TMS Interview 005 -- Do not be Too Harsh to Yourself

Q Guo is now at the European headquarters of an FMCG company in Geneva. She has previously worked for the UN, Forbes, Swiss Re and Pengpai. She wants to know a little bit about everything and likes to try and learn new things.
  • What scenarios does your time management workflow apply to?

Life and work.

  • What tools do you need for your time management workflow?

I use google keep

notes for work: scheduling tasks that need to be done.

notes for personal use: personal tasks outside of office hours.

  • Please briefly describe your time management workflow?

I think about what needs to be done and its urgency and importance in each day or time block of each day (like morning/afternoon) level. Of course this is a rather rough judgment, but other factors are also included, such as the complexity of the task and whether I want to do (If one task is what I don't want to do, it will be prioritized. Otherwise the more I put it off, the less wiling I would be to do it).

  1. write down the tasks in order according to the above factors and break up their sub-tasks;
  2. complete the arrangements and tick the completed box;
  3. unfinished tasks will be given higher priority in the next time block, and there is generally more inertia in such tasks, so it is better to finish them soon.
  4. I will also refer to the schedule. Work tasks are scheduled first during work hours, and personal tasks are scheduled when there is extra time.
  • How long have you maintained this workflow?

It feels like I been like this since school. Before that, I used pen and paper, then I used Mac and started using Apple Notes. When I stared working, I found out the OS is Windows. Hence, I switched to a cross-platform tool like Google keep.

  • The advantages of this workflow?

Simple and effective!

  • The biggest pain point in time management right now?

I don't have the means to review my past very precisely with the above approach, I can't use it to analyze my own behavior, so the optimization is not possible.

Time management inherently requires strong willpower control. Whether you comply or not is not something a tool can help you with. Therefore, as long as an approach can get tasks done, it is just fine.

Also it might not be good to keep strict compliance with the time management. Wasting a little time is good for your mental health and well-being, so don't be too self-conscious.

  • What is the ideal time management workflow? What kind of tools are needed?

Hahaha, there is no ideal tool, only the most suitable. You don't know until you try.

  • Can you recommend a book on time management? The one that affected you the most.

I'm a very disciplined, and my brain is always active, so there's not much need for my effort in time management.

Of course it's not that time management requires no skills, it's just that good time management needs other skills to support it. For example, self-discipline, self-control, multi-threaded work, management of uncertainty, and so on. These abilities naturally take time to develop, and many of them become habits, which are then incorporated into the personality. So I think 7 habits of highly effective people would be an enlightening reading.

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Q Guo has adopted a simple and effective approach to managing her time without being too demanding in terms of completion. She sees herself as an efficient and self-disciplined person, so leaving some leeway can keep herself in a good mood.

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If you'd like to share your own time management tips, please answer the following questions and email them to the post (2) acacess.com, which we edit and publish.

  • Please briefly introduce yourself?
  • What scenarios does your time management workflow apply to?
  • What tools do you need for your time management workflow?
  • Please briefly describe your time management workflow?
  • How long have you been sticking with this workflow?
  • What are the advantages of this workflow?
  • The biggest pain point in time management right now?
  • What is the ideal time management workflow? What kind of tools are needed?
  • Can you recommend a book on time management? The one that affected you the most.
  • Can you recommend a friend to share ta's time management tips?