Prioritize, Plan and Participate in the New Normal

The following are excerpts from a speech delivered by Roger McNamee at the Software 2005 conference in Santa Clara, CA on April 27, 2005:

"I’m here today to talk about life . . . to talk about making the most of your life in a time I call the New Normal.

The New Normal is a time when there are four unshakable issues that each of has to deal with. First, technology is changing just about everything. Second, globalization is changing the nature of economic opportunity. Third, every individual is on his or her own. We have more power than ever before, but no safety nets. And fourth, none of us has enough time to deal with life...

Throughout the 90s, technology and globalization worked hand-in-hand to transform the world economy...Globalization is a fact of life. It’s not going away...Globalization and technology remain intertwined. Together they give rise to seven really important trends that affect us all. First, and most obvious, is the rise of Asia....The second trend is industry consolidation... The third trend is the unending demand for new and better forms of communication.... The fourth trend is collaboration...the fifth trend is the rise of mass customization...The sixth trend is the rise of the consumer...The seventh trend is time management. The biggest opportunities will be those that leverage people’s time...

The great challenge for every individual is to balance family, career and personal finance with no safety nets. It is all too easy to feel isolated...to feel that each of us is alone in trying to maintain a balance. Alone in the sense of having no safety nets. Alone because we don’t appreciate that there are millions of other people facing the same challenges that we are. Each of us faces a never-ending stream of decisions . . . life has come to imitate a visit to Starbucks. At Starbucks, life can be as complicated as a half-cafĂ© mega sweet double extra grande latte...or as simple as a cup of coffee.

The problem is not lack of data. We’re drowning in data. The problem is not even a lack of tools. Technology has given us an amazing array of tools to help in our decision-making. The problem is lack of time. There doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day to get done all things we have to get done. Worse yet, there doesn’t seem to be enough time to change our personal business processes to get ahead of the curve.

If you want to leverage the power of the Individual, you have to manage your time effectively. Most of us are faced with a huge pile of things to do and decisions to make. More often than not, we start at the top of the pile and try to work our way through. Wrong answer. The pile never gets smaller. Here’s the key insight: Most of the stuff in our inbox is just not that important. The challenge is to figure out which two or three things really matter...and focus your energy on them.

At the highest level, the most important stuff is family, career and personal finance. The challenge is to maintain a balance among the three...

Success in the New Normal is ALL about time management... How do you do this? Focus on the three Ps: Prioritize, Plan, Participate..."

Read the entire speech here.