September 20, 2019

Notes from Randy Pausch's Time Management Lecture

Watch it here →

Transcript by Friederike Sophie Brand &rarr

  • I am giving this talk because I said I would, a pretty simple reason (a reference to why he would do a talk when he has just a few months left to live)
  • I like that he sets up clearly that it is a “pragmatic” talk, and he’d inspire through these pragmatic tips
  • I’m not really big on platitudes. Platitudes are nice, but they don’t really help me get something done tomorrow.
  • It is about maximizing fun, like Randy’s middle kid Logan, “who doesn’t know how to not have fun”
  • The best thing is to have something on my to do list and say “umm, no…”
  • If you have to eat a frog, don’t start with the small one (do the ugliest thing first)
  • Turn money into time (hire someone)
  • Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.
  • Whenever I procrastinate on something, there’s always a deep psychological reason. Usually it’s, I’m afraid of being embarrassed because I don’t think I’ll do it well, or I’m afraid I’m going to fail at it.
  • Doing things at the last minute is really expensive. That’s where all the stress comes from, you can’t reach people, etc…
  • You can’t start delegating too early (on teaching his little daughter to hold her own milk bottle, “I want her to grow up to be a wonderful person”)
  • When you delegate keep the ugliest job for yourself
  • The important ↔ Not important vs. Due immediately ↔ Not due immediately quadrants and how what to do first and what to do last is obvious, but people make the mistake of doing what is due immediately but not important second, when they should really be doing what is important even though it isn’t due immediately
  • Difference between effective and efficient. Would have been efficient to pair a university lecture with a date trip with her wife because it would take one trip, but not effective because he would stress about giving the talk
  • Use the system that works for you, with the example of a “spreader”
  • Ask for a second monitor, use a speaker phone and have folding chairs for guests :)
  • Dammit! Write thank you notes, yes physical thank you notes
  • One of the most magical things I’ve learned in my life is that sometimes you just have to ask and wonderful things happen. But you just have to step out and do that.
  • Recognize that most things are Pass/Fail, there is a reason for “good enough”
  • Time is all you have, and you may find one day, you have less than you think