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Last Updated on 2022-09-05 by Kassandra
Efficient time management habits are essential with our ever-growing to-do lists. And while there are so many ways to do this, what if you could learn from someone who worked 5 part-time jobs and was studying for 2.5 degrees?
Think you could learn something from someone like that?
Then read on…
In this video, Elizabeth Filips explains that the tips & tricks she created were similar to ones many other time productivity gurus had developed as well. They were “similar to those that the literature … experts had found.”
In this video, she walks you through her process for scheduling a busy week. (And she prefers to have no calendar at all?!?)
What she shares is evidence-based tips, so wanted to ensure I got this information to you.
Below the video, I’ll give you my recap.
This is based on the fact that 2 things are guaranteed to occur throughout the day:
- your energy levels will fall throughout the day
- the power of temptation will increase throughout the day (less likely to say no to things as the day progresses)
… after a long day of saying “no” to various & sundry temptations, our capacity for resisting them diminishes.Dan Ariely
Another way to think of this is that you have a certain set of spoons throughout the day that correlate to your energy.
So Elizabeth suggestions sectioning out the week into 3 macro sections:
- first part of every day are reserved for things that are high energy, high temptation – tasks requiring lots of brain or physical power, and easily tempted to do something else (eat that frog); things not enjoying or tend to procrastinate on … this is the part of the day you are most likely to complete tasks you don’t want to
- 2nd part of the day is for high energy + low temptation or less resistance to do (gym, hanging with friends, fun projects, etc)
- last part is where you have lowest energy & highest ability to be tempted by other tasks (procrastination is easy) such as personal creative projects, reading, dinner & movie, writing newsletter
Ways to determine where a task goes is to ask:
- How likely am I to now want to do this task?
- How much energy will this require?
Are you someone who wants to check off EVERYTHING on your to-do- list before bed?
I know I am. Apparently she is, too.
Our brains tend to stay occupied with a task until it is accomplished.Zeigarnik (1927)
Basically – if you start something but don’t finish it, parts of your brain will continuously focus on it.
What she does is put up reminders about due dates – but I know I tend to forget things. And if you don’t schedule time for it, things don’t get done.
So I’m not sure about this one, personally. But willing to try it. How about you?
But if we feel constantly stuck in our work, we will become dmotivated & much more likely to procrastinate, leaving us with fewer positive or even bad experiences like missed deadlines. We might end up in a vicious circle of failure.Fishbach
In other words, if you are continuously doing things that you don’t enjoy, it can lead to procrastination or failure on these tasks.
Parkinson & Roosevelt came to the same conclusion on this one!
Work expands to full the time allocated to it.Parkinson & Roosevelt
Generally the quality of work will not be much different, regardless of how long you take to complete the task.
She also does not book work in her calendar – only the finished product. (e.g.: every single step of creating & publishing a video or other blog content)
However I feel like this might be better (for me, anyway) to block the items into 1 time block on the calendar – vs scheduling each task.
A “rule” from Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is that people who are very creative & effective in their lives always started their day with something they were looking forward to. Doesn’t necessarily go in your calendar, but if you are thinking about it you will enjoy your day more. (Something you are looking forward to.)
And he believes if you focus on this, your day will only be filled with things you are looking forward to.
So be sure to plan that sacred morning time before anything else!
Good nature is, of all moral qualities, the one that the world needs most, and good nature is the result of ease & security – not of a life of arduous struggle.Daniel Priestley
It is important to have fun, so she makes sure to do something fun by herself or with others every single week.
Not only are we easily distracted by mundane thoughts, we also routinely forget small but important things when we don’t externalise them.Gawande
It is important to take all things we want and plan to do & put into a list.
Elizabeth puts time to think in her calendar where these items go.
Personally, I would use Asana or nifty – a task manager system similar to Asana.
Overall, I felt like the content provided were great tips. But for someone like me, I fear it may be lacking. So here are some additional resources that you may benefit from checking out:
- Time Management – why time management is important, what it affects, etc and why you’re not achieving your goals
- Time Management Matrix – when everything is a priority, nothing is!
- Time Management 101 – a simple process to easily organize your tasks & more effectively stay on track with your goals
- Time Management Tools + tech tips (like creating a 15 minute time tracker in Google sheets)