A Better Way To Work TimeBack Management

About Dan Markovitz

Dan Markovitz is the founder and president of TimeBack Management. Prior to founding his own firm, Mr. Markovitz held management positions at Sierra Designs, Adidas, CNET and Asics Tiger. Learn More...

Leveling; smoothing out the flow; e.g., doing two performance evaluations a day for 3 weeks, rather than ten a day for three days -- and then needing to take a vacation because you're so burned out.
Overburdening people, process, or equipment; e.g., people working 100 hour weeks for months on end -- come to think of it, like most lawyers and accountants.
Uneveness or variability; e.g., leaving work at the normal time on Thursday, but having to stay at the office till midnight on Friday because the boss finally got around to giving you that project...at 4:30pm.
Waste; activities that your customer doesn't value and doesn't want to pay for; e.g., billing your customer for the really expensive 10am FedEx delivery because you didn't finish the document on time.


One Easy Step to Better Meetings

Published in TimeBack Newsletter, March 8, 2009

Do you ever wish that your meetings were actually, you know, productive?

Standard Work for Project Planning

Published in TimeBack Blog, August 18, 2008

Use this template to create standard work for project planning.

Standard Work for Meetings Spreadsheet

Published in TimeBack Blog, March 29, 2008

Use this template to start creating standard work for meetings.

The Freedom of Discipline

Published in Unpublished, July 23, 2007

By embracing the discipline of your calendar, you'll liberate yourself from having to make choices all the time. And in a world where attention and focus are the most valuable commodities, that's a priceless kind of freedom.

Lowering The Water Level

Published in Superfactory, August 1, 2007

Your cellphone, Blackberry, and general willingness to work late and on weekends are part of the problem, not the solution.  You need to reduce the inventory of time, not increase it.

Cogitus Interruptus

Published in Unpublished manuscript, March 28, 2007

Cogitus Interruptus is the disease of the modern workplace. Its symptoms are familiar to any executive: the inability to complete a thought or a task without losing focus under the onslaught of relentless interruptions. It results in a lack of efficiency, a loss of time to solve problems, to think strategically, to plan, to dream – to get your organization from here to there.

TPS: The Thinking Production System

Published in Superfactory, December 8, 2006

When you’re dealing with knowledge workers in an office, critical process inefficiencies aren’t as visible as they are in a factory. Value stream mapping is only part of the answer. You also need to see and eliminate the waste inherent in how people work. Here’s a guide to some of the questions you should be asking.

Get Lean. Get Innovative.

Published in Industry Week, January 17, 2007

“Innovate or die.”  That’s the mandate of the global economy these days.  And though you’ve been trying to create a culture of innovation at your firm, you’ve had little success.  Why do some companies seem to be breeding grounds of innovation, while yours is, at best, a breeding ground for mosquitoes?

Lean Methods, Lean Planning

Published in Industry Week, November 1, 2006

Imagine running a production line without knowing each day what to make and in what quantities. The lack of that critical information guarantees uneven production, overburdened workers, and waste -- a disaster in the world of Lean. Yet this is precisely the situation for most knowledge workers, even those in lean organizations.

The New Frontier of Lean

Published in Industry Week, April 5, 2006

An organization that only creates a lean business process without creating lean work habits is like a sprinter with a track spike on one foot and an army boot on the other -- and that's a sure way to lose the race to satisfy the customer.

You Don't Need A Gulag To Run An Effective Meeting

Published in The New York Enterprise Report, January 3, 2007

Ever been in a 60 minute meeting that ended up lasting longer than a Robert Byrd fillibuster? Don't despair; there's hope for keeping meetings short enough to get out in time for lunch.

How Long Should I Keep My Paperwork?

Published in The New York Enterprise Report, September 26, 2006

If you're a neat freak like me, you want to toss all your old papers.  Immediately.  If you're a pack rat, you've got so much stuff piled up in your office that you're now using tax returns from last decade as a coffee table.  So how long should you keep that stuff?

Do The Worst First

Published in The New York Enterprise Report, May 11, 2006

If the first thing you do upon sitting down at your desk is read email, don't!  You'll be a whole lot more productive if you do the most unpleasant task of the day first.  Get yourself a cup of coffee and read on....

The Myth of Multi-Tasking

Published in The New York Enterprise Report, March 7, 2006

Put down your Blackberries and pay attention -- really pay attention -- when you read this: multi-tasking doesn't work.

The Paper Chase

Published in The New York Enterprise Report, January 4, 2006

This article deals with paper management. And if your office isn't snowed under by a blizzard of paper, that's okay, too. You can apply the same rules to your electronic files.