Long Hauls Lately

Over the next couple of months I have signed up to give a number of talks –

  • a series of lectures for NTC – the Nanyang Technopreneurship Center – relating to how the Venture Capital and Startup process works from my perspective.  The total class time is 15 hours so that requires VERY substantial preparation.  I like using slides that are original, colorful, with graphs, charts, photos … in other words not just titles and bullets.  I estimate it takes 2-3 hours of prep for each hour of class time and that is probably on the short side.
  • a talk for the European Asia Patent Information Conference – larger audience and a field more distant from my daily work so 4 hours prep
  • a talk for NASSCOM in India in early November.  Last year’s speaker was Guy Kawasaki.  There is nothing worse that trying to follow someone who is one of the best public VC like speakers in the world.
  • a talk for the Campden Group on clean tech private equity for wealthy individual investors, family offices and other potential investors in Switzerland on December 1.

You get the idea.

While I have been spending most of my weekend time on these “talks” in preparation, research, idea reduction to clear presentation I was taken with how frequently we spend our days in reaction to what comes in our email boxes.  So much to do that seems urgent.

The time management experts have for many years now been preaching about those things in our lives which are urgent or not urgent/important or not important.  Here is a matrix that combines many of their ideas.

And as I have been doing this, it has struck me how unsocial and hermit like I have become.  Not since the early days of Finisar have I spent this much time alone with my thoughts.

Since that time in the early 1990s, we have had the Internet, email, cell phones, chat, skype all become universal.  And what this means is that anyone anywhere can try to put things on your urgent to do list.  You may think you don’t have a to do list, but what is your inbox?  How about your text messages and voice mails as well.

I suggest you measure for 1 week how much time you spend in answering emails, browsing, on the cell phone in various ways.  And see how much time you spend doing your creative work.  What do you think is the proper balance for you?

Posted in Essays, Investing, Personal Stories

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