Star Trek, Are You Captain Kirk or Mr Scott?

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The original Start Trek series form the 60's would have dramatic scenes where William Shatner as James T Kirk would be engaged  in some daring maneuvers to thwart the Klingons or outrun an exploding star. Captain Kirk would coolly call down to Engineering and say 'Mr Scott, I need more power'. Mr Scott, always looking flustered and overworked would reply with something like 'Captain, the engines, they cannot take much more'

Sorry, but I am not even going to try and write in a Scottish accent!

Now Mr Scott always found that little bit more and Captain Kirk always outmaneuvered the Klingons.

Here is the secret behind that

It Is All Make Believe!

In the real world you cannot continually pile more and more onto people, or yourself.

Everyone and every process has a natural capacity limit. 

The trick, if there is one, to managing time and tasks is to always have a clear understanding of what is the importance of the tasks in front of you. Everyone only has 24 hours in a day. Even if you work harder than others (a good suggestion if you are in the startup or growth phase of your business) it is critical that you are doing the most important work to grow revenue and profits rather than whatever work comes your way, whatever work you prefer, or whatever work that someone else is struggling with.

Begin each day, week, and maybe month with a clear list of the major tasks you need to accomplish and stay doggedly focused on ensuring these tasks get done. You will have things crop up that have to be done, the key is to deal with the distractions and get back to the major tasks as quickly as you can.

Captain Kirk did not do everything on the Enterprise, nor did he try to. He did make sure it was all done however.

Most importantly he focused on making the big calls at the right time because he was focused only on those issues that really mattered.

We don't manage time, we prioritise how we spend it.

Are you clear on your priorities


Jason Furness

Owner at

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Comments (3)

Rebecca Carroll-Bell

Rebecca Carroll-Bell, Owner at

I am Dr "Bones" McCoy! "Damnit, Jim, I'm a mediator not a mind reader!"

Selina Shapland

Selina Shapland, Founder, Administrator, Writer and Entrepreneur at

What a great article. Firstly, I am a huge Star Trek fan and your observations are spot on. I often see Supervisors running around 'putting out fires' and reacting to situations rather then prioritising their important v's urgent tasks and so they are often overwhelmed, mush like Mr Scott. I think the sign of a great leader is the ability to apply basics to everyday and reduce 'spot fires' to a minimum, so that they can get on with doing what is highest priority with the greatest benefit for time invested. We can't take time back, so using it wisely is our greatest personal and professional service. Selina

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