Just where does the time seem to go? I don’t know about you but as of late I seem to be running out of time or just simply running behind more often than in the past. I’d like to blame the current turmoil in the financial markets; however, that’s not the problem. There are many, many more people who are better qualified than I talk about time management (I’m sorta a fan of GTD myself), but I do have one secret that I’d like to share with you. No promises, but if you believe what I’m going to share with you and if you take the time to implement it, then there is a pretty good chance that you’ll become the best IT manager in the world. Sound interesting? Then read on…
If you think back a bit, you might remember that there was a book called The Secret that was very popular awhile ago. In a nutshell, the secret was that if you can imagine something, then you can make it happen. This applies to making others believe that you have control over your time. However, I’m going get just a bit more specific here and give you one single change that if you implement it will have a dramatic and positive impact on your life: start showing up early.
What this means in the day-to-day life of a IT manager is that you need to start to show up for meeting early (5-10 minutes will do) and even more importantly, you need to start to jump on call bridges early (5 minutes will do here). I don’t know about you, but up until just recently I was a constantly late shower-upper. I would slide into calls 5 minutes late and hope that whoever was running the meeting would not stop the call and ask who had just joined when they heard the “beep” that announced my arrival. I’d slug through the call and then slink off when it was over no better or worse for the time spent on the call.
A few weeks ago, I accidentally showed up for a call early. You can imagine how surprised I was when there was nobody on the bridge when I joined (there was that moment where I felt that I needed to check to make sure that I had the right call-in numbers). What happened next really caught my attention: other people started to join. These just happened to be people that I had been trying with no luck to get in touch with. I had very quick, very short conversations with three of them as they joined and got commitments from them to send me answers and materials that I desperately needed. As others joined I exchanged small talk with them and reconnected with people that I knew but had not seen in a long time. When the call’s leader joined he fumbled around for a bit and this gave me time to ask a very good, penetrating question about what he wanted to accomplish on this call and that got everyone involved in a discussion. Man, it was almost like I was running the show!
Based on the success of this accidental event, I started showing up early for all of my meetings that week and found that the same sequence of events repeated itself. Others looked at me as though I was in charge, I connected with other people who were in the meeting, and I was able to make face-to-face requests for support and materials that were never turned down. Wow – who knew that getting what you wanted could be so easy?
Yes, I realize that showing up early for meetings and calls won’t solve all of life’s problems. However, it sure seems to make a lot of little things run much easier. When you couple that with the fact that it’s so very easy to do, why not give it a try and see what it does for you?
When do you show up for meetings & calls – early or late? When you are the one who is running the meeting do you show up early or do you still come late? Have you always been this way or did something cause you to be an early/late person? Leave a comment and let me know what you are thinking.