> [LAUGH] >> But the great thing about a speakerphone is you hit the speakerphone, and you dial, and then you just do something else, and if takes seven minutes, it takes seven minutes And hey, I just look at this as someone’s piping music into my office That’s very nice of them >> [LAUGH] >> I also found that having a timer on the phone is handy, so that when somebody finally picks up in Bangalore, I can- >> [LAUGH] >> I can say things like, I’m so glad to be talking with you By the way, if you’re keeping records on this sort of thing, I’ve been on hold for seven and a half minutes But you don’t say it angry, you just say it as, I assume you’re logging this kind of stuff, and you’re not angry, so they don’t get angry back at you, but they feel really guilty >> [LAUGH] >> And that’s good, you want guilty, right? >> [LAUGH] >> So speakerphone is really great I find the a speakerphone is probably the best material possession you can buy To counter stress If I were teaching a yoga and meditation class, I’d say, we’ll do all the yoga and meditation, I think that’s wonderful stuff But everybody also has to have a speakerphone >> [LAUGH] >> What else do we have besides a speakerphone? Let’s talk about telephones for a second [COUGH] I think that the telephone is a great time-waster, and I think it’s very important to keep your business calls short So I recommend standing during phone calls Great for exercise And if you tell yourself I’m not gonna sit down until the call is over, you’ll be amazed how much brisker you are Start by announcing goals for the call Hello, Sue, this is Randy, I’m calling you cuz I have three things that I wanted to get done Boom, boom, boom, cuz then you’ve given her an agenda And when you’re done with the three things, you can say that’s great, those are the three things I had It was great to talk to you I don’t have to talk to you again, bye, boom, we’re off the phone Whatever you do, do not put your feet up I mean, if you put the feet up, it’s just all over And the other handy trick is have something on your desk that you actually are kind of interested in going to do next So the phone call instead of being, wow, I can get off the phone and go do some work Or I could keep chit chatting And usually the person you’ve called, they’d like to chit chat too, right? So this is where the time waster in the office goes And if you’re a grad student [LAUGH] well if you’re a grad student, you already know about time wasting >> [LAUGH] >> So having something you really want to do next is a great way to get you off the phone quicker So you gotta train yourself Getting off the phone is hard for a lot of people I don’t suffer from an abundance of politeness >> [LAUGH] >> So my sister, who’s known me for a long time, is laughing a knowing laugh So when I wanna get off the phone, I wanna get off the phone I’m done, and what I say is, I’d love to keep talking with you, but I have some students waiting Now I’m a professor, somewhere there must be students waiting >> [LAUGH] >> Right? I mean, it’s gotta be, sometimes you get in a situation like with a telemarketer Right, and that’s awkward, because a lot of people are so polite I have no trouble with telemarketers I’ll just go there with them [LAUGH] If you are a telemarketer and you call my house, you have made a mistake [LAUGH] Right, yeah, I can’t talk right now, but why don’t you give me your home phone number and I will call you back around dinner time [LAUGH] >> Seinfeld did a great bit on that Or if you wanna be a little bit more over the line, I’d love to talk with you about that, but first I have some things I’d like to sell you >> [LAUGH] >> And the funny part is they never realize you’re yanking with them >> [LAUGH] >> That’s But if you have to hang up on a telemarketer, what you do is you hang up while you’re talking Well, I think that’s really interesting and I would love to keep you know, [LAUGH] >> I mean talk about self effacing, hanging up on yourself >> [LAUGH] >> And they won’t figure it out and if they do and they call back, just don’t answer right So ten years from now,

all anybody will remember from this talk is hang up on yourself The other thing is group your phone calls Call people right before lunch or right before the end of the day, because then they have something they would rather do than keep chitty-chatting with you So I find that calling someone at 11:50 is a great way to have a ten minute phone call >> [LAUGH] >> Because frankly, you may think you are interesting, but you are not more interesting than lunch I have become very obsessive about phones and using time productively So I just think that everybody should have something like this I don’t care about fashion So I don’t have Bluetooth, and I have this big ugly thing Hi, I’m Julie from Time Life, right >> [LAUGHS] >> But the thing this allows me to do, because you know I am sort of living a limit case right now I got to get stuff done and I really don’t have a lot of time So, I get an hour a day where I exercise on my bike And this is me on my bike And if you look carefully, you can see I’m wearing that headset, I’ve got my cellphone And for an hour a day, I ride my bike around the neighborhood This is time that I’m spending on the phone getting work done, and it’s not a moment being taken away from my wife or my children And it turns out that I can talk and ride a bike at the same time >> [LAUGH] >> Amazing the skill sets I have So it works better in cold weather climates, in warm weather climates I have just found that having a headset frees me up, even if it’s just around the house You wear a headset, you can fold laundry It’s an absolute twofer I just think telephones should have headsets And some day we will all have the Borg implant and it will be a nonissue What else is on my desk? I have sort of one of those address stampers, cuz I got tired of writing my address I have a box of Kleenex And your box at work, if you’re a faculty member You have to have a box of Kleenex Jim is laughing, right You know, at least if you teach the way I do, >> [LAUGH] [LAUGH] >> There will be crying students in your office And what I found to diffuse a lot of that is that I would have CS352 or whatever written on the side of the Kleenex box >> [LAUGH] >> And I would turn it as I handed it to them And they would take the Kleenex and they would be like, I said, yeah, it’s for the class >> [LAUGH] >> You’re not alone [LAUGH] >> So having Kleenex is very important And thank you cards I’ll now ask the embarrassment question And I don’t mean to pick on you, but it just points things out so well By show of hands, who here has written a thank you note that is not a quid pro quo I don’t mean, you gave me a gift, I wrote you a thank you note And I mean a physical thank you note with a pen and ink and paper, not email Cuz email’s better than nothing, but it’s that much better than nothing >> [LAUGH] >> Okay? How many people here have written a thank you note in the last week? Not bad, I do better here than at most places, cuz it is UVA >> [LAUGH] >> Chivalry is not dead, but that’s not How many people in the last month? How many people in the last year? The fact that there are non trivial number of hands not up for the year, means that anybody who’s in this audience has parents are going, ooh, that was my kid Thank you notes are really important They’re a very tangible way to tell someone how much you appreciated things I have thank you notes with me and that’s cuz I’m actually writing some later today to some people who’ve done some nice things for me recently And you say, well god, you have time for that? I’m like, yes, I have time for that, cuz it’s important Even in my current status, I will make time to write thank you notes to people And even if you’re a crafty, weaselly bastard, you should still write thank you notes Because it makes you so rare, that when someone gets a thank you note, they will remember you Right, it seems like the only place that thank you notes are really taken seriously anymore is when people are interviewing for jobs They now sometimes write thank you notes to the recruiters Which I guess shows a sign of desperation on the part of the recent graduates >> [LAUGH] >> But thank you notes are a wonderful thing And I would encourage all of you to go out and buy a stack at your local dime store, and have them on your desk So that when the moment seizes you, it’s right there And I leave my thank-you notes out on the desk, readily accessible And as I’ve said before, gratitude is something that can go beyond cards When I got tenure here, I took my whole research team down to Disney World on my nickel for a week And I believe in large gestures, but it’s also a lot of fun I wanted to go too, right? >> [LAUGH] >> I didn’t send them without proper chaperoning after all What else? I have a paper recycling bin And this is very good, because it helps save the planet, but it also helps save my butt So when I have a piece of paper that I would be throwing away, I put it in that bin, and that takes, I don’t know, a couple of weeks to get filled up and then actually sent somewhere else And so what I’ve really done here is I’ve created sort of the Windows Macintosh trash can, you can pull stuff back out of, it works in the real world too And about once a month, I go ferreting through there to find the receipt that I

didn’t think I’d ever need again, that I suddenly need And it’s extremely handy I suspect that if I were giving this talk in ten years, I would say I just put it in the auto scanner Right, because I find it almost inconceivable that ten years from now, first off that a lot of the stuff would be paper in my hands anyway But if it were paper, that I would have any notion of doing anything other than putting it on the desk where it goes [SOUND] And it’s already scanned, cuz it touched the desk, right? This kind of stuff is not really hard to do, so I think that’s what’s gonna happen And of course I have a phone book Notepad, I can’t live without Post-it Notes, right? I mean, And the view out the window of the dog >> [LAUGH] >> Cuz the dog reminds me that I should be out playing with him When we got married, I married into a family, I got a wife and two beautiful dogs There’s the other one >> [LAUGH] >> Could you help me with a debate I’ve had with my wife? By show of hands, how many people would semantically say the dog is on the couch? >> [LAUGH] >> Nobody, thank you, thank you >> [LAUGH] >> Cuz the dog was not allowed on the couch >> [LAUGH] >> And my wife came in one day [LAUGH] >> [APPLAUSE] >> And anyway, thank you for agreeing with me >> [LAUGH] >> It makes me feel very good So the dog is wonderful The dogs have long gone on, but they are still in our hearts and our memories, and I think of them every day And they’re still a part of my life I’ve presented to you how I do my office, how I do things, it’s not the only way One of the best assistants I’ve ever met was a woman named Tina Cobb, and she has a really different system, she’s a spreader >> [LAUGH] >> Right, if you think about it, there’ s a method to her madness Everything here is exactly one arm’s radius from where she sits, it’s like a two-armed octopus >> [LAUGH] >> And she got so much stuff done, and I never presume to tell somebody else how to change their system if their system is working Tina was much more efficient than I was, so I would just say look, do what works for you And everybody has to find a system for themselves But you’ve really got to think about what makes me more efficient Now let’s talk about office logistics In most office settings, people come into each other’s offices and proceed to suck the life out of each other >> [LAUGH] >> [COUGH] If you have a big cushy chair in your office, you might as well just slather butter all over yourself and send yourself naked into the woods for the wild animals to attack you >> [LAUGH] >> I say, make your office comfortable for you and optionally comfortable for others So no comfy chairs I used to have folding chairs in my office folded up against the wall So people wanna come into me and talk with me, they can stand And I would stand up, because then the meeting’s gonna be really fast, cuz we wanna sit down But then if it looks like it’s something that we should have a little bit more time on, I very graciously go over and open the folding chair, I’m such a gentleman >> [LAUGH] >> [COUGH] Some people do a different tack on this, they have the chair already there But they cut two inches off the front leg, so the whole time you’re in their office, you’re sort of scooting yourself up >> [LAUGH] >> I’m not advocating that, but I thought it was damn clever the first time I saw it >> [LAUGH] >> Scheduling yourself >> Verbs are important, you do not find time for important things, you make it And you make time by electing not to do something else There’s a term from economics that everybody should hold near and dear to their heart, and that term is opportunity cost The bad thing about doing something that isn’t very valuable is not isn’t a bad thing to have done it The problem is that once you spend an hour doing it, that’s an hour you can never again spend in any other way, and that’s important Now, how do you keep these unimportant things from sucking into your life? You learn to say no It’s great, my youngest child Chloe is at an age where this is her new word, about two weeks ago she learned it And it’s like now everything’s no, no, no, no, no, no, no! >> [LAUGH] >> She should be giving this talk >> [LAUGH] >> Right, and I asked her and she said, no! >> [LAUGH] >> [COUGH] So she’s home playing, [LAUGH] all right? But we all hate to say no, because people ask us for help and we wanna be gracious So let me teach you some gentle noes The first one is, I’m really strapped, but I wanna help you, I don’t want you to be in the bind So if nobody else steps forward, I will do this for you, all right? Or I’ll be your deep fall back, but you have to keep searching for somebody else Now you will find out about the person’s character at that moment Because if they say great, [SOUND] I’ve got my sucker, and they stop looking, then they have abused the relationship But if they say that’s great, my stress level is down at zero, because now I know it’s not gonna be a disaster But I’m gonna keep looking for someone for whom it’s less of an imposition That’s a person that will get lots of this sort of support, okay? When I was in graduate school, we did a moving party with four people, a lot of moving parties, carry heavy objects We had 4 people, we should’ve had 12, it was a long day And after that, I adopted a new policy I said from now on, when somebody says, will you help me move? I’ll say, how much stuff you got?

And they would tell me, and I’d say hm, that sounds like about eight people If you give me the names of seven other people that’ll be there, I’ll be there And I never again was at a moving party that went for 14 hours in January in Pittsburgh >> [LAUGH] >> [COUGH] Everybody has good and bad times A big thing about time management is, find your creative time and defend it ruthlessly Spend it alone, maybe at home if you have to, but defend it ruthlessly The other thing is, find your dead time, schedule meetings, phone calls, exercise, mundane stuff But do stuff during that where you don’t need to be at your best And we all have these times, and the times are not at all intuitive I discovered that my most productive time was between 10 PM and midnight, which is really weird But for me it’s just this burst of energy right before the end Let’s talk about interruptions An interruption, there are people who measure this kind of stuff, who have stopwatches and clipboards And what they say is that an interruption takes typically six to nine minutes But then there’s a four to five minute recovery to get your head back into to what you’re doing And if you do something like software creation, you may never get your head back there, the cost can be infinity [COUGH] But if you do the math on that, five interruptions blows a whole hour So you’ve got to find ways to reduce both the frequency and the length of these interruptions One of my favorites is turning phone calls into email If you phone my office at Carnegie Mellon, it says hi, this is Randy, please send me email >> [LAUGH] >> Again, I presume everybody here has email How many people here when that new message comes in, does your computer go ding or make some other noise? Do we still have people doing that? What the heck is wrong with you people? >> [LAUGH] >> And I love the fact that computer scientists just know nothing about anything So for years by default, all these packages out of the box would go ding every time you get a new piece of email So we had taken a technology explicitly designed to reduce interruption, and we’d turn them onto interruptions So you’ve just gotta turn that off The whole point of email is you go to it when you’re ready, not you’re sitting around like Pavlov’s dog saying, maybe I’ll get another email >> [LAUGH] >> [COUGH] In the same way, you try to not interrupt other people I save stuff up, so I have boxes for Tina or for my research group meeting And I put stuff in those boxes, and then once a week or however often, when the box gets full, I walk down the hall and I interrupt that person one time and I say here are the eight things I have for you How do you cut things short? Cuz people will always wanna spend more time then you wanna spend Well, you can say look, somebody interrupts you and says, got a few minutes? And say well, I’m in the middle of something right now And that tells them I’m interrupting it, I’m gonna do it quickly, but I’ve gotta get back to that Or you can say, I only have five minutes The great thing about that is that later you have the privilege of extending that if you so choose But when the five minutes are up, you say well, I said at the beginning I only had five minutes, and I really have to go now So it’s a very socially polite way to bound the amount of time on the interaction If somebody’s in your office and they don’t get it, now I’m not saying that as a computer scientist I have an inordinate amount of opportunity to interact with people with no social skills [LAUGH] >> [COUGH] >> [LAUGH] >> But if you have someone in your office who is just not getting it What you do is you stand up, you walk to the door, you compliment them For some reason this is a crucial part of the process >> [LAUGH] >> You thank them and you shake their hand And if they still don’t leave, which is pretty much a guarantee that you’re dealing with someone from my tribe >> [LAUGH] >> Then you’re in the doorway, you just keep going >> [LAUGH] >> What I have found is the people don’t like it when you look at your watch while you’re talking with them So what I do is I put a wall on the clock right behind them, so it’s just off axis from their eyes and I can just kinda glance over a little bit when I need to see what time it is It’s a very nice way to get me information without being rude to them Time journals, time is the commodity, you better find out where your time is going So monitor yourself and update it throughout the day You can’t wait till the end of the day and say what was I doing at 10:30? Cuz our memories aren’t that good So what you do and I really hope that technology within another five years or so will be so good that the time journals can be created automatically, or at least some facsimile of it But until then, what we do is we monitor it ourselves So this is what an empty time journal would look like The details aren’t important, but the key thing is that when you fill it in you’ve got a bunch of categories, and what I was doing And you can do this very informally, but you get a a lot of real data about where you’re time went And it’s always very different Anybody who’s done monetary budgeting, you look at it and you go wow, I didn’t know I was spending that much on dry cleaning, or restaurants It’s always a fascinating surprise And you always spend more than you think But with time budgets, you find out that the time is just going wildly differently than you would have imagined The best example of this I know is Turing Award winner Fred Brooke’s time clocks

He’s a brilliant computer scientist but he also has this great array of clocks in his office And when you go in and talk to him, he says is this meeting about research or teaching or whatever? And then he flips the appropriate switch and at the end of the week he knows exactly where his time went >> [LAUGH] >> The man is a genius When I meet with students, and this is I think just as appropriate for people in the work place, I say what’s your schedule? You have a set of fixed meetings every time, every week, and what you have to do is you have to look at those and identify the open blocks where you’re going to waste time And I can tell you’re gonna waste time just by looking at So in this case, you got a class at a certain point and then you’ve got a gap until the next class So I’ve identified those here And the gaps between classes that, in this case, last an hour or an hour and a half, this is just prime time to be wasted So what I always taught my students was, make up a fake class The fake class is go to one specific place in the library during that hour And when you’re sitting there with just you in the library and your books there’s a pretty good chance you might actually study So don’t go and hang out with friends for an hour, just make that a fake class Make your own little study hall It’s a simple trick but it’s amazing how effective it is when somebody just explicitly does it When you got your time journal data, what do you figure out from that? What am I doing doesn’t need to be done? What can someone else do? I love every day sort of saying, what am I doing that I could delegate to somebody else? My sister is again laughing because she knows who that person was in our youth [LAUGH] What can I do more efficiently? And how am I wasting other people’s time? When you get good at time management you realize that it’s a collaborative thing I want to make everybody more efficient It’s not a selfish thing It’s not me against you It’s how do we all collectively get more done? As you push on the time journal stuff you start to find that you don’t make yourself more efficient at work so that you can become some sort of uber worker person You become more efficient at work so that you can leave at five and go home and be with the people that you love People call this work life balance For the junior faculty, you may have heard of it >> [LAUGH] >> In some sort of mythical sense, but it is possible I found that I worked less, I worked fewer hours after I got married, and I got more done And I was always fascinated, in graduate school, that the people who graduated fastest with their PhDs were the people who had a spouse and kids And I said, how can that be, that’s like a built-in boat anchor, all right? >> [LAUGH] >> You’ve got all these other demands on your time And I’m a single guy, and I’ve got all the time in the world And that’s the problem, I approach it like I’ve got all the time in the world, so my time isn’t precious When you got a spouse and little kids, your spouse is likely to say things to you like, you better not be at that grad school more than 40 hours a week So when you come in, you’re not sitting around playing computer games, not that I ever did that >> [LAUGH] >> But when you come in, you’re coming in and you’re doing work And I found like most people that once I got married and had kids, my whole view of time management really got, I mean, we were playing for real stakes now Because now there are people whose lives are impacted if I’m spending too much time at work The other thing about time management, it makes you really start to look through a crystalline lens and figure out what’s important and what’s not I love this picture >> [LAUGH] >> I’ve blanked out her name, but this says, bla, bla, bla This is a pregnant woman and it says she is worrying about the effect on her unborn child from the sound of jack hammers So they’re doing construction and the people here are laughing because they can see that this woman who is so concerned about the jack hammers affecting her unborn child is holding a lit cigarette >> [LAUGH] >> You gotta get really good at saying, I gotta focus my time and energy on the things that matter, and not worry about the things that don’t Now I’m not a medical doctor and I don’t play one on TV But I’m willing to bet that if I were the fetus, I’d be saying put the cigarette out mom, I can deal with the noise! >> [LAUGH] >> All righty, so I wanna tell you a little story about effective versus efficient I actually was gonna give this talk a couple of weeks ago, and I talked with Gabe about it And we were gonna come up here cuz as a surprise to my wife, her favorite musical group in the whole world is The Police and has been for a long, long time They’re a wonderful group And, so we said, hey we’re gonna drive up to Charlottesville and see them We managed to get some tickets And I said, well honey as long as we’re up there I promised Gabe a long time ago that I wanted to give my time management talk She said okay, because it’s about a three hour drive So it’s very efficient to couple these two trips together And about two days later she said, you know honey, I know how you are with talks, and before you give one for a couple of days you start to obsess >> [LAUGH] >> And as we talked through it, she said so we’re gonna go up and this couples time away, we’d gotten a sitter to watch the kids And this couples time away is gonna be eaten up by you obsessing over preparing this talk And I thought about it and I said, okay So obviously the right solution is we should keep our couples time our

couples time We’ll go up we’ll see the concert, we’ll have our time together, and I’ll just schedule a different day, and I’ll go up on a one-day trip, and I’ll do the talk And she said, wow, that was easy >> [LAUGH] >> Right, once you frame it in the right way, and you say, yeah, the cost here is that I have to do the drive a second time But it turns out I’m doing the drive with my nephew Christopher, and we talk, and my mom always turns up So the time wasn’t even dead time, so there was no loss at all But the key thing was, we said it’s not about efficiency, it’s about effectiveness and best overall outcome And of course, one of the nice things was that we did get to go to the Police concert and I really wanna thank Gabe and Jimila, because we really went to the concert >> [LAUGH] >> And my wife was very happy >> [LAUGH] >> I’m the guy in the back saying, she’s not paying any attention to me today >> [LAUGH] >> But it was wonderful and he is a charming gentlemen in person He is absolutely charming So let’s talk about procrastination There’s an old saying, procrastination is the thief of time Procrastination is hard and I have a little bit of an insight here for you We don’t usually procrastinate because we’re lazy Sometimes people rationalize their procrastination They say, well gee, if I wait long enough maybe I won’t have to do it That’s true Sometimes you get lucky But, and other people say, gee if I start on it now I’m just gonna spend all the time on it If I only give myself the last two days, I’ll do it in two days, because that’s the work expands to fill the time available Parkinson’s Law That’s marginally true, but I think the key balance here is to understand that doing things at the last minute, is really expensive And it’s just much more expensive than doing it just before the last minute So if you’re doing something and you can still mail it through the US mail, you have suddenly avoided the my God, I’ve gotta do the whole FedEx thing I love FedEx FedEx supports our whole universal habit of procrastination [LAUGH] >> But it also allows us to get stuff there, when it has to be there in a hurry So that’s a wonderful thing But I think you have to realize that if you push things up the the deadline, that’s where all the stress comes from Because now you can’t reach people If somebody is out of the office for just one day, your whole plan is upset So you really have to work hard on this kind of stuff The other thing is that deadlines are really important We are all essentially deadline driven So if you have something that isn’t due for a long time, make up a fake deadline and act like it’s real And that’s wonderful, because those are the deadlines, when push comes to shove You can slip them by a couple of days and it’s all right So they’re less stressful If you are procrastinating, [COUGH] you’ve gotta find some way to get back into your comfort zone Identify why you’re not enthusiastic Whenever I procrastinate on something, there’s always a deep psychological reason Usually, it’s I’m afraid of being embarrassed cuz I don’t think I’ll do it well, or I’m afraid I’m gonna fail at it And sometimes, it involves asking somebody for something And one of the most magical things I’ve learned in my life, is that sometimes you just have to ask and wonderful things happen But you just have to step out and do that [COUGH] I won the parent lottery I have just wonderful parents And my dad unfortunately passed away not too long ago But this is one of my favorite photographs, because my dad was such a smart guy I could almost never surprise him or impress him, because he was just that good But we were down on a family vacation at Disney World, and the monorails were going by and we’re gonna board the monorail And we noticed that in the front, up here in the cabin, I don’t know if you can see it in this picture, but there is an engineer who drives the monorail, and there were actually guests up there with him, which is kind of unusual My dad and I were talking about that and I knew cuz, I’ve done some consulting for Disney My dad saying they probably have to be special VIPs or something like that Is aid there is a trick There is a special way you get into that cabin, and he said really, what is it? I said I’ll show you Dylan, come with me, and Dylan who’s at the back of his head you can see there We woke up and I whispered to Dylan Ask the man if we could ride in the front >> [LAUGH] >> And we got to the attendant and the attendant says, why yes you can and he opens the gate and my dad’s just like >> [LAUGH] >> I said I told you there was a trick, I didn’t say it was hard [LAUGH] >> And sometimes, all you have to do is ask and it’s that easy Let’s talk about delegation Nobody operates individually anymore, and you can accomplish a lot more when you have help However, most people delegate very poorly They treat delegation as dumping I don’t have time to do this, you take care of it And then they micromanage, and it’s just a disaster The first thing if you’re going to delegate something to a subordinate, is you grant them authority with responsibility You don’t tell somebody go take care of this, but if you need to spend any money, you’ve got to come back to me for approval, that’s not empowering them, that’s telling them you don’t trust them If I trust you enough to do the work, I trust you enough to give you the resources, and the time, and the budget, and whatever else you need to get it done You get the whole package The other thing is delegate, but always do the ugliest job yourself So if we need to vacuum the lab before a demo, I bring in the vacuum cleaner and I vacuum it Do the dirtiest job yourself

So it’s very clear that you’re willing to still get the dirt on your hands Treat your people well, people are the greatest resource and if you are fortunate enough to have people who report to you, treat them with dignity, respect, and to sound a little bit corny, the kind of love that they should have from someone who cares about them in their professional development And for crying out loud, staff and secretaries are your lifeline If you don’t think you should treat them well because it’s the decent thing to do, at least treat them well because if you don’t, they will get you >> [LAUGH] >> All right And they will get you good, and you will deserve it, and I will applaud them >> [LAUGH] >> Am I giving a talk on time management with Alf Weaver in the audience? Where is Alf? There he is That’s like talking about surviving the Jonestown flood if Noah’s in the audience >> [LAUGH] >> One of the things that Alf Weaver taught me, is whether it’s to a colleague or to a subordinate If you want to get something done, you cannot be vague, he said You give somebody a specific thing to do, a specific date and time Thursday is not a specific time Thursday at 3:22 gets somebody’s attention And you give them a specific penalty or reward, that will happen if that deadline or that thing is not met And then he paused and he said, and remember the penalty or reward has to be for them [LAUGH] >> Not you All right, I will be screwed over if you don’t meet that deadline Bummer >> [LAUGH] >> This is an important point to not get wrong Challenge people I’ve been told that one of the tricks is you delegate until they complain I complain But what I found is that under delegation is a problem People are usually yearning for the opportunity to do more They wanna be challenged, they wanna prove to you and themselves they can be more capable, so let them Communication has to be clear So many times, people get upset with their bosses, because there’s a misunderstanding And particularly in the time of email, it’s so easy to communicate the email and if you got a face to face conversation, send a two line email just to be specific after works And it’s not like we are gonna be a lawyer like, it’s just there as Judge Weiner said, get it writing if you remember the people’s court And Judge Weiner said, if there isn’t a problem it’s not a problem, it didn’t take a much time But if there is a problem, well wait a second, there won’t be a problem because there’s a written record And that’s the magic There won’t be a confusion, because you can’t disagree about the written word Don’t give people how you want them do it Tell them what you want them to do Give them objectives, not procedures Let them surprise you with a way of solving a problem, you would never have imagined Sometimes, the solutions are mind blowing good or bad But they’re really much more fun than just having them do it the way you would have done it And you know what if you’re in university, your job should be to have people smarter than you, i.e your students And they will come up with stuff you would never of thought The other thing is, tell people the relative importance of each task I meet so many people who say, my boss is an ogre, they gave me five things to do I’m like, well, did they tell you which one is the most important? Yeah, I guess I could ask that Knowing that if you have five things, which are the ones to get done, is really important Cuz if you’re flying blind, you got a 20% chance of getting them done in the right order And delegation can never be done too young >> [LAUGH] >> Does everyone see the difference in the two pictures? >> [APPLAUSE] >> This is my daughter Chloe, I love her to death But I want her to grow up to be a wonderful person And I knew, the sooner she holds her own bottle, the better >> [LAUGH] >> Sociology, be aware upward delegation Sometimes you try to delegate and people try to hand it back to you One of the best things I ever saw was someone who had a secretary trying to say, I can’t do this, you’ll have to take it back And he just put his hands behind his back, and took a step backwards >> [LAUGH] >> And then he waited And then eventually, the secretary said, or maybe I could find this other solution, and he said, that’s wonderful I’m so proud you thought of that It was an elegant gesture Reinforced behavior we wont be repeated One of my favorite stories in the One Minute Manager is, he talks about did you ever wonder how they got the killer whales to jump through the hoop? If they did it like modern American office managers, they would yell at the killer whale, jump through the hoop And every time the killer whale didn’t jump through the hoop, they’d hit it with a stick >> [LAUGH] >> I mean, this is how we train people in the office place Read the book if you want to see how they actually do it, because I’m curious I know now, but it’s really cool how they do get them to do it So reinforce behavior you want repeated, when people do things that you like, praise them and thank them That’s worth more than any amount of monetary reward or a little plaque People really like to just be told straight up, thank you, I really appreciate that you did a good job The other thing is that if you don’t want things delegated back up to you, don’t learn how to do them I take great pride, I don’t know how to run photocopiers and fax machines and I ain’t gonna learn >> [LAUGH] >> That’s certainly not how I’m gonna spend my remaining time Meetings, the average executive spends more than 40% of his or

her time in a meeting My advice is when you have a meeting, lock the door, unplug the phone, and take everybody’s Blackberries Because if it’s worth our time, it’s worth our time If it’s not worth our time, it’s not worth our time I don’t have any interest in being in a room with six people who are all half there, because that’s very inefficient I don’t think meetings should ever last more than an hour, with very rare exception And I think that there should be an agenda I got into a great habit a couple of years ago when I just started saying if no agenda, I won’t attend And the great thing about that is, whoever called the meeting had to actually think before they showed up about why we were supposed to be there Because otherwise, well, why are we here? Because we had a meeting, it’s on all of our calendars It’s just a classic Dilbert moment So, most important thing about meetings, and again this comes from the one minute manager One minute minutes At the end of a meeting, somebody has to have been assigned the scribe, and they write down in one minute or less what decisions got made, and who is responsible for what by when Then email it out to everybody Because if you don’t do that, you have your next weekly meeting next week and you all sit around going, now who was going to do this? It’s very inefficient And it’s so fast to just do these one minute minutes Let’s talk about technology I’m a computer scientist, I would say which gadget will make me more time efficient? And I don’t have any answer for that, it’s all idiosyncratic But I will tell you that my favorite comment about technology comes form a janitor at the University of Central Florida who said, computers are faster they just take longer >> [LAUGH] >> That’s zen right there >> [LAUGH] >> So that’s another way of saying, only use technology that’s worth it And worth it is, end to end, did it make me more efficient? And that depends on how you work and we are all different And remember that technology is getting insane I walked into McDonald’s and I ordered, you know a happy meal number two and they said, would you like a cell phone with that? >> [LAUGH] >> I went to the grocery store to buy 16 slices of American cheese, and you get Grollier’s encyclopedia So with 16 slices of cheese you get all of man’s knowledge for free >> [LAUGH] >> That’s just spooky scary And remember the technology really has to be something that makes your life better You guys may have seen this, I just find it very humorous >> [SOUND] [LAUGH] [SOUND] [LAUGH] >> So only use technology that helps you >> [LAUGH] >> I find that technology is good if it allows you to do things in a new way Just doing the same things a little bit faster with technology is nice But when technology changes the workflow So, I was carving pumpkins few years ago And this is FM, a good friend of mine And I don’t know if you can see it, but down by her right knee is a pattern And you lay this pattern over the pumpkin And you get this little special carving knife And you can, instead of these amateurish pumpkins- >> [LAUGH] >> Like I made, you get this sort of howling at the moon And her husband, Jeff, and I thought this was really cool But it incited a reactionary, Burning Man kind of a moment We grabbed our power drills >> [LAUGH] >> And we carved our pumpkins that way Use technology if it changes the way you do things because, believe me, the results of a power drill you get these little, it’s just gorgeous Let’s talk briefly about email because email is such a large part of all our lives First off, don’t ever delete any of it Save all of it I started doing this ten years ago And the interesting this is, that all the historians talk about, it’s such a shame we don’t have people keeping diaries We don’t know what their day is like I’m like, you fools We have just entered a society circa about ten years ago, and I’m a living example of it, every piece of my correspondence is not only saved, it’s searchable So if I were a person of merit, a historian, which is a big stretch A historian could actually look at my patterns of communication much better than the most compulsive diary writer Now we can talk about, whether or not, I’m being introspective, that’s about content But in terms of quantity, it’s great And of course, you can save your email and you can search it And it’s just wonderful, because you can pull back stuff from five years ago So never delete your email Here’s a big email trick If you wanna get something done, do not send the email to five people Hey, could somebody take care of this? Every one of those five recipients is thinking one and only one thing I deleted it first >> [LAUGH] >> All right? So the other four people will take care of this, I don’t have to So you send it to one and only one person But if you really want it to be done, send it to somebody who can do it Tell them, what again? Alph Weaver, specific thing, specific time And then the penalty can be more subtle, you just CC their boss

>> [LAUGH] >> All right? And the other thing, I had this conversation with every student in my entire career, cuz they send email, and then they just wait for the person to respond And I say, if the person has not responded within 48 hours, it’s okay to nag them And the reason it’s okay to nag them, because if they haven’t responded within 48 hours the chance that they are ever going to respond, is zero I mean maybe not zero, maybe that small But in my experience if people don’t respond to you within 48 hours you’ll probably never hear from them So just start nagging them [COUGH] Let’s talk about the care and feeding of bosses There’s a phrase managing from beneath Cuz we all know that all bosses are idiots That’s certainly the expression, the the business sense I’ve gotten from everybody who has a boss When you have a boss write things down, do that clear communication thing Ask them, when is our next meeting? What do you want me to have done by then? So you got sort of a contract Who can I turn to for help, besides you? Cuz I don’t wanna bother you And remember, your boss wants a result not an excuse General advice on vacations, phone callers should get two options When you are on vacation, the first option is, contact John Smith not me I’m out of the office, but this person can help you in the office if it’s urgent, or call back when I’m back Why? Because you don’t wanna come back to a long sequence of phone messages saying, hey Randy, can you help me take care of this? And you calling back and you’ve been on vacation for week, they already solved it And the other thing is, it’s not a vacation if you’re reading email Trust me on that It’s not a vacation if you’re reading email I can stay in my house all weekend and not read email, and it’s a vacation But if I go to Hawaii and I’ve got a Blackberry, I’m not on vacation And I know this, when my wife and I got married we left our reception in a hot air balloon, which did not have wireless on it And Dean Jim Morris at the time, we took a month long honeymoon, which was great, but not really long enough And Jim Morris said, and I said I’m not going to be reachable for a month and Jim said that’s not acceptable And I said what do you mean that’s not acceptable? He said well I pay you So that’s the not acceptable part And I said okay, so there has to be a way to reach me, and he said yes I said okay, so if you call my office there would be a phone answering machine message that said, hi this is Randy I’m on vacation I waited until 39 to get married and so we’re going for a month And I hope you don’t have a problem with that But apparently my boss does So he says I have to be reachable So here’s how you can reach me My wife’s parents live in blah, blah town, here’s their names If you call directory assistance, you can get their number >> [LAUGH] >> And then if you can convince my new in laws that your emergency merits interrupting their only daughter’s honeymoon they have our number >> [LAUGH] >> Here’s some of the most important advice, we close with some of the best stuff Kill your television, people who study to say the average American watches 28 hours of television a week That’s almost three quarters of a full time job So if you really wanna get time back in your life, you don’t have to kill your television, but just unplug it, put it in the closet and put a blanket over it See how long it takes you to get the shakes >> [LAUGH] >> Turn money into time, especially junior faculty members or other people who have young children This is the time to throw money at the problem Hire somebody else to mow your lawn, do whatever you need to do, but exchange money for time at every opportunity when you have very young children because you just don’t have enough time It’s just too hard And the other thing is eat and sleep and exercise Above all else, you always have time to sleep because if you get sleep deprived, everything falls apart Other general advice, never break a promise but renegotiate them if need be If you said I’ll have this done by Tuesday at noon, you can call the person on Friday and say I’m still good to my word, but I’m really jacked up And I’m gonna have to stay and work over the weekend to meet that Tuesday deadline Is there any way there’s any slack on that? And a lot of times they’ll say Thursday’s fine, cuz I really need it Thursday but I told you Tuesday >> [LAUGH] >> Or they’ll say it’s no problem, I can have Jim do that instead of you He has some free time Now if they say no, there’s no wiggle room here, you say that’s okay, no problem, I’m still good at my word, all right If you haven’t got time to do it right, you don’t have time to do it wrong, that’s self-evident Recognize that most things are pass-fail People spend way too much time, there’s a reason we have the expression, good enough It’s because the thing is good enough And the last thing is, get feedback solutions Ask people in confidence Because if someone will tell you what you’re doing right or doing wrong and they’ll tell you the truth, that’s worth more than anything else in the whole world I recommend these two books Time management is not a late breaking field Both these books are old books but I recommend them highly And it’s traditional to close a talk like this with,

here’s the things I told you about I’m not gonna tell you the things I told you about I’m gonna tell you the things that you can operationally go out and do today First thing, if you don’t have a day timer or personal digital assistant, a palm pilot or whatever, go get one Put your to do list in priority order, you can use the four quadrants or do what I do, just put a number, zero to nine, but sort it by priority And do a time journal, if it’s really too much effort, just count the number of hours you watch of television in the next week, that’s my gift to you >> [LAUGH] >> And the last thing is once you’ve got your day timer, make a note for 30 days from today, it’s okay if that one goes ding to remind you And revisit this talk in 30 days, it’ll be up on the web courtesy of Gabe and ask, what have I changed? And if I haven’t changed anything, then we still had a pleasant hour together If you have to changed things, then you’ll probably have a lot more time to spend with the ones you love And that’s important, time is all we have And we may find one day you have less than you think Thank you >> [APPLAUSE]

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