May 25, 2021
Achieving outcomes and effective time management often go hand-in-hand, and in many instances are actually functions of one another. Realizing the input side of that equation though, is generally a personal endeavour that needs to be addressed with an appropriate set of individual techniques.
To give some context (and to warm-up your mind), we polled founders and team members in search of some time management ‘hot tips’ – here are 10 of them.
- Ritesh (Founder, Deliverr) Keep it simple – organize and prioritize.
- Richard (Coach, Propel) Ruthlessly prioritize your time according to a time management matrix spend the bulk of that time doing important things that make meaningful contributions to your vision.
- Tracey (Founder, Reset:Breathe) Set two absolutely non negotiable priorities each day. One professional and one personal. Narrowing our focus helps to turn off the noise and put more energy into what’s most important.
- Julien (Coach, Propel) Be purposeful with both your time and your calendar – know that while it takes about 21 days to build a routine, it only takes 14 to break it.
- Kathryn (CEO, Propel) Know the time of day that you’re the most productive and funnel lots of your to-dos into it. It won’t be free everyday, so block it off twice a week and give yourself a couple of 'power hours' you can rely on to get stuff done.
- Quinton (Founder, Vroom Crew) Learn to effectively delegate and let go of tasks that can be done by someone else.
- Laura (Co-founder, Sidedoor) De-personalize issues. Look at the problem as something anyone can help solve. Usually this helps people not think about being ‘wrong or right' but what is the best solution fit for the problem.
- Charlotte (Chief Coaching Officer, Propel) Consider how you manage your energy as well as your time, focus on one important task at a time, and turn off all notifications.
- Kyle (Coach, Propel) Ineffective time management is often a function of distraction – if you find it difficult to focus on the task at hand, use the pomodoro technique and work in 25–30-minute sprints.
- Sean (Co-founder, Foodbyte) “Set filters in your inbox like Dan Martell. I was exposed to him years ago, and implemented his theory right away (short of having an assistant). His filter email method has a cascade effect. You soon get used to seeing 0 new emails and the ones that do make it through usually need to be reassigned. So your mind spends way less time, consciously and subconsciously, thinking about email. FILTERED EMAIL is the first thing anyone motivated to succeed needs to do, IMO!”
The simple theme is effortful introspection - effective time management is accessible and starts with developing self-awareness and an understanding of your personal objectives and workflow. Are you most productive before sunrise? Own it, get up early, and get your important work done. Do you find it difficult to delegate? Do a deep dive into your strengths, take a realistic look at your calendar and thoughtfully decide what you can take off your plate.
For some, the path to effective time management is straightforward and obvious; for others, it’s an obstacle filled jungle, within a maze that they’re trying to navigate in the dark. In either case though, success starts with understanding the first step that makes sense to you. Big leaps aren’t necessary and the goal should be simple, incremental improvements that compound over time - try to be 1% better than you were a few days ago and, sooner than you think, you’ll be exponentially more effective.
While time management can be hard, it doesn’t need to be elusive - it just takes a little work on the front end to see benefit on the other side.