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that the feelings they have during the period of change will be
extended to the whole time they’re in the new city. When they ac-
tually live the event, their feelings at different points in time are
quite different from what they expected.
What does this mean for time management? It means you should
be aware that you are probably skewed in your thinking about the
future. In order to see trouble brewing up ahead you have to find
ways of compensating for these biases.
No matter what you do, if you are careful to build on solid ground
you’ll minimise the risk of running into trouble down the line.
Solid processes
To get really good at this, you have to set things up to run smoothly
today. If all of your attention is required to react to events as they
arise, or if you need to focus all of your efforts on keeping things
going today, you’re caught in a trap. With no time to think about the
future, you can only wait for problems to rear their ugly heads –
and when they do occur, they show up as urgent and unexpected
events. Let’s take some examples.
Twenty-two years ago, as a young software engineer, I had the
opportunity to observe different management styles in the various
startups I worked for in the Washington DC area. One manager,
an absolute expert, could answer any question that came up con-
cerning the application for which he was responsible. Any time
there was a crisis, he jumped on it immediately. Once he figured
out the source of the problem, he would explain his findings to
whichever team member was available, and he would suggest a
Another manager, while just as skilful as the first one, chose not
to be a product expert. Rather than familiarise herself with prod-
uct details, she spent most of her time building the competence
of her team members. She also spent time building a good team
environment and a trusting relationship between herself and
each team member, and among team members.

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