Chuyên đề 20
... to talk specifically about how to set goals, how to avoid wasting time, how to deal with the boss. Originally, this talk was about how to deal with your adviser but I try to broaden it, so it's not quite so academically focused, and how to delegate to people...er... some specific skills and tools that I might recommend to help you get more out of the day, and to deal with the real problems in our life, which are stress and procrastination, I mean. You can leak that last when you're probably in good shape.
So the first thing I wanna say is that Americans are very very bad at dealing with time as a commodity. We're really good at dealing with money as a commodity, I mean we're as a culture very interested in money and how much somebody earns is a status thing, and so on and so forth, but we don't really have time, elevated to that people waste their time and it just always fascinates me, and one of thing that I noticed is that very few people equate to time and money and they're very very equitable.
So let's talk first about goals priorities and planning. Anytime, anything crosses your life, you've got to ask: "This thing I'm thinking about doing, why am I doing it". Almost no one I know starts with a core principle of there's this thing on my to-do list. Why is it there? Because you start asking why is... I mean I guess my kids are good at this. That's all I ever heard at home is Why? Why? Why? And since they're gonna stop saying "why", they're just gonna say "Okay, I'll do it". Right, er... so ask "Why am I doing this, what is the goal, why will I succeed at doing it", and here's my favorite "What will happen if I don't do it?" If I just say I'm just not the best thing in the world and it's something in my to-do list, I just go... "No". No one has ever come in taking me to jail.
The other thing to keep in mind you doing goal setting is a lot of people focus on doing things right. I think it's very dangerous to focus on doing things right. I think it's much more important to do the right things. If you do the right things adequately, that's much more important than doing the wrong things beautifully. All right. It doesn't matter how well you polish the underside of the banister. Okay and keep that in mind.
Do you think a member is that experience comes with time and it's really really valuable and there are no shortcuts to getting it? So, good judgment comes from experience and experience comes from bad judgment. So if things aren't going well, that probably means you're learning a lot and I'll go better later. This is by the way why we pay so much in American society for people who are, you know, typically older but have done lots of things in their past because we're paying for their experience because we know that experience is one of the things you can't fake.
All right, planning is very important, one of the time management cliches is planning to fail...failing to plan is planning to fail, and planning has to be done at multiple levels. I have a plan every morning when I wake up and I say what I need to get done today, what I need to get done this week, what I need to get done each semester. That's sort of a time quanta because I'm an academic, and that doesn't mean you're locked into it. People say yeah but things are so fluid, you know I'm gonna have to change the plan and I'm like yes, you are gonna have to change the plan but you can't change it unless you have it. And the excuse of I'm not going to make a plan because things might change is just this paralysis of I don't have any marching orders. So have a plan and now it's going to change it but habit, so you have the basis to start with.
To do this is how many people here, right now, if I said can you produce it, could show me their to-do list? Okay, not bad, not bad. The key thing with to-do lists is you have to break things down into small steps. The last thing about to-do list for getting yourself going is if you've got a bunch of things to do, do the ugliest thing first. There's an old saying if you have to eat a frog, don't spend a lot of time looking at it first; and if you have the three of them, don't start with the small one.