Thursday, January 28, 2010

Much ‘to do’ about somethings

As every schoolboy physicist knows, time is an abstract concept. I’ve tried explaining this abstract concept to various girlfriends, but what seems like half an hour to some, seems like 30 seconds to others. Yesterday, for example, my lifestyle coach and guru Zach Abrahams came into the office to give a lecture on time management, and for me the five hours literally flew past. He was on-fire.

It was totally awesome readers. Zach’s class was due to start at 9:00, just like work normally is. I made good and sure I was in early, I suppose that my extra session at the weekend had already started to make me a better time manager. But Dan, as per usual, rolled up to work with his Starbucks skinny latte, a good ten minutes late.

As regular readers will know, when my boss Dan split up with his missus he moved into my place and became my flatmate. No one at work knows that we cohabit, because Dan said he didn’t want to have any conflicts of interest. Anyway, ever since he moved in, he’s started buying Starbucks skinny lattes and rocking up at ten past. I wouldn’t mind, but he makes me hang around after 5:30 so that he can leave the office first.

It’s totally selfish readers, of course; I know it is. But I’m too generously minded to kick up a stink. Mi casa su casa. Only today, when Dan turned up, Zach had already started the class. Punctuality, according to Zach, is sacrosanct. He spent almost the entirety of the day picking on Dan. Which was totally hilarious, as you can imagine lol ;-)

I must say sadly Zach seems to be copping some slack from my idiot colleagues. I overheard Suzi and Mark Baker laughing about his platform shoes and stumpy fingers. Old ‘keep your head down’ Barry would have sat down and ignored the jibes, or if I’m being honest, he might even have joined in succumbing to peer group pressure and the urge to win favour. But New Career-Minded Barry ‘modelled the way’.I went over and told them that they were clearly jealous of Zach’s confidence and ability, and that he did not suffer from a Napoleon complex. Then they started called me gay, but then amazingly Dan stepped in and defended me! Honestly readers, I can see that modelling the way is already helping me move up the career ladder. Come the next review, I’m going up against Suzi and Baker and there’s only going to be one winner. And it’s not because I let my boss stay at the flat for a very reasonable £300 a month either.

The class was a real eye-opener. Now, I know that I’ve been a bit slack of late when it comes to posting on the blog, but Zach taught me a totally amazing trick of time management. It’s something the pros use all the time. Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Warren Buffet, Tony Blair, they all use this technique for managing their time. Zach says he learnt the technique from a management guru in LA – so pay attention and you might just get your life back on track like me.

It’s something called a ‘to do’ list. Here’s the thing, you know how during the day you’ve got loads of stuff on your plate, so much so that sometimes it feels like you’re spinning plates! Well, if you write all the stuff down in a list and then make a note of which ones are important and need your attention, then you can make sure that you do those things. The really great thing is that if you write down all the stuff you need to do, then if your boss comes over and asks you to do something you can just hold up the piece of paper with your jobs on and point out that you’ve got quite enough to keep you busy thanks very much, so find some other mug to help out.

Another amazing part of the ‘to do’ list, is the way that is helps you palm off your work to other people. This is something called ‘delegation’. Apparently most people find delegation quite difficult because 50 per cent of the time they feel as though they can do a better job and the other 50 per cent of the time they feeling guilty about giving other people work. So if you accept that other people can do a better job, and even if they can’t who cares, then delegation suddenly becomes second nature. I think I’ll be a natural.

I’ve already delegated posting last night’s Love Film film back to Dan, he didn’t even realise I was ‘delegating’, I just asked him if he could do it for once and he said, ‘OK Barry, bloody hell, don’t forget who’s the boss’ – but he did it anyway, and that’s the key!

By creating the ‘to do’ list managers can prioritise workstreams efficiently and effectively, Zach says, and by adding in how long it will take to do the tasks on the ‘to do’ list the successful manager is able to palm off the stuff he (and let’s face it, women get pregnant and so the manager usually is a he), doesn’t really like or can’t be bothered to do.

It’s absolutely bloody brilliant and has already revolutionised my life. As soon as I got home, I wrote a ‘to do’ list:

  1. Turn oven on to warm up
  2. Crack open a can of Cobra
  3. Check in and see if Dan is watching his soaps
  4. Ask Dan if he’s seen that copy of Brokeback Mountain that needs posting back to Love Film
  5. Go to room and log on to the Internet
  6. Check emails and see if Mr London Street has been in touch
  7. Check Facebook to see if anyone else has bothered to join the Friends of Barry Newsdesk group
  8. Check Twitter
  9. Go back downstairs and put Fray Bentos into oven
  10. Crack open second can of Cobra
  11. Google ‘Maria Whitaker+nude pictures’
  12. Pleasure myself as part of on-going Project Onan
  13. Go downstairs and plate up the Fray Bentos
  14. Crack open another Cobra
  15. Log on to the blog and write about today’s experiences

And there you go readers, that’s Time Management in action. The sense of enormous self-worth that you get by creating the ‘to do’ list then ‘doing’ the things you need to ‘do’ is wonderful.

I think I’ll just crack open another can of Cobra and get myself to bed. A rested mind is an active mind!



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