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20 Time-Management Lessons
Everyone Should Learn In Their
20s
RICHARD FELONI
MAY 8, 2014, 12:04 PM
FACEBOOK

LINKEDIN

When you're just starting


your career, you need all
the help you can get
managing your time.
Even when you're
working hard, you could
be wasting a tremendous
amount of time either by
trying to multitask or by
focusing too much on
minute details.

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Matteo Achilli, the "Italian Zuckerberg," is one of


Italy's most successful entrepreneurs.

Montreal-based designer
tienne Garbugli has
struggled with all of that.
But as he's gotten older, he's learned how to manage his time and
workload more effectively. Today, he's a consultant and entrepreneur,
and recently published his first book, "Lean B2B: Build Products
Businesses Want."

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Last year, he collected some of his favorite lessons in the SlideShare


presentation "26 Time Management Hacks I Wish I'd Known At 20." In
December, SlideShare named it the "Most Liked" presentation of 2013.

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Below, we've explained some of Garbugli's best time-management tips


everyone should learn in their 20s.

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1. There's always time. Time is priorities.


You never "run out of time." If you didn't finish something by the time it
was due, it's because you didn't consider it urgent or enjoyable enough to
prioritize ahead of whatever else you were doing.

2. Days always fill up faster than you'd expect.


Build in some buffer time. As the founder of Ruby on Rails and
Basecamp, David Heinemeier Hansson said, "Only plan on four to five
hours of real work per day."

3. Work more when you're in the zone. Relax when


you're not.
Some days you'll be off your game, and other times you'll be able to
maintain your focus for 12 hours straight. Take advantage of those days.

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4. Stop multitasking. It kills your focus.


There have been academic studies that found the brain expends energy
as it readjusts its focus from one item to the next. If you're spending your
day multitasking, you're exhausting your brain.

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5. We're always more focused and productive with


limited time.
Work always seems to find a way of filling the space allotted for it, so set
shorter time limits for each task.

6. Work is the best way to get working. Start with small


tasks to get the ball rolling.
The business plan you need to finish may be intimidating at 8 in the
morning. Get your mind on the right path with easy tasks, such as
answering important work emails.

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7. Work iteratively. Expectations to do things perfectly


are stifling.
Gen. George S. Patton once said, "A good plan executed now is better
than a perfect plan executed next week."

8. More work hours doesn't mean more productivity.


Use constraints as opportunities.
Don't kid yourself into thinking that sitting at your desk will somehow
extract work from you. Do whatever you can to finish your current task
by the end of regular work hours instead of working into the night.

9. Separate brainless and strategic tasks to become


more productive.
Ideally, you can brainstorm your ideas and then execute them. If you're
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constantly stopping your flow of work to rethink something, you're


slowing yourself down.

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10. Organize important meetings early in the day. Time


leading up to an event is often wasted.

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If you have an important meeting scheduled for 4 p.m., it's easy for
anxiety to set in and keep that meeting at the front of your mind. Try to
get them over with early so you can work without worrying about them.

11. Schedule meetings and communication by email or


phone back-to-back to create blocks of uninterrupted
work.
You'll disrupt your flow if you're reaching out to people throughout the
day.

12. Work around procrastination. Procrastinate between


intense sprints of work.
Try Francesco Cirillo's "Pomodoro Technique." "Pomodoro" is Italian for
"tomato," and it refers to the tomato-shaped cooking timer Cirillo used
to break his work into 25-minute increments with 5-minute breaks in
between. You can use the same idea with your own increments, as long
as they inspire bursts of hard work.

13. Break down a massive task into manageable blocks.


Alabama football coach Nick Saban follows a similar philosophy he calls
the Process. Instead of having his players focus on winning the
championship, he trains them to focus only on what is directly in front of
them each block, pass, and field goal.

14. No two tasks ever hold the same importance.


Always prioritize. Be really careful with to-do lists.
Daily to-do lists are effective ways of scheduling your day. Just do what
you can to keep bullet points from making "clean desk" on par with "file
taxes."

15. Always know the one thing you really need to get
done during the day.

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To help prioritize, determine what task in front of you is most important,


and focus your energy into getting that done as soon as possible.

16. Delegate, and learn to make use of other people.


To be truly efficient, get over the fear of handing work off to someone
else. "If something can be done 80% as well by someone else, delegate!"
says John C. Maxwell, author of "How Successful People Think: Change
Your Thinking, Change Your Life."

17. Turn the page on yesterday. Only ever think about


today and tomorrow.
Don't distract yourself with either the successes or failures of the past.
Focus instead on what's in front of you.

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18. Set deadlines for everything. Don't let tasks go on


indefinitely.
Spending too much time on a project or keeping it on the backburner for
too long will lead to stagnation. Get things done and move on.

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19. Always take notes.


Don't assume you'll remember every good idea that comes into your head
during the day. It doesn't matter if it's a notebook, whiteboard, or an app
like Evernote just write stuff down.

20. Write down any unrelated thoughts that pop up


when you're in the zone, so that they don't linger as
distractions.
You'll get them out of the way without losing them.

Available for iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry


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SEE ALSO: 11 Ways To Set Yourself Up For Success In Your


Early 20s

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Cameron Fraser on May 8, 12:27


PM said:

Time Management isn't a very useful phrase. Time moves on and you
cannot manage it. What you can manage is the work. Call it work
management and you'll have a much clearer understanding of the
intent.
Reply

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