I wish there was 48h in a day. But it is alright, I find value in the limitation of time because it gives value to the opportunity cost of tasks I decide to do.
One of my biggest struggles for 10+ years now, is time management. I take pride in being a planner and figuring ways to optimise time. It is just lots of failures and learning from mistakes, making little tweaks to improve.
Here’s how I manage my time now. This moment. This period.
There is no perfect model to optimise time. It really depends on the situation, priorities and time available. I feel incredibly grateful to be in absolute control of my time and allocate it in the most optimal way.
If I wake up before sunrise, I will take my shoes and go for a run. If I wake up after sunrise, I will get started with my morning routines.
Starting the day with a 20min meditation.
Meditation is like the gym for the mind. I’ve been doing meditation for a while now, and it’s wonderful. I find so much peace, I get to be present in any moment and I learn to appreciate the state of just being. When I asked on twitter how people get by in this intense world, it’s usually weed, alcohol or just escaping it. I think that can be dangerous when the support system is an external locus of control, which can be a huge negative externality. But that is just my thoughts.
During mediation, I just let things go and be present. Sometimes it is hard. But it is okay. Other times, I just spend 20min smiling like an idiot because being present is just so wonderful.
Lesson learnt: I take this present moment with me throughout the day. When I’m focusing on tasks. When I’m on a call. When I am speaking.
5min Reflection and To Do List
Sunday nights or Monday mornings, I have a list of main tasks do to during that day. I’ve also allocated my 6 day work week into the various amount of time I’m willing to put in, in the different aspects of business.
Then, after my meditation, I reflect upon my previous day. Write down the tasks of today. Reflect on 3 things to be grateful for (it’s about 5 on average these days, even when I’m not trying hard to think!). A very important step after, is to evaluate my actions of yesterday. The things that I did well, those that I want to improve today.
There is no pressure to improve now. It is a message to my subconscious that says “hey, this thing. Yeah, we want to take care of it.”.
Lesson learnt: I take my lessons learnt with me throughout the day. Knowing that I am good at some things, knowing that I still have lots to improve. And prioritising my tasks helps me to focus during the day.
I dislike procrastination anyway. It’s an inefficient use of time because humans are time-inconsistent flawed human beings.
Routines + Appointments
I’m learning to have 3 days meetings via my online calender link. A day for research and research update call. And everything else in between.
It helps to have a rough plan of the year, quarter, week and day. Then I’ll plan my day in rough order based on my to do list and appointments of the day.
I’m also currently allocating a “do not contact Lisa” time period. That just means turning all my communication apps off like email, telegram, whatsapp. And only get to it when it’s time to clear messages and get back to people.
I’m still learning and managing this. As a person who is very focus on zero-inbox, I’m currently having 100+ unread. So I’m taking a couple hours today to get to it.
Lesson learnt: Prioritise. Make time for things that matter.
Plan Plan Plan
I plan a lot. My calendar is my life. Everything is in order, organised, and structured. And since time is limited, it means prioritising the various activities and booking ahead in advance.
10+ years ago, I get carried away with the illusion of busy-ness. Where I am busy on tasks without any real value being created when the tasks are done. It took 10+ years to fail, learn, unlearn and relearn. I’m still learning and managing it. Perhaps I’m slightly better than the Lisa 10 years ago. Still, the Lisa 10 years later will be much better than Lisa today.
Actually, it’s Energy Management
Time management is really just energy management. We do not have infinite time nor energy. At the end, it’s about managing energy, calculated as a time variable. Thankfully, I feel immensely grateful that I am an extrovert and I gain incredible amount of energy by being with people.
Last week, I had an extremely long day. 15h with lots of meetings and work to be done. I was completely exhausted by the time I met K. But he recharged me with energy after a long cuddle. Works like magic.
I found my secret power to recharge instantly. It works for me, not sure about others.
Lesson learnt: So find what recharges you immediately. And learn how to allocate time and energy.