Are you controlling your time?
Or is the time controlling you?
You can have the best people but this is where you are boycotting yourself each and every day. And you dont even know why you are failing.
This topic has many aspects and many many techniques that we will go through in detail during my coaching class.
Here are some examples:
The Pareto Principle
Most things in this world can be grouped into a 80-20 rule.
80% of all wealth is owned by 20% of the people.
80% of the people share the remaining 20% of wealth.
80% of your daily work leads only to 20% of the results,
but the right 20% of your work give you 80 % of results!
Just remember your graduate time. The first 80% of your entire PhD time generated only 20% of data for your publication. You learned methods, tried out wrong experimental designs ...
The final 20% of your PhD time, usually the last year generated 80% of data that went directly into the paper. You somehow got the point and became very productive. You thought: if I would have known all this earlier I could have saved sooo much of time.
Thats actually the role of a coach, to reduce the 80% of your non-effectiveness in the beginning from 4 years to 6 months. Because the stumbling stones are always the same, at the beginning of your PhD or the beginning of your PI time.
I give you one more example: you invited guests over the weekend.
You vacuum clean for 15 min and your apartment looks sort of clean. That were 20% of work (as it took only 15 min) and 80% of effect (looks clean).
Afterwards, you make a dip with fresh herbes and a fancy dressing. That takes you 1 h but ist only a dressing, nobody gets full from that! Meaning, 80% of work with 20% of effect.
Just search in your life for more examples of the Pareto principle. During coaching we will clearly identify your personal 80% of non-effectiveness and we will delegate them away. Afterwards, you will only do those 20% of work that leads to 80% success. Just guess how effective you will be all of a sudden. And how much time you will have for your kids. WIN-WIN for everybody.
One more example for 20% work with 80% effect:
Hire A-Employees who learn quickly, are super motivated, take over all kind of work from you and are happy on top that they learn so much from you. WIN-WIN for everybody.
Delegate routine work
- The secret of every successful mom. You cannot do everthing yourself! No, you cannot. And actually thats better for everyone. Because if you try to do everything by yourself it makes you unhappy and then you are constantly in a bad mood and nobody likes that.
- Day-care (your kids also prefer to play with other kids than sitting around at home)
- Cleaning help (it looks much cleaner in the end than if you do it yourself)
- Secretary (the Grant-Layouts look much more professional in the end and that impresses the reviewers)
- Digital personal assistant (taking care of your lab website and your social media appearance. That is important for your recruitment! No, I never meant that you post yourself on Facebook. You are a scientist not an entertainer.)
- Technical assistants and students (take care of routine work in the lab, these salaries are often saved but it usually pays off in the longrun)
Yes, that all costs money and that brings us to the next point:
Your time is more valuable than your money !
Your time to perform runs out faster than your funding.
When you were a student your money was more valuable than your time. You prefered to walk for 1h than paying 2 € for the bus. But you are not a student anymore! If you keep thinking like a student your business will fail. And I mean this seriously.
From today onward you need to think like a businessman!
Please: Dont save the money for a technical assistant and overload your Post Doc with routine tasks. Then your Post Doc has no more time for his / her actual job and you dont get any good data for publishing. That doesnt only make your Post Doc unhappy but you are also paying a Post Doc salary for a technician job. And that is bad financing management. Nevertheless, this happenes daily in many many labs.
Stop writing - start dictating
This is a secret trick that hardly anyone uses.
But it can save you 1-2 hours of prime time !!
What are you doing most of the day?
You sit at the computer and ... write.
Emails, grants, manuscripts ...
We can talk much faster than write.
How can you integrate this into your daily life?
- There are voice recorders, but someone has to still write down all that stuff – not a very good solution.
- There are voice recognition programs that you need to train for weeks – that takes a lot of time and is therefore a pretty bad solution
- And there are smartphones – our digital helper in every day life
On your smartphone you can download the App „Simplenote“ or you use the App „Notes“, which is usually installed right from the beginning. If you open the App you will find this microphone symbol . Just click on it and start talking. Every word will be written down now and in the end you can send the text to your email. The trick is to actually use it. Means: Practice dictating! If doctors can do it you can do it, too. Ist feels weird in the beginning but you will get used to it quickly. And then you never want to miss it anymore.
I wish you lots of fun with that.