Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience

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Tobias Enders in

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When I talk to colleagues at work or friends at college, many of them keep telling me how busy they are and that they do not have enough time. Do they really not have enough time or are they just setting wrong priorities? Clearly, with our world getting more connected and new challenges arising, the workload that we have to face increases day-by-day. We are too busy getting work done that others demand us to do with one thing coming too short: ourselves.

Personal time has become a luxury for many of us and some even brag about how busy they are. Is this the right thing to brag about?

The first step into the right direction is to acknowledge the fact that we are constantly under stress. Team meetings here, phone conferences there – our daily schedule often gets controlled by others and it is our own responsibility to free up time.

Gamification approaches are being implemented in many areas of our work life. They can make work more fun but on the other hand bear the risk that we will stay in the office for more hours to achieve ‘the next level’. Many ask: ‘What is the employer’s responsibility on this issue’?

Additionally, I see more and more often that companies are removing communication boundaries between management and workforce to foster creativity and collaboration. What sounds like a great approach, carries a high risk: employees get involved in too many activities and in the end they are not able to manage the workload that they should actually focus on.

Here are three simple tips to manage your time and stay on top of you To-Do list:

  1. Set priorities: not all of your tasks have the same priority and need to be done instantly. Categorizing tasks according to when they are due and who needs to create the results/provide input helps to focus on the few important tasks. Delegate if possible.TaskImportanceMatrix
  2. Use a tool: there is tons of freeware tools available on the internet and apps for the smart phone that allow you to create tasks list and track deadlines. The lists need to be maintained; however, they make sure that you don’t miss an important task and you have a quick overview on all open assignments.
  3. Reserve time for yourself: each day, you should allocate part of your day for doing what you enjoy. Let’s call it the “Me-Time”. Even though this sounds simple, many people have a problem to spend just 30 minutes on a busy day for themselves. However, it will allow you to slow down your pace and make room for things that you care about.


In the end, it is not about having not enough time. The real issue is that priorities are often set wrong and we get into a vicious circle. Wouldn’t it be nice to have more time available for things that you enjoy? Maybe that’s something worth bragging about the next time you talk to your friends.

Guest Blogger: Tobias Enders

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