Greetings from SAKKE – Thoughts about Time Management
28 September 2022
On 24 September, I spoke at the SAKKE student event organized by the Association of Finnish Lawyers in Tampere. The topic was “jaksaminen työelämässä”, which roughly translates to well-being in, or coping with, your working life. Assessing these issues was a welcome exercise personally as well, and I’d like to share some related thoughts, specifically relating to time and time management.
- Occasionally, you should ask yourself that if this current week was the average week of the rest of your life, would you be happy with your life? On average, you would need to be able to live your life right now.
- On a related note, there will never be enough time. It is unrealistic to expect that in the near future, a balance would be waiting, where you would have time for everything you want to do and nothing has been waiting too long on your to-do list. Once you accept that there is not enough time and your to-do list is long, you will feel better and also manage more things with the time you do have.
- You won’t have time for everything, but you need to have time for the things you value the most. Put those things in your calendar first and let everything else flow around them.
- Look for things you can choose not to do.
- Do, or do not do. Everything that is in the middle is less optimal. The ideal state of working would be that when you work, you just work, instead of stressing about the things you need to get started. And when you choose not to work, you instantly stop thinking about work. Although if a useful thought pops into your head while in the shower or when biking home, no need to feel bad about it.
- If you have a given amount of time and a number of things to do, your sequencing (the order in which you do things) can have a significant impact. Experiment with different ways of organizing your day.
- It is useful to take the initiative with scheduling. Many people will be happy to receive a thought-out proposal on how a project should proceed, and you will have the opportunity to have the deadlines fit your own calendar needs.
- Multi-tasking is a double-edged sword. You cannot listen to someone while typing emails, but hopefully you can attend many internal meetings while jogging.
- Optimizing your use of time can be under- or overappreciated. How you organize your time can make a clear difference, but the number of additional things you can get done by optimizing is still limited (see number two).
- There is a time and place for planning, but in using your time, the most important thing is to make the correct choice in each moment: will I start that difficult task right now, or will I imagine that tomorrow would be a better day to do it?