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Book specific meetings with yourself

Hi this is Cyril from Work Smarter, Live Better. In this video, I want to share one simple tip that can change how you manage your time, how you manage your calendar, how you manage the things that you have to do. So one simple tip to really help you with time management.

I was working recently with a team of leaders from a large mining company and one thing I highly suggested to them is whenever they have something to do which is a little bit time consuming, whenever they have something to do which is time consuming, move it to your calendar.

A lot of people have long to do lists and they keep things in the list hoping they’ll find time to do it, or they keep things in their inbox that are time consuming, hoping they will find time to do it. And what it means is they don’t know if they can do it, they don’t know when they are going to do it and they just hope that they’ll find the time to do it. Some get done, some get pushed to the evening, some end up never being done, some being done at weekends or whenever they can, and never really at the right time.

So one specific simple advice on this one. Whatever is time consuming, I’m talking anything more than 15 minutes, 10-15 minutes is probably the cut off, everything which is more than 15 minutes has to end up in your calendar. You receive an email you look at it and say I need to spend 20 minutes in it, move it to your calendar straight away. You look at your To-Do list and you’re processing your To-Do list, you look at an item and say “I need to spend half an hour on it”, it has to move in your calendar.

Now, some people say to me, “Cyril, shoot me now! if I start putting in my calendar everything which is time consuming, I’ll never be able to do it and it’s crazy my calendar is going to be all over the place if I have to move everything my calendar” and I said “Fantastic! because leaving it in your To-Do list, leaving it in your inbox, doesn’t tell you if you’re going to be able to do it.” Confronting it to the reality of your diary is an eye opener for a lot of people.

So my advice is very simple. Every time you see something that you want to spend time on, move it inside your calendar. And if you say “I might spend 45 minutes or an hour on this one”, you look at your calendar and “Hey, actually I only have 20 minutes to spend on it”. Well, at least you made a decision that you are going to spend 20 minutes and you move it to your calendar. It pushes yourself to be much more realistic. It pushes yourself to also prioritize, because am I really going to dedicate an hour on this? And you become much better at time commitment with this one. You can come back to someone and say “Look, I’m happy to do this, but I can’t do this until next Wednesday” and so at least you manage expectations a much better way.

This is this week’s Work Smarter, Live Better tip. Hope it’s a help. Your calendar should be full of meeting with yourself. So start moving things in your calendar and booking time with yourself and be quite specific with this. Really book a very specific time with yourself in your calendar, explaining what you have to do.

I hope this is helpful. You have a lovely week. I’ll talk to you soon.


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