5 ways to better manage your time
The end of the year is approaching and you haven't yet achieved all the goals you set for 2019? Cold sweats and palpitations have not left you since the start of the school year and you go backwards to work every morning? Rest assured, if you only have two months left to complete your to-do for the year, it means that you will have to improve your time management and therefore develop your sense of priorities, and that, yes: it's is a blessing in disguise.
Time management, rule n°1: everything in its time
You must have asked yourself this question over the past few weeks: didn't I have delusions of grandeur? Weren't those goals a little too ambitious for me? Oh oh oh.And so what?Dreaming big is not a sin of pride, but dreaming big should always go hand in hand with planning far.
If even Rome wasn't built in a day, your project certainly won't be built in three.So start by putting everything back together and getting out of the calendar, quarterly, annual limits... Remember that each project has its own time frame and that the more ambitious or sensitive it is, the more time you will have to give yourself to think about it.
Let's skip the over and over talk about how our society has become a society of the immediate and focus on the essentials (after all, we have no more time to waste!): a reflection, a real real reflection, must inevitably be built over a long period of time.So start by distinguishing your missions and your tasks on two lines: on the one hand the operational tasks involving repetitive or undemanding actions and on the other the substantive tasks which require more reflection and creativity.
So instead of questioning your ability to compress time to suit your own needs, ask yourself why the best ideas come to you all the time – all the time – in the shower, and not not in a meeting? But because, dear ladies and gentlemen, because as much as it may displease us, we humans are slow-brained.
However, these magnificent slow brains have many other advantages: they have the extraordinary ability to continue to grind without any conscious action on your part.This is what happens when a genius idea Pops! while you are lathering yourself copiously with Ushuaïa Nature.Take advantage of this incredible ability to delegate some of your basic tasks to your unconscious.Trust your brain!
Priorization grids: letting go to get better organized
With that said, let's now focus on the tasks that fall within your immediate area of focus.Two types of prioritization grids can help you improve your time management: the Eisenhower matrix and the 9-box matrix.
A tool like the Eisenhower matrix helps you structure your to-do list in a more meaningful way.However, its main drawback is that it does not allow you to categorize your tasks according to their complexity and the effort they require.
On the contrary, the 9-box matrix combines several criteria, including the impact and level of difficulty of each task, but leaves aside the urgent/important paradigm central to the Eisenhower matrix.
You can combine these two systems with your excellent knowledge of your own rhythm: the human being is cyclical and cannot turn 100% from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with a break between 12 p.m. and 1 p.m.For example, if you know that you are more efficient from 2 p.m., when all your colleagues begin to enter the active digestion phase, focus on accomplishing the most demanding tasks in your quadrant 1 at that time.
We advise you to use the Eisenhower matrix only in an emergency or if you really want to adopt a slow and minimalist approach to work, a point to which we will come back in a few minutes.
Foglietto lends itself particularly well to use as a prioritization grid.It allows you to have a fully modular and always clear grid: have you completed one of your tasks? Simply rearrange your cards by defining your new priorities.Pomodoro method, when the tomato gives you the potato
The Pomodoro method is a time management method developed by Italian consultant Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s.The concept, interesting, assumes that our attention span is limited and therefore proposes to adapt our schedule to it, rather than the reverse, which is completely in line with Foglietto's philosophy. .Pomodoro means "tomato" in Italian and refers to the tomato-shaped timer with which Cirillo devised the method.
The concept is very simple: the Pomodoro method encourages you to break up your working time into 25-minute blocks, called "pomodoro", interspersed with short five-minute breaks.Give yourself a longer break of 15 minutes every four pomodoros.
However, this method requires good preparation, at the risk of having the opposite effect of that expected: you will therefore need to clearly identify your tasks and cut them into bricks that can be easily accomplished in a short period of time.It is well suited for operational and pure executive tasks, but does not lend itself to creative activity.We also recommend that you combine it with the prioritization grids so that you don't neglect the more important tasks in favor of the "small" quick tasks.
When you get there, we stop you right away: STOP! We can already see you there, full of enthusiasm, dreaming of yourself as a Master of Time Management, imagining the Eisenhower matrix of your dreams, setting 12 alarms on your phone to juggle pomodori like a real pizza maker …Stop, stop, stop.
Don’t let me be misunderstood: the miracle recipe does not exist and the universal recipe even less so.Yet we have clearly sold you the dream with our article title with small onions: "Procrastination vs motivation: how to better manage your time".In short, you are dangled with the key to success! Except no one has ever achieved success with the wrong tools.
So let's step back two minutes: do tabula rasa of your current office and organizational tools and then take a few minutes to list your real needs for matter of organization.There's no point in overloading the mule, and while a notebook won't make you the next Bill Gates, the right organizational tools can help keep you on track. success.As with everything, it's a matter of fad (avoid) and balance (find).
Don't be afraid to try new things, perhaps on lower-stakes projects, or to use certain methods or tools only occasionally.For this, we invite you to consult our other articles on the subject, in particular the one on the Kanban method or on the flexible planning of your year.
The Pareto principle or minimalism makes an organization system
True to ourselves, we are once again going to rely on the mind of an Italian scholar to enlighten you on your work habits.Vilfredo Pareto originated the Pareto principle, according to which 80% of the effects are the product of 20% of the causes.This principle has since been widely observed and applied in different areas, from inventory management to SEO to time management.
In this last area, the Pareto principle applies on the basis of a simple observation: we tend to underestimate the time we need to accomplish our tasks, the idea being that 20% of between them take up 80% of our time.He therefore invites us to list all our incompressible activities: eating, sleeping, taking care of our children, answering emails from our customers, reading the newspaper, having fun, etc.and to realistically estimate – this is the rub – the time needed for each.The number of hours remaining is variable for each of us.From there, you can combine this method with a prioritization grid to define important tasks that you can cram into the remaining hours of your day.
The process will take time in itself, and more than a time management method, I consider it more of a healthy approach to our relationship to it, and to our work.Note that besides procrastination, our greatest enemy in terms of time management is our desire for perfection, which quickly becomes counterproductive.But we'll talk about that in a future episode!
Time our greatest enemy
Take time, waste time, save time.All this is not necessarily so different.The key is to have realistic expectations, including of yourself, and to set aside breathing time that is essential for the proper functioning of our brain.Let us never forget, however, that time is an invariable datum in this great equation that is life (aahhh…), what we really have power over as human beings is the relationship we have with it. .Working with rather than against time will be the best advice we can give you.And to develop that healthy relationship over time, there's no secret: sometimes you have to accept losing it.