Being timely, and the importance of time and timing has been on my mind a lot lately. If you choose to read on – you will be  sorely tempted to believe that what follows doesn’t apply to you. After all – you’re smart right? I mean – you’re here reading this 😉 Please – try not to rush to exclude yourself from what follows. If not for your sake – then for others. You are influential and the way you behave influences others. No man is an island.


The way we schedule meetings at work is bonkers, back to back to back to back. And unless one of you has invented time travel (pause….nope, OK let’s carry on then), you know the impossibility of back to back to back meetings and let you let people delude you into having them all the time. A cram packed diary is the diary of a madman (note – ladies the same applies to you also but there’s no Ozzy Osbourne album title reference available to use for you…yet).

Then – we cram these ‘important’ meetings full of ‘important’ stuff and either rush it, or don’t cover everything. As a result we often make bad decisions based on bad meetings. Sound familiar? To my mind, if that meeting is both necessary and important, then why not ensure it’s meaningful too? Take at least half the crap, I mean important stuff, off the agenda.


aka presence, aka be here now.


If you are afforded the privilege of talking at a conference or some other live event, please, finish on time. Unless you want to run the risk of being remembered as ‘the guy who overran’. You don’t want that – do you?


It is half past eight in the morning here in New Orleans, and I’m hungry. Breakfast time, in fact any mealtime, matters. I try not to skip them too often and I try, wherever possible, to enjoy my food in the company of others. I hope you do too. For example, last night I met up with Tommy Talley (we’d first met the day before at the Louisiana State HR Conference in Baton Rouge) and we went out and shared oysters and crawfish. We got talking with Jean and Alyssa and it turned out Jean really didn’t like dining alone either. After our meal we went to a funky cocktail joint and over a Side Car we looked up fear of dining alone. It’s called Solomangarephobia. Who knew?

Wishing you a super day.

Author: Doug Shaw

Artist and Consultant. Embracing uncertainty, sketching myself into existence. Helping people do things differently, through an artistic lens.

5 thoughts on “Timing”

  1. Brilliant insight and very true too!

    In fact people are rushing about so much now that we are even starting to talk text language when in conversation with someone!

    Maybe we need the Doc to make us a time travel machine to pause enough time for us to look up the acronyms, sip a cup of tea, rethink the meetings strategy and have a intake of the nearest oxygen tank!

  2. Mindfulness – how true and how very hard. If anyone is interested in mindfulness but is short of time (oh, the irony) – I can thoroughly recommend http://www.getsomeheadspace.com On line guided meditations. Been doing it for 3 years now and am making some headway.

    However, something on Myers Briggs Type Indicators cropped up the other day – buddhist approaches are very hard for ENTJs. You’ve been warned!

    Thanks Doug – spot on

  3. We often confuse what is important with what is urgent. For example, playing with my kids is important but not urgent, whereas putting that business proposal in is urgent but not that important. If I keep doing the urgent thing before the important one, eventually my kids grow up and say “Dad, who are you?”

    and so on ….

  4. I’m very guilty of not only filling my diary til there is no time to in between anything, then I make to do lists on top of to do lists and never seem to get to the bottom of any of them, but the reality is half of whats in the diary or the list is me just making more work for myself than I need to

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *