Order is Freedom

I’m someone very organised, let’s put it that way.  

So, when I train leaders, executives, and their team, I’ll make them organise their files, their inboxes, the task management systems, their time. And we also plan their week, among others. 

Quite often, they would say to me:  

“Cyril, you are so organised. Are you lacking flexibility from this organisation?”

Bonjour. In this video, I want to share a time management paradox.

There’s this concept that the more organised you are, the less flexible you are.  

Actually, I think it’s completely the opposite. And that’s what I call the ‘Time Management Paradox’. 

Now, I remember Churchill had this beautiful quote,  

“For the first 25 years of my life, I wanted freedom. For the next 25 years of my life, I wanted order. For the next 25 years, I realised that order is freedom.”  

So, what do I mean here?

You may be wondering why I’m dressed in sportswear. It’s because I’ve just come back from a really nice tennis game with TK, my wife, Mirabelle, my daughter, and a friend of Mirabelle.  

It’s the workweek, Monday.  

And I have to confess, this tennis game was not planned at all. And for the people who know me, this will be a surprise because it was not on my calendar as a meeting with myself or a meeting with others. 

What happened? 

When TK came to see me a couple of hours ago, she said, “Hey, Mirabelle just called. She’s with a friend on a tennis court. She just asked if I wanted to come. Are you tempted?” 

Actually, spending time with TK and Mirabel is definitely a big yes for me. But it’s during the workweek – I’ve planned my work.  

But it was so easy for me to look in my calendar and say, “Actually, the three meetings I have with myself can be very easily rescheduled. I could actually do those in a different time during the week.”  

It took me literally two minutes to say yes, and I haven’t felt guilty at all about it.  

So, I dressed, put some white clothes that are not really tennis-appropriate just so I can go and play, jumped in the car, and surprised Mirabelle.  

The smile on her face when she saw me was priceless!

We had a lovely game of tennis. And I’ve just come in and I’m gonna reorganise my day.  

So easy.  

And so, my advice for all of you on this one is this:  

It’s so worth it to plan your time well.  

Every week, I plan my week in advance. I look at things. I book meetings with myself. 

And contrary to what most people think, the fact that I plan well means that I am really flexible, and I can change things around because I know what I should be doing.  

I can swap things around and say, “Fine, there’s something more important that came in – time with TK and Mirabelle – and I can reorganise things.”  

So, let me ask you:  

Do you plan enough of your time so you can really be flexible and jump on opportunities where they come?  

This is this week’s Work Smarter, Live Better tip. I hope you enjoy it. I’ll see you later.  

A bientôt,

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