Pausch on Time Management

Monday, May 18, 2009

I am intermittently working my way through the book version of Randy Pausch's "Last Lecture." Some time this weekend, I encountered his advice on time management and found it particularly worthwhile.

Curious as to whether he had anything further to say on the subject, I was delighted to find that Pausch had delivered an hour-long lecture on the subject at the University of Virginia. As I will from time to time over the next few weeks, I am noting it here in part to remind myself about it later on when I have more time for it. I look forward to it, and have no doubt that it will be good.

UVA Today reviewed the lecture and, in the process, recapitulated some of the points I remember Pausch making in his book. I particularly enjoyed his advice regarding telephone calls, and am always impressed with his value-driven approach to any subject he considers:
Urging the audience to balance work and family life, he said people with partners and children are often good models for time management, because they have a more immediate sense of the cost of time.

Pausch, a father of three, talked about how to set goals, how to avoid wasting time, how to delegate and how to deal with stress and procrastination. One of his goals for passing along this advice, he said, is to allow time for having fun.

A master multi-tasker, he said a speaker-phone is a must to free up your hands, as are two or three computer screens -- it's the big desk you need, he declared. His latest time-saver is making necessary phone calls while riding his bicycle for exercise, talking via a headset.

If you can't pull off that feat, make calls right before lunch to help keep them short. "You may think you're important, but you're not as important as lunch," he said.


Pausch told the audience to "find your creative time and defend it ruthlessly." [bold added]
Through a link to Pausch's web page late in the UVA Today article, I was able to find PDFs for the lecture transcript and slides hosted at the web site of his friend, Gabe Robins.

-- CAV

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