We live in a time where ‘I’m busy’ is a catch phrase! Yet if we look deeper is everyone truly ‘busy’ or instead struggling to manage their time? In the fourth lives session of our slack group we had a stellar three-man panel: Rob and Carlos (two entrepreneurs) and myself (freelancer). Rob’s startup, iRecargones, provides unique telecom services. Carlos’s startup, Iyiyim, provides event planning solutions. Myself I'm a freelance English teacher, writer and blogger.
If this post inspires you to become the master of your time, make sure to check out the mini-guide at the end. Without further ado, here is the meat of our Q&A session:
Q1 (Peter): When someone, a superior gives you some work, how do you decide on the deadline?
Carlos: Make sure to clarify with your boss the task & deadline
Rob: 1) Do it right away 2) If your schedule is clear 3) You have the available resources 4) You can do the task
Mario: Know the priorities of your company and your role
Q2 (Alejandro): What do you do when minor and urgent tasks distract you from the most important ones?
Rob: Delegate and get the most important tasks done first.
Mario: Knowing how much time each task takes and finish what you started, unless the urgent task can be done quickly. Urgency is relative, right?
Q3 Shahid: How to balance your personal and professional life especially when you’re company is demanding?
Carlos: Make the work schedule clear, before signing a work contract.
Mario: When a task is not your responsibility be firm about it, with your boss, yet communicate it with care. Depends a lot on the company environment and relationship with your boss.
Rob: If the company/job requires extra hours, it really needs to have a great environment such as 24 hours food service (free), open bar (no kidding), and a lot of activities.
Q4 Mario: If you had to give 1 time management tip, what would it be?
Rob: Find ways to break down a goal into manageable steps, instead of overthinking it.
Carlos: Keep in mind that tasks always take at least two or three times the time you initially think they will require.
Mario: If you want to be successful in life, know clearly what your priorities are. Stop spending time on everything/everyone that keeps you away from your personal priorities.
Mini-Guide: Time Management
- First and foremost as you can see from the Q&A time management strategies vary based on each person. The best is to try a few different methods and see what works best for you.
- Likely the most important part in time management is realizing your personal life priorities. Here you might also consider your preferred work versus life balance.
- Take a few weeks to track how you use your time. Are there activities/people that keep you from accomplishing your main priorities? For example how much time do you spend on work, social life, fitness, watching TV, etc.
- Create a daily, weekly, and/or monthly schedule from all the tasks/activities you want to do. This step is unique to the person, yet something like a to-do list or tools like Trello can help.
- When creating your schedule, be realistic! We are only human and have ~16hrs per day when we are awake. Hopefully, you’ll see even if you accomplish a few tasks per day your time will become more manageable.
I strongly believe that becoming the master of your time will lead to a more fulfilling life! Time management is a valuable skill and one that does take practice to learn. Please share your own methods in the comments or continue this discussion below.