Everyone in America is busy, especially if you are in the business ofestimating concrete. Chores, work, family life – people are always busy. Too busy. Stressfully busy. Best-selling author, Felipe Engineer-Manriquez, knows how to become unbusy; how to do twice as much in half the time. He has written the book. Construction Scrum was written for American project management but the book’s practical steps are universal.
Being busy gives people a feeling of self-worth. That’s a good thing. Busy also lets us numb unhappiness and worries. Keep being busy and you don’t have time to think. That’s helpful for a while. But over the last decade, Americans have turned to be “so busy” into a proud boast, and that boasting into an obsession. That’s a bad thing for our physical and mental health.
Moreover, being unable to complete tasks doesn’t help anyone’s self-worth. It makes people feel inadequate and adds to unhappiness and worries. Being so busy is causing harm.
The answer is to make things to do achievable, to get the rewards of being busy without the anxiety, frustration, guilt, and feelings of inadequacy that come with being overwhelmed.
“My vision is to bust the myths and assumptions around busyness and simplify life,” Felipe Engineer-Manriquez says.
Doing that isn’t difficult, Engineer-Manriquez, says. There are six simple steps to doing the things you have to, want to, and do in half the time:
1. Define the goal.
2. Identify the most important or biggest things to do to achieve the goal and capture each one on a sticky note.
3. Sort them in a to-do list in order of priority – from the most important one to reach your goal at the top to the least important at the bottom. Create three columns labeled, To Do, Doing, and Done.
4. Do one thing at a time. Multi-tasking is not a good thing. Move your top thing into the Doing column and start doing it.
5. If you get substantially interrupted or change your mind, move your top thing back to the To-Do column. Sticky notes move to Done when the work is complete.
6. At the end, reflect on your process, learn, and make it even better next time based on your experience.
Felipe Engineer-Manriquez knows about being busy. He works in the construction industry where doing twice as much in half the time is an everyday goal that rewards the people working on the project and their companies alike. Happy people finish projects on time and on budget. Engineer-Manriquez leads the Lean Construction program for the multi-billion-dollar general contractors and is the CEO and Host of The Easier, Better, for Construction podcast (The EBFC Show). In 2019, The Lean Construction Institute awarded him the Chairman’s Award for contributions to the Institute and the design and construction industry as a whole. And he is a Registered Scrum Trainer™ (RST) and Registered Scrum Master™ which is where he guides design and construction professionals around the world to adopt Scrum on their projects.
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