Time management coaching
Simon Floré, former CTO at Teamleader, asked Sarah to do some time management coaching, because he wanted to stop ‘fire fighting’ and focus on those things that truly matter. After a couple of months, Cutesolutions went to interview Simon and ask how he was doing. Did he really change his time management habits, and how did this affect his way of working? Did our time management coaching result into sustainable habits?
Habit Coaching Q&A
First of all, a special thanks to Simon Floré for making the time to do an interview to see if we were able to succeed in our habit coaching mission!
The power of habits
Coaching is great way to develop yourself personally and professionally, but one thing we have learned at Cutesolutions is that if several months later the person isn’t really doing anything with what he or she learned, then we failed in our mission. We believe in the power of habits and and habit formation and it’s time to find out if we helped Simon or not.
Have you made a ‘time-management’ mind switch these couple of months? How does this reflect in your day to day time management decisions?
If I compare my daily and weekly schedule at Teamleader with my schedule of last year, the difference couldn’t be bigger. We’ve grown so hard! I realized that the amount of questions and triggers I had on a daily basis to do things, were not manageable. I tried to do so many things but in the end I felt like I wasn’t doing the important things, but mainly the seemingly urgent stuff.
Once I made that mind-switch, I felt more efficient and able to do the important things instead of postponing them. Right now, my focus is much higher, while my involvement on some topics is lower! It’s a constant balance I will have to guard. On the one hand, I will get more results and praise for that, but on the other hand, because I stopped being some kind of yes-man, I’m not always the most popular guy. Sometimes you will have to choose between being available and achieving results!
What are new time-management habits you implement right now and recommend everyone?
Start by writing down the amount of time you wish to spend on which things.
I’ve never found the time to start writing, to do very extensive research, or to do work for multiple hours straight. But in the end these are the things that make your work matter! Daily tasks, meetings, chat messages, to do lists, are all there to keep everyone in the loop, to gather information, the keep things going, … But these are the things that can take up all your time if you keep on doing the unstructured, or without a critical mindset. Create time for these tasks!
Max 1 hour mail answering a day
And in that hour don’t get distracted! Only answer emails! (tip: start with Single tasking). I have disabled slack for most of my time and configured it that I still get noticed when it is support urgent.
When I want to work on a project for a longer period of time, I isolate myself.
On the other hand, try to choose these moments well, and still try to be available for the rest of your company. Just make it clear that there are times that you’re not available for every request.
When you work for a fast growing company like Teamleader, you need these habits and skills. Things that seemed obvious and didn’t take up much time could be blocking your complete work-flow 6 months down the track. Structure and some basic rules, that I set for myself, helped me tremendously! And a noise-canceling headphone!
How do you decide on your daily priorities, minimize the ‘fire-fighting’ and work on those things that actually matter?
I lowered the amount of bigger projects I’m doing. And learned that focus on a few important things ends up in so much more, than when I tried to do everything that was passed to me.
Also, I don’t believe in multi-tasking. Try to do the important things at dedicated time slots of a least 4 hours. If you’re not able to clear these slots, start thinking about why you can’t. What you need to fix to create more free time?
Stop being a yes man
When there are things happening that need some kind of fire-fighting, I’ve managed to stop saying ‘yes’ to everything.
Some people always feel the urge to do things by themselves, just because they’re the best person for the job. In short-term, that’s probably true. But in the end, you don’t have to feel guilty for delegating to someone else who is capable enough. It will not only give them the chance to learn something new, but it will increase their sense of responsibility when similar things happen in the future.
My focus is much higher, while my involvement on some topics is lower.
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