Let’s not beat around the bush, there is only one way to be more productive: do less.
How we go about doing less is endless and it’s a continuously evolving process: The challenge of having less meetings leaves worse communication across the organization or even worse, transforms the message.
I’m a quintessential micromanager.
I’m by far the most annoying one on the planet.
All of our offices have whiteboards.
The conference room itself spotlights the whiteboard which stretches along the 25’ long conference room. It’s the first and last thing you see. Conference room table is from IKEA. The chairs are from whatever furniture store had an online special the day I furnished it.
I walk into staff offices and I just start drawing what I want.
“Hey, I had this brilliant idea. Let’s find a way to do _____”
Everyone here loves it.
Well, that’s a lie. They hate it with all their passion.
Nothing kills productivity like having someone butt in during the middle of your task, interrupt you “just a minute” and then leave you to figure out to figure out where to resume.
This is such a problem that some people establish idiotic policies like not answering the phone in the office, not returning calls on certain days, checking email once a day, banning all sorts of productivity resources and tasks.
And every single one of the people to stoop to the lows described above will claim up and down that their method changed their life. Jury is out whether it’s for better or worse. And the customer base is out to decide what type of extreme behavior they find tolerable to do business with you.
So here is my insane process:
I have about two months to go till my next baby is here.
I actually love my wife so I’d like to take time off and help her during the final weeks of the pregnancy, deal with nesting, etc.
This means that I can’t have my usual menagerie of animals busting down the door or counting on me, in any way.
But I still need to be on top of it.
So now instead of dealing with a bunch of people, I deal with four.
From a workplace where my staff knows the door is always open and that I’m involved extensively on the dev side – and my hours – it’s been a bit of a change adjusting to the fact that I can’t be everywhere and everyone to everything.
We’ve also gone away from “delegating” to actually owning the issue.
This means you’re in charge of X. If a monkey fails doing X, it’s now your job to fix it or replace them. I don’t want to hear from your monkeys, I don’t care how or why things are going, all I care is the milestones.
I can no longer micromanage.
I still do to an extent but I’ve dumped the Cramer routine where I bust in the door and ask someone to put the person they are with on hold before I lose the light bulb.
Instead, I’m jotting stuff down in my LV notebook more, drawing more and letting people find a way to do it.
It’s also taken a bit away from accountability. I’ve always been the one to apologize when things fell apart. Now I am not a part of it. I can’t apologize… because, honestly… I don’t feel sorry. Mostly because I don’t even know how the problem started, how it was projected, who was affected for how long. I feel bad in general every time I drop the ball but partnerships (which is what we sell) is not something that comes across well when you’re totally disconnected.
My area: I have direct reporting from development, support and marketing. That is the current trifecta at Own Web Now, and we will soon add another one depending on some hires and product ship dates. The luxury of only having top level insight comes at a cost of productivity and communications across all levels of the organization and how our partners work with us.
Ooooooooooooooooooooooooorrrrrr does it? 🙂 Yep, teaser blog post – Tune in on Friday AM for an announcement 🙂