Armani & Time Management
Written by: Tamara Kelly http://leadershipskills.org.au
Recently, I read the book You Inc by John McGrath. In it, he recounted a story about
how the famous designer Giorgio Armani manages his time. I loved the story because it
illustrates a practical yet unique way to prioritise your time.
Armani only has 8 items on his to-do list at any time. He spends a maximum of one hour
per day on each item, but always works on every item on his list. He carries forward any
items that he does not complete onto tomorrow’s list.
It sounds simple, so I thought I would give it a go—although I confess that I changed it
somewhat. For my experiment, I chose to restrict half of each day to working on a 4-
hour to-do list (one hour per item). My first challenge was to decide on the first four
things that should make it to my list and which items should not (I currently have six
major projects on the go, plus the normal array of daily demands). I had a chat with my
partners, and decided to step back and first ask myself a couple of basic questions:
• What were the key results that I was being paid to deliver?
• What tasks and projects contributed most to those results?
In the end, I decided to include three longer term projects plus an hour for changing my
list even if I had not finished a project. I’ve now been at it a month, and on the whole
I’ve found it to be a quite surreal but worthwhile experience. I particularly loved the way
it forced you to think about what matters most and then act with that focus in mind. I
will continue using the strategy and making adaptations as I go. And, I’m not afraid not
to use it on days when it just doesn’t make sense (such as when I am running a course).
I’d be very interested to hear from anyone else who has used some version of this idea.
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