Tuesday, September 05, 2006

“Get Things Done” People

"When you want to get something done, give it to a busy person," someone once said to me. I have found it to be true, and over the years it has become one of the rules I live by.

The question is: Why is something so counter-intuitive so true? Why would a busy person have more time to get things done than colleagues who aren't as busy? Are "get things done" people more disciplined? Do they budget their time better? Are they more motivated? More concerned about the team, and thereby the impact of the project on others?

What's the difference between people who get things done and those who just "try" to get things done? Is it a matter of personal pride?

I don't have the answers. All I know is that these "get things done" folks invariably meet their goals and achieve great results. Moreover, in an era when speed is a competitive edge, they usually turn things around fast. They never sit on them. You never have to check up on them or solicit progress reports. They take the initiative and they deliver.

They're always busy, and yet they always seem to have time for everything. You may call them "anal." You may poke fun at their "workaholic" tendencies. I call them "leaders." And I come by them all too rarely in the business world. We hold them in high esteem at Makovsky.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a breaking point. I'm the busiest I ever been in 10 years of my agency life. I regularily work 60-70 hours per week for the last 6 months and average at least 1 night per week that I work until 1 to 2 AM.

What happens is the "something" is done, but inevitably, less thought is put into it and more "getting it off the task list."

We always meet hard deadlines, but the "soft deadlines" that are often promised keep being pushed back to meet the hard deadlines. The non-squeaky wheel clients don't get the attention they deserve.

I once read a quote from an editor about Microsoft's PR agency a few years ago. The main point was that they could ALWAYS count on their PR agency to deliver on time with any editor request and that was impressive to them. I've strived to meet this goal with clients.

I'm talking about delivering answers, artwork, website changes, ideas, etc. within minutes of an email....to almost an obsession on how quickly it can be done. Now clients, editors and others expect this type of attention all the time.

Pleasing everybody all the time doesn't last too long. The busy person has to pick their battles to win the war.

Kevin Nichols

Saturday, September 09, 2006 11:40:00 PM  
Blogger markrose said...

Time is absolute, no matter how we try to stretch it, even if Scientists prove otherwise. You can only work so hard. 2 AM? Crazy. I did that on a crisis gig recently and I got off on the intensity and drama of it. But I could not keep it up.

Agency PR is about constant deadlines. My journalism background prepares me for this. A deadline means it MUST be done. No waffling, no excuses. What if the New York Times did not appear on your doorstep in the morning? But we need time to decompress and absorb new ideas, not just information.

I have come to enjoy this “blog socialization” time. It removes me mentally from the office and keeps me connected.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006 9:51:00 AM  
Blogger Ken Makovsky said...


The moral of the story: Delegate efficiently. There are only so many hour in a day. But get it done!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006 12:11:00 PM  
Blogger Ken Makovsky said...


I agree, setting priorities is key.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006 10:10:00 AM  

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