Lessons in Time

I’ve been a tortured soul fan of the Philadelphia Eagles my entire life and one fundamental flaw most experts consistently point out about the Eagles since the long-gone glory days of Dick Vermeil, is that they mismanage the clock.  From Andy Reid to Chip Kelly we have lost so many games not on talent or heart, but on clock management; from a fan perspective, this is crushing since it’s avoidable with proper coaching.  The Kansas City Chiefs put this all on display yesterday as they got to the end of the game and failed to score before the two minute warning with all of their time outs left.  They may (and probably wouldn’t have) won anyway but they didn’t even leave themselves a chance because of the poor play calling.

Benjamin Franklin once said “[t]ime lost is never found again.”

Alex Smith and his offense will attest to that from yesterday’s game.  In our lives we procrastinate, we overthink, we over meet, we don’t delegate sufficiently…there are so many ways we mismanage our clocks.   Some of us have jobs where we need to get x done in a day so some of the simple time management skills and tips are very helpful that we’ve all seen before:

  • Create lists of what needs to be done at the end of each day.
  • Get the hard stuff done and out of the way.
  • Turn off email notifications etc…and focus.

For most of us, we have longer-term projects that require working with teams, managing multiple priorities and delivering high-quality product and allowing for time to do quality assurance testing.  Leveraging project management tools and techniques is critical to success.  While we all keep looking for the holy grail of project management software to help us manage our clocks, I’ve found that different projects require different tools.  We use Wrike for very detailed task management, Basecamp for some collaborative projects which aren’t highly subtask heavy, or sometimes Excel is sufficient for a quick turnaround.

Figure out a system that works for you and your teams but don’t look past the importance of clock management, just ask any Eagles fan.

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