Speaker and author Stefania Lucchetti shares her expertise in this time management for a better life interview. She often speaks for corporations such as Citibank, Time Warner and Bank of New York about how they can better manage their time. She has also authored two books, The Principle of Relevance and Twenty Two Ways to Expand Your Time.
Time Management for a Better Life Interview
LoveToKnow (LTK): How can time management help people lower stress?
Stefania Lucchetti (SL): Most people live each day reacting to things thrown their way, in what I call a reactionary mode. This has two consequences; first, it creates a lot of unnecessary stress. If you live jumping from action to action in reaction to what is happening rather than because that is what you have decided you want to do, stress is the inevitable consequence. Second, if you do this you lose control of your life, to a point where you no longer feel free, because someone else is always dictating what you should be doing.
LTK: How does time management improve life satisfaction?
SL: It is very important for people to shift their perception of what good time management is and what it is not. Most people are reluctant to embrace a time management discipline because they think it will make their life too structured and less free flowing. Time management is not about filling in every slot in your schedule with fixed, unmovable activities, which would only contribute to your stress. Time management is about being deliberate about what you want to do with your time. Therefore, it frees you to live the life you want, with the flow you want.
Time Management Tips
LTK: What are some ways people can manage their time better?
SL: I will share with you a few of my best time management techniques. You can find more in my eBook, Twenty Two Ways to Expand Your Time.
- Become your own information dietician, and make the decision to turn off your BlackBerry, iPhone, computers and television at specific hours of the day.
- Schedule your day so that it has a defined time slot for emergencies or urgent last minute things. If an emergency comes up, it will not disrupt your day, if it doesn't - that is free time for you!
- Schedule your own personal time in your calendar. If there is something you want to do, schedule it as if it were a meeting.
- Work with - not against - your attention span. Make two lists everyday: one list of important things that take time and energy, and one list of minor things you can do even if you are distracted and then alternate between the two.
LTK: Are there any tools that can help with time management?
SL: You don't need fancy tools for time management. All you need is a diary, electronic or paper, and a pen. Personally I use both: I use my paper diary to write down my ideas as to what I want to do with the time, and then I use my electronic diary to schedule my appointments as well as the time slots I want to dedicate to realize ideas I have noted in my paper diary.
Conquering Obstacles in Time Management
LTK: What are some obstacles that stand in the way of effective time management?
SL: The first obstacle is laziness. Time management requires commitment and discipline: it is much easier (though the results are disastrous) to let things flow and react to them without taking charge. Knowing why time management is so important allows you to live the life you want and can help you overcome that natural laziness.
The second obstacle is the continuous flow of seemingly "urgent" things thrown our way - things to do, messages to respond to, phone calls to return. Making two lists everyday - as I suggest above - is the antidote to this.
LTK: How can someone stay motivated to stick to a time management schedule?
SL: This is a really good question as time management is not that different from a diet: you have to be disciplined and you have to make a commitment to yourself, because it is actually a lot easier to fall prey to a reactionary way of living when you are tired, overworked and overwhelmed. You can stay motivated by reminding yourself of why it is so important that you manage your time well, and by seeing daily results in your life, such as being able to do the activities you love, having better quality time with family and friends and increasing your joy and happiness everyday.
Managing Time at Work and at Home
LTK: Is time management only beneficial at work? Are there ways to manage time at home?
SL: You can use time management in any situation. A busy mom needs to manage her time just as much as a busy executive or she can end up running after an endless list of things to do everyday just as the executive runs after a continuously overflowing inbox and task list. The principles to use are the same.
LTK: What are the benefits of time management at home?
SL: The demands of taking care a home and children can stress many moms out. Learning to properly manage their time would help them be more relaxed and less stressed about the million things they need to do (I know, I am a mom too!). They could also include other activities they enjoy in their day, which would make them happier and more satisfied, and they could share this newfound wellbeing with their children.
Many Thanks to Stefania Lucchetti
LoveToKnow would like to thank Stefania Lucchetti for sharing her knowledge in this time management for a better life interview.