June 2, 2009

Clock Management

Minutes To Go - Time Out.

It’s amazing what can happen in the last minute of a sporting event. This is when the coaches on either side of a basketball game seem to call endless time-outs. It’s when we expect heroics during the last ditch effort from the quarterback.


One team pulls their goalie for an extra attacker and often it works to tie the game and send it in to overtime.

You are reviewing your presentation in the hotel room before hitting the showers. The same presentation you have been working on for days, if not weeks. And you just want to have one more look at it.

Why do we do that? Why do we wait?

Why don’t we manage the clock better when we have hours, days, weeks, even months to prepare? Why does the coach not call a time-out and get his team pumped for a 90-second touchdown drive in the third quarter?

Why doesn’t a coach pull the goalie in the second period to see if it can boost her team? Why don’t we trust our abilities in the presentation and have a calm breakfast before heading to the client’s office?

Because we are human.

Think back to school and how many times you crammed for exams or did the project on the Sunday night before the deadline. We do it to ourselves and cause additional unneeded stress. Or is it the juice we need to get the job done right?

Can Convenience Help?

I can remember when I first started banking online. A bill would come in the mail and I would immediately pay it. In the “olden days”, I would have to find a stamp and write a check to the company. Inevitably, I would be writing it a day or two before the deadline hoping the mail service had a monumental day and got it to the payee in record time.

So if we know that most of us operate like this, how do we increase our chances as business partners and colleagues? What can we do to help each other manage the clock better?

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