3 hacks to better manage your time

Reversed Photo by Wilhelm Gunkel on Unsplash

Conquering time

These experiences are frightening because you can immediately measure the loss caused.

The reason behind blackholes

One of the reasons you are attracted into these black holes is simply that you haven’t decided rigorously what to do with your time.

  1. Create habits
  2. Centralise your effort
  3. Master the tools of daily life

Create habits

Our brain has a bias, that of laziness.

  • Get up
  • Physical awakening (yoga, stretching or training)
  • Shower
  • tea / coffee

Centralise your effort

Centralising your effort allows you to limit the dispersion of your attention and maximises the concentration that you invest on a subject.

Master your focus

You can go through these three steps

Mastering the tools of daily life

Everyday we are using tools for our work, and for our personal life. There are desktop tools, mobile tools, paper tools and so many others.

  • a mail management app
  • a note taking app
  • a calendar app

Gmail

Did you you know that you can process 100 emails in 30 minutes without using your mouse or trackpad on Gmail ?

  • Customise your inbox in 3 categories:
    - Starred emails when you need more than 2 minutes to deal with it
    - Waiting for labelled emails, if you delegate action or expect an answer from s.o. else
    - Unread emails, new inbound mails
View of my gmail categories
  • Set up your inbox to “auto-advance”, so you’ll show the next conversation instead of your inbox after any action on the conversation you’re on
  • Enable keyboard shortcuts:
    e → archive
    j → next email
    k → previous email
    b → snooze email
    ⬆️ + # → delete email

Google Calendar

There’s no point of talking about time if you have no where to log and plan for your time.

  • Use colors to categorise and better visualise your time slots (blue for operations, green for product, pink for hr, red for sport, yellow for personal tasks, …)
  • Set meetings with yourself in your calendar. Personally, there is a morning time slot called (reserved) for my “me-time”

Evernote

Most importantly, taking everything in note is essential especially when there is a variety of meetings, interactions, and thinking that is to be done.

  • Use tags in order to associate notes with ideas or context.
    tags are more efficient then notebooks for example
  • Use your note taking app as a bucket to centralise all your thinking and your production. Based on the GTD (Getting Things Done) method
  • Use Evernote’s research (Cmd + j) as much as possible, it’s probably one of the best research feature I’ve tested compared to other tools such as: Obsidian, Notion, Slite, Bear, …

Wrapping up

  1. Create habits to reduce decision making friction
  2. Centralise your effort and master your focus
  3. Master 3 tools: email, calendar, and note taking

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Franck Nussbaumer

Franck Nussbaumer

Books, self-development and optimisation enthusiast. Love Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, surfing and adventures. Co-Founder and COO at Stockoss (www.stockoss.com)