Importance of Staff Meetings

October 9th, 2010 § 1 comment § permalink

Staff Meeting
Image via Wikipedia

I’m reading Steven Johnson‘s latest book: Where good ideas come from. Lot’s of interesting points being made, but I just came across one, that is specially important for entrepreneurs.

Steven describes an experiment done by some social psychologists, who wired science labs with microphones and cameras, to be able to track the entire process of idea creation in vivo, and observe where they occurred.

My first thought was: “it’s going to be the coffee machine” – the conversations in a relaxed mode during a short break and the lightbulb moment seem to make sense. The book suggested it will be a lone researcher in his lab, bending over his microscope.

Rather than those two situations, the breakthrough ideas were happening at regular weekly staff meetings. This fact alone is a good enough reason to have them, even if you think your startup is not large enough yet. Just do it, it will pay off.

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Managing Time

February 8th, 2010 § Comments Off on Managing Time § permalink

My superb time-management skills were being challenged last month by a great new amount of responsibilities, so I decided to finally start working on articulating my time management framework.

When you think of time management, it’s really mainly about two things:

  1. figuring out what’s important and what not
  2. sticking to it

Now, the first point is very dependent on your field of work / focus, but the latter is all about discipline, which in my case is mainly about memory. My usual thought cycle has three stages: acknowledge something is important, forget it immediately, suddenly remember after two days and do it. And every 10 minutes I remember the next thing, and work on that… I got used to this and hasn’t failed me to often. 🙂

However, some things simply have to happen regularly and predictably – like weekly sales review, monthly roadmap review, or calling the parents. If you fail to do it regularly, nobody will really notice until the whole process stops working.

I’ve tried using regular calendaring solutions for this, but it’s just to rigid – there is no way the sales review will happen at the same day of the week and the same hour. So why even bother with rescheduling process? And the post-it notes are great, as long as there is less than 50 things on them, and as long as the tasks on them are one-time tasks.

So I decided to try a different approach – a meta-calendar, that will outline everything that should be done every day, every week, every month, every year. So every morning I simply glance at this timetable and check what should I have done this day of the week and this day of the month. Here’s how it looks (I’ve left some entries in for better idea):

… and you can also download source file

Now, I just wish I knew enough Javascript to be able to convert this to web-based app, where I’d have simple point-and-click editing of the cells, auto-sync with my Google Calendar and Remember the Milk and maybe a morning coffee report 😉

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