“For the first twenty-five years of my life, I wanted freedom. For the next twenty-five years, I wanted order. For the next twenty-five years, I realized that order is freedom.” – Winston Churchill
As Product Managers in fast growing technology companies there’s always tons to do and at times it can be overwhelming. There are constant deadlines and ship dates that are crucial to the product and company’s success. Product Managers need to be super organized and responsive. David’s Allen’s Getting Things Done & Making It All Work are two books I think every product manager should read to create more hours in their day. The main idea is to not keep everything in your mind but instead offload into a reliable system. I keep the following flow chart on my desk as a reminder:
This system has created more space in my head and reduced overwhelm. In turn, allowed me to be more creative when solving complex product issues. David Allen talks more about this in the following TED talk:
Creativity is a drug I cannot live without. ~Cecil DeMile
I’ve been fascinated by the work of Steven Kotler on the state of “flow”. It is the state of ultimate human performance. We have all experienced it. It’s that feeling of being in the zone where we lose track of time and produce our best work. The following is a great playlist that covers flow really well:
As an entrepreneur, it’s a constant challenge to make sure you’re prioritizing your time effectively. I’ve tried many time management systems but the one that’s been working pretty well for me has been one that was recommended to me by Jack Dorsey, the founder Twitter & Square. For me here’s how I structure my week:
Monday: Business Development & Finances
Tuesday: Product Development
Wednesday: Sales & Marketing
Thursday: Affiliates & Partnerships
Friday: Culture & Recruiting
Saturday: Personal Development/ Hobbies / Spending time with Family & Friends
Sunday: Getting ready and organizing for the upcoming week.
By having different themes for my days this way, I feel that I can proactively focus on the things that matter rather being reactive. Also, having routines and rituals for each day allow me to avoid decision fatigue. Here are some of the tools that I use consistently.
Trello: Personal & Business task & project management.
LiftApp: Forming new habits and tracking existing ones.