S.O.S. Interview: Francis Wade on his new book “Bill’s Im-Perfect Time Management Adventure”

Today I’m joined by Francis Wade, of Framework Consulting, personal productivity expert and author of an awesome new book on managing one’s time.  

Andrea:  Hi Francis.  Thanks so much for appearing on my blog as a guest.

Francis:  It’s great to be here.

Andrea: You’ve been busy writing a book since you presented at the Institute for Challenging Disorganization’s Conference in Chicago last fall.  I purchased it a couple of weeks ago and really enjoyed it.  In it, you come at the topic of time management from a different perspective than many of the well known books on the topic and I’m hoping today you can share with my readers what makes your book on time management different and therefore worth the read.  Could you start by sharing a short summary of it?

Francis:  “Bill’s Im-Perfect Time Management Adventure” is a business fable – a long parable – that tells a story with the intention of teaching some important ideas about the latest thinking in time management and personal productivity. The story starts with Bill, a 40-something project manager with time management challenges, who received some anonymous email warning him that he’s about to be fired. After his manager independently confirms his predicament, he embarks on an all out effort to save his job. The book is about his ups and downs as he discovers that the conventional wisdom around time management doesn’t work, and that something new is needed to become more productive in all areas of his life.

Andrea: “Conventional wisdom”, what do you mean by that?

Francis: In the book, conventional wisdom comes in three forms. One is that you can improve your time management skills in a substantial way by picking up tips, tricks and shortcuts. Another is that you can become more productive by simply picking up a new piece of technology. The third is that if you discipline yourself to follow a detailed, prescriptive methodology laid down by someone else that you can make substantial gains.

Andrea: Those seem to be the approaches to time management that most people unfortunately focus in on.   You mentioned that something new is needed, what do you mean?

Francis:  In the book, Bill discovers that what he needs is not something brand new, but an upgrade to the time management system he already has been using. He’s surprised to discover that everyone who functions as a working adult already has a system that they taught themselves. At critical moments in their life, however, they may need an upgrade.

Andrea:  Can you give us some examples of when upgrades might be necessary?

Francis: Bill’s need for an upgrade is driven by his boss, Martha, who assigns him the work of two other employees who have been let go. His performance deteriorates to the point where he’s also being threatened, and that’s when he goes looking for solutions. He recalls doing prior upgrades when his wife had their first baby, and when he moved to Florida from New Jersey to a more demanding job. These are just a few examples of the times when all of a sudden, life changes and we need to increase our capacity.

Andrea:  So how does Bill go about giving his system an upgrade?

Francis: He meets a few people who know a lot more than he does, but arrives at the conclusion himself – through a better understanding of his own methods that reveals the flaws, holes and gaps.

Andrea:  I’ve finished the book so I know how it turns out, so without spoiling it, what do you most want my readers to know about your book?

Francis: First and foremost – that it’s possible to have a custom time management system that meets your individual needs. Also,  I used this particular genre to put together the thoughts that many have already had about how they should get better. I want them to nod their heads thinking that their suspicions have been confirmed.

Then, I want to interest them in more formal learning, and to visit one of the links that takes them to the book’s website, which has a whole lot of resources on how to use this approach in different ways to get better. Ultimately, I want people to know they are actually pretty smart in this area already. They self-created their current system of habits, practices and rituals on their own. They can do so again, with some new information and knowledge – the kind that’s needed whenever you try to take something that already exists and make it better.

Andrea:  Anything else?

Francis: Yes, there’s more – I also want them to see they need to take baby steps, with lots of support, to implement whatever changes they decide to make. This is where most people fail – they don’t know how to implement a multi-faceted change in time management behavior, but once they read this book, they’ll see that it’s actually quite easy.

Andrea:  Francis, I agree the book does a great job of making your approach seem easy.  In fact I was using some of your ideas with a coaching client this afternoon.  Thanks again for taking the time to do this interview and share with us about “Bill’s Im-Perfect Time Management Adventure“.

Francis: It’s been a pleasure! This is my first interview of this kind… it’s been a blast.

Andrea: I hope you’re interested in reading “Bill’s Im-Perfect Time Management Adventure“.  I highly recommend it.  If you’ve already read this book, I’d love to hear what you think about it.  Finally, if you’re interested in learning more about Francis Wade’s work in time management check out his website at http://fwconsulting.com/




7 Responses to “S.O.S. Interview: Francis Wade on his new book “Bill’s Im-Perfect Time Management Adventure””

  1. Linda Samuels March 20, 2013 1:10 pm #

    Customized time management along with baby steps. Seems like a winning combo. Thank you for sharing this interview. Looks like I’ll be adding another book to my “must read” list.

    • Andrea Sharb March 20, 2013 5:53 pm #

      Thanks for your comment Linda. It really is a great book and I look forward to hearing what you think about it.

  2. Francis Wade / 2Time Labs March 20, 2013 5:59 pm #

    Thanks so much Andrea – I’ll be monitoring your post all day to see if there any questions or comments. It was great being interviewed!

  3. Ellen Delap March 21, 2013 11:58 am #

    I am a fan of Francis’ work from his presentation at ICD last year! This is a great way to share a new perspective on an important topic. Thanks for sharing this work with us Andrea.

    • Andrea Sharb March 21, 2013 12:04 pm #

      Thanks Ellen. I agree that what Francis is sharing is important and I look forward to sharing more of his work with my clients. Best to you!


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