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How often did you find it got late very quickly? Many times, I guess. Managing time is sometimes quite impossible. No worries, I have a solution for you in a box. On 23rd November last year I met nineteen people on Meet to chat about Time, on how to manage time, on how not to waste time: suggestions, advice, solutions, and reflections.

Who is enemy number one in managing time? Perhaps it’s the infamous bad organisation, sure, but what is this due to? I’ve prepared a golden synthesis of the webinar which will help you to identify the reasons behind this disorganization: each cause is addressed by a card in The Time Box where you can delve into the secrets of time.

1)  Close all the open cycles

What often deceives us are the open activity cycles. Are you one of those people who start things without finishing them? Do you proceed without order and feel frustrated because none (or very few) of the activities you planned doing have been concluded? If you identify with this description, here’s what you should do:

          take a blank sheet of paper

          write down everything you need to do (absolutely everything! What you need to do and what you want to do)

          don’t consider priorities or dates, just write down what comes to mind

          leave the sheet to sleep for a day

          decide what is urgent and what isn’t

          schedule and plan your activities (see below for some tips on an intelligent diary)

2) Choose

You can do everything but not every single thing: this is your new mantra. You’re the one to decide what and not to dedicate your time to. For example, how long do you laugh for? Have you ever asked yourself that question? Start from here and choose to dedicate your time to what makes you feel good.

3) Yessir!

If you are one of those people who always say yes even if you have three thousand things to do, this is your card. Some advice, from the heart: stop doing it. “Yes” has a consequence and shouldn’t be used excessively. You can’t say yes to everything and everyone. Learn to say “No”: kindly and politely, always explaining why, but say it or risk being sucked in!

4)  Time gobblers

Here we meet the inhabitants of the time limbo: this category includes a series of things, situations and people who literally eat up time, your precious time. Things such as mobile phone notifications, as well as people (I call them “aggressive communicators”: those who arrive and take over your time, your space and your life. When you come across them, BLOCK THEM IMMEDIATELY!).

You’ve already reached the fourth card? Hmm… Perhaps you’ve already decided you want more Time? Grab it here!

5) The right shoes

We take on many roles during the day: professional, student, friend, sister, brother, mother, son or daughter. Do you find you confuse them? And perhaps wear the manager’s shoes when you should be wearing your partner’s or someone’s mother’s. Do you know what is important? Respect the roles and decide to dedicate your time and not waste it. Wear the right shoes, you’ll feel great!

6)  Procrastinitis

One of the main scourges in managing time is procrastinitis: the tendency to postpone to the day after tomorrow what you could do today! If you’re afflicted, here’s my advice: activate the automatic pilot. While your brain is sitting there chatting and trying to convince you that you don’t want to write that e-mail and you don’t want to carry out that task, just do it. Silence your brain and do whatever you had planned to do.

These are some of the attitudes and habits that make time management complicated. The Time Box contains new insights and some tricks. In the meantime, before leaving you, here’s the last tip.

7) The intelligent diary: defend your time

Everything you have read so far is to be applied and inserted in a diary, an intelligent one that allows you to be effective. This is how to do it:

          Recover your list of open cycles that you drew up (remember: insert what you need to do and what you want to do, then leave it to rest for around twenty-four hours);

          Assign a number for each activity according to the priority (from 1 to 10: NEVER use 7, this is no-man’s land, a dangerous area);

          Distribute the activities starting from those with 8, 9 or 10;

          Try to estimate the time needed for each activity. If, when you carry them out, you realise you got it completely wrong, next time you schedule your open cycles remember to adjust, even double, the time assigned to that activity!

          Leave spaces: defend time for yourself, you can’t manage without it. Write them into your diary!

 

 

I hope this has been useful and that The Time Box will be even more so. In fact, with a box full of Time always at your side, managing time will no longer be difficult!
You can find it here, give yourself a present of make a gift to someone you hold dearly to, time is a precious thing.

Alessandro