How do you manage your time?
This is probably one of the biggest challenges we all face. Answering this question could be the solution to living a purposeful life.
Of course, the answer is going to be different for everyone. Yet, most people don’t even know how the answer looks for them.
This is a question I constantly get when I am participating on panels or attending the Bauer MBA recruiting events as a Bauer MBA Ambassador.
The first thing we must do is understand time and focus are our most valuable assets. We will always be missing on something; life has trade-offs everywhere.
Today we will have a conversation about the frameworks and tools you can use to start improving your time-management skills.
The city of Houston and the Bauer ecosystem has given me many opportunities and I’m grateful for that. I have been able to make the most out of these opportunities because of the frameworks and tools that I use to manage my time and make decisions.
Currently, I lead two organizations: the Bauer MBA Consulting Club, and the SURE Incubator. For the club, we organize at least 3 events per semester to help the MBA students bridge the gap between the classroom and a successful career in consulting. At the SURE Incubator, we Stimulate Urban Renewal through Entrepreneurship, and we do so by conducting a 3-hour Incubator session every month to provide the entrepreneurs with the tools and knowledge they need to grow their businesses.
I am also part of the Cougar Investment Fund, where we manage a $10M equities fund, part of the Google Online Marketing Challenge, and part of the Bauer MBA Ambassador’s program.
These are just the activities related to the Bauer MBA Program. Outside of that I also contribute 2 articles (1,000+ words each) and a short video, for BizLatte, every week. Add at least 2-3 networking events to each week.
Also, over the past 6-months I've been building and managing an Instagram account that now has over 17,000 followers, and I recently joined an Improv comedy class where we meet 2-hours per week.
I am not sharing this out of ego, or because I want to show off. I am sharing this to show you all you could achieve if you start using good time-management and decision-making tools.
I want to help you live a purposeful life that is aligned with your goals and dreams and a big part of that is making the most out of your time and focus.
PRIORITY not Priorities
There will always be trade-offs, there is no way to avoid it.
You will ALWAYS be missing out on something. The key to not fear missing out is to be crystal clear about your goals, and the steps you need to take to achieve them.
Therefore, it is key to have A PRIORITY, not priorities. Having just one priority doesn’t mean that you only care about one thing. If your priority, at this moment, is your career it doesn’t mean you will not care about your family or friends, or that you won’t dedicate time to them. It just means whenever there is a trade-off decision to make you will always pick the priority without doubting or wasting time thinking about it.
Any MBA, SURE, or career related event will always be the priority in my calendar. Those are the big rocks that won’t get moved. The calendar is probably already filled until August, and this is something my family is aware of and they support it.
The way to make it work is that when you are with your family or friends, BE THERE! Don’t pay attention to email, don’t multi-task, give your full time and focus on them, even if it is just for a few hours.
Every week, I block time for schoolwork, writing, networking, and I also schedule family time. No matter what, during my family time, I will not pay attention to anything else. I plan so that I can do it. All my assignments, project contributions, important emails, will be answered and done before that time that I’ve blocked for my family.
If a team has set a calendar and a deadline and someone asks for feedback outside of that timeline I will probably not be able to respond because most of the time my computer or cell-phone will be out of reach. None of the activities I am involved with are life-or-death, none require my attention 24/7 (a slight exception might be the Cougar Investment Fund, given that during the market hours we must be able to react to anything that happens).
What is your PRIORITY?
This can change. You should revisit it, and review, several times during the year, and it has to be in line with your goals.
A great way to pick efficiently is to think of the different activities you should do as a chain of dominoes. Of course, you must do many things in life. You must take care of your health, you have to take care of your relationships, and you have to pay bills. Yet, the key is organizing these dominoes in a chain, so that if you only push the first one it will create a chain reaction.
What is the domino that, if you put it first, it will allow you to also move the other ones? Is it your career? Is it your finances? Health?
The answer will be different depending on your goals and where you are in life. Also, you must accept that there is no way that you can be at the top of your game in every area in life.
“You can do anything but not everything.”
Setting a priority is just the first step.
You must have A PRIORITY instead of several priorities to achieve your goals.
There are other tools such as the “Accept, change, or leave” framework, or the “Must, should, want” framework, that will help you make the time-management and decision-making process as efficient and effective as possible.
Having a clear purpose is the foundation of efficiency and efficacy. At BizLatte, we have created a simple free guide that will guide you step-by-step through the process of finding your purpose.
Check the guide here: