Right FIT Newsletter #159: Time Management, Exhaustion, Contrast

Sales and marketing Newsletter

Quick notes to help you get more sales and marketing done in less time. . . next week.

In this issue:

– Techniques for FIT
– Being Human
– Random Stuff

Techniques for FIT

  • Nothing is instant. Using technology to help do more with less effort still takes an initial investment of time. No different than knowing that hiring an assistant will take time before you feel more effective.
  • Professionals suggest we turn our phones to grayscale and remove notifications because technology vendors are perfecting the stickiness of apps. While resisting the urge to check a tiny red notification keeps me from sleep, I begin to think they have a point.
  • Automation isn’t a cure-all. If you use technology to automate, take a minute next week and double check your direct person-to-person communications. Automation should help you be more consistent, not turn you into a robot.
  • Next week, check your schedule for any back-to-back meetings. If you can’t reschedule, give yourself a reminder to do two things. One, list the best case scenario for both meetings. Second, set a reminder to take time in-between for notes. Otherwise you’ll be half there in both cases.
    (yes, this just happened to me)

Being Human – Exhaustion

Our minds must relax: they will rise better and keener after a rest. Just as you must not force fertile farmland, as uninterrupted productivity will soon exhaust it, so constant effort will sap our mental vigour, while a short period of rest and relaxation will restore our powers. Unremitting effort leads to a kind of mental dullness and lethargy.”
– Seneca

FIT graphic

Time management is a regular theme in conversations with clients. I could just chalk it up to human being’s racing against our impending mortality, but it should probably be addressed. As my old Mad Gringo story went, “The push for more and more.” but getting “The feeling of less and less.” isn’t new. I bumped into another example this week, from who might be the first time management guru, Frederick Winslow Taylor.

Taylor was an engineer hired by Bethlehem Steel Works, in 1898,  to improve the firm’s efficiency.

The idea of efficiency that Taylor took to Bethlehem Steel was borrowed the industrial revolution. It was how engineers thought about increasing the function of machines, but transferred to humans. It was popular and Taylor became a popular lecturer on the topic, and by the early 1900s, ‘efficiency’ was everywhere. Everyone wanted maximize efficiency.

It’s easy to see why it was popular. “Do more in less time and do it cheaper and better.” Nothing wrong there.

Here’s the thing about Taylor’s example: there’s no evidence it worked with humans.  Bethlehem Steel fired him in 1901 because his ideas had no measurable impact on profits. The only thing he demonstrated was that workers initially showed promising results, but over time were too exhausted to be consistent.

If you’re pushing too hard for too long, your results suffer. That’s the corollary to the concept that if you don’t put in effort, you get no results. Take a look at that FIT graphic at the top. To keep your people optimized and energized, help them stay in that middle zone. Encourage them use their self-identified strengths to their work and make them take time off. Sounds easy, but it takes focused effort. We are all headed to the grave at some point but that doesn’t necessarily mean “squeeze it all in,” and since your people are not at work all-day-every-day, it definitely doesn’t mean “squeeze it all in during our work hours.”

They say, to a ship without a destination, every harbor looks good in a storm. Let’s have a destination in mind, let’s only be as dogmatic about how to get there as we need to be, and let’s encourage our people to apply their self-identified strengths to tasks. Simple, but not easy.

If you need help, let’s talk about it.

Random Stuff

“Understanding the seasons of life will ease your suffering”

Right now, this is the temperature where I live:

Omaha Temp

At the same time, at the Australian Open:

Australian Open

I’m not finding comfort in the contrast. Just sayin’.


More Random Stuff

A few weeks ago I mentioned that my old cat, Snickers, was nearing the end of an 18 tour of our home. He passed away this week and I wrote this little poem to share with my writing group. If you’re interested, I’m sharing it with you too (pdf download).
He was a good cat.



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