Friday, November 24, 2006

Could compression help you?

One of the keys to getting more done in less time is leverage. Recently I was sitting with some colleagues discussing how we could get more leverage in life and business. Some great stuff came up! One idea that I have been working with is the concept of compression.


To compress is to squeeze more in to the same space. Take appointments for example, if you currently run them hourly maybe you should try running them on 30 minute or 45 minute intervals. When you do this all kinds of things are pressured and squeezed around. The outcome though is that you get very efficient and very effective in the time that is allocated. Those of you with the ability to control your macro scheduling (i.e. you don’t have to work Friday if you don’t want to) maybe you should start the rumour that you don’t work Fridays? If you compressed the work you currently do over 5 days into 4 what would happen?


Here are some of the things I’ve noticed running compression.

  • As you make yourself less available people treat the time you do put aside with greater respect.
  • It takes a while to get out of the pattern of 60 minute meetings and into the pattern of a 30 minute meeting. What happens over time though is everyone, including you, gets used to it.
  • You can get exhausted if you hold on tight. You need to kind of flow without expectation through the compression and if you get too harrassed, hurried or anxious, it just doesn’t work.

This principle doesn’t just apply to how you manage your time, it’s also about how you manage access. Maybe the door should be open for 2 hours a day not 8. Maybe you should close the door but have three 30 minute periods where all can come and meet with you.


It’s your life! Run it on your terms.

Constructs are Key

Steve Irwin (aka The Croc Hunter - RIP) wore Khaki. Steve Jobs (Apple) wears blue jeans and a black polo neck. Bono (U2) wears glasses.


  • How do you feel when you think of those constructs?
  • What is your construct?
  • Why would you bother?
  • What would stop you?


One Thought Leader Lorna Patten always wears black and has a bag of crystals around her neck at all times.


I used to think of these as affectations but that suggests a random eccentricity. I know see them as very clever examples of personal branding.


Your construct may be something you always do, a signature line or a signature story. It may be how your books look.


The difference between an affectation (like wearing bow ties) and a construct (like Bono’s glasses) is the intent, reason and affect these have on your brand.


Keep thinking!