Everybody wants more time. While you can’t make more hours in the day, you can find more time for the most important things in your life. In this course, Chris Croft introduces 5 simple time management tips to reduce distractions and stay focused on what matters.

The first—saying no—is simple in theory, but hard in practice. Chris explains how to reclaim the power of “no” to make room for true priority items. The second step, negotiation, allows you to spend less time on unimportant tasks. The third way is to delegate sometimes, and the fourth is improving systems and processes so that repetitive tasks are quickly and easily managed. Last but not least, Chris explains how to overcome perfectionism and nitpicking. He explains how to apply the five methods to all time-stealers, including meetings, interruptions, and more.

In the initial chapters, he’ll help you clarify your life and work goals, prioritize to-dos using Eisenhower’s matrix of tasks, and answers questions like “Does working longer hours actually get more done?” The worksheets included with the exercise files will help you apply the lessons to your own work and life, and hone your time management skills—one step at a time.

03-01 Reducing box 2

Table of Content



  • What’s Important?
    • Health
    • Family
    • Planning
    • Achieving & enjoying
  • 5 Ways to Control Your Time
    • Say no
    • Negotiate
    • Delegate
    • Improve systems
    • Overcome perfection
  • Pure, uninterrupted time

1. The Importance of Time Management

The objective of time management

  • Time management: Maximize time spent on important things
  • Less time for unimportant things, and more time for important things
  • I would hope that there is some correlation between you think is important and what your boss or your company think is important
  • You can get away with neglecting important things - for a short time
  • However, if you neglect important things, they will catch up to you.
  • You’ll pay the price of regret later.
  • Goals should combine enjoyment and achievement

The important of clear goals

  • If an activity moves you towards your goals, it’s important, and if it doesn’t, then it’s not important. It’s as simple as that.
  • Enjoy and achieve, both at home and at work
  • Goals
    • Written down: far more likely to happen
    • Specific: to be more clear
    • Positive:
  • Why do Goals Work?
    • They set your subconscious in the right direction: Without an internal SatNav, you’ll drift through life, and end up somewhere that you probably don’t want to be.
    • They increase self-discipline and assertiveness.

Why you must make the most of every day

  • How many weekends is left for you: 52 weeks per year
  • Urgency and pressure leads to the important stuff being neglected. And then eventually, when it’s too late, you pay the price of regret.

2. Prioritizing

What prioritizing really means

  • Prior: how important they are
  • Important but probably not urgent: for example your children

How to separate important from urgent

Eisenhower’s matrix of tasks

  • “I have two kinds of problems, the urgent and the important. The urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent” – Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • Box format
    1. Crisis(Do First): Do it now and do it properly
    2. Hassle(Delegate): Spend minimum time on it
    3. Progress(Schedule): Plan (and do) ahead
    4. (Un)Necessary Evils(Don’t Do): If it will get worse, delegate it or don’t do it

Box 3 of Eisenhower’s matrix

Is there more to life than planning?

  • Box 3 planing time can help you enjoy and achieve. It’s not just about work and results.
  • Fun is important, and can fit into time management.

Is working longer hour a good idea?

  • Longer hours provide a safety net that can decrease self-discipline.
  • It would be quite disloyal to say “Nope, I always go home at five and I’m not gonna help with a company crisis, see you tomorrow, guys.”

How to get more time for important things

  • Spend as much as time in box 3, and reduce the time spend in the other three boxes, mainly box 2 (hassle)
  • Do three little jobs
    • box three awareness. Write down what percentage you think you spend on average on four boxes, and tomorrow, see how much time you actually get for box 3.
    • Start a log of when you leave work.
    • Stop taking work home.
What changes could you make? Important Not important
Urgent Box 1: What are the crises that occur, and can you find root cause of them and prevent some of them? Box 2: What are the main hassles, and how can you spend less time on them?
Not urgent Box 3: What are the “getting ahead” activities that you’d like to spend more time on, or which you are putting off? Box 4: What are the tasks that you either should not be doing at all, or could plan and then minimize time spent on them?

3. The 5 Ways to Control Your Time

Option 1: Say no at home

Option 1: Say no at work

Option 2: Negotiate the time allotted

Option 2: Use negotiation tactics

  • Can you get something in return? If you do it for free, they’ll probably ask for more and more in the future.
  • Using a list of priorities
  • Providing a choice
  • When to do a task
  • Hong long you spend on a task
  • Where you do a task
  • Who owns the task

Option 3: Delegate to save time

  • It’s okay to ask for help from colleagues.
  • Pay someone else to do things for you.

Option 3: Why do we avoid delegation?

  • My people are too busy.
  • I can do it better than my employees.
  • It’s fun and I like it.
  • It takes too long to explain it.
  • It could go wrong.

Option 4: Improve you systems

  • Anything that repeats requires a good system.
    • Example: travel bag version 1 & version 2
  • Systems can save you time and stress.
  • Any repeating problem is worth creating a system for.

Option 5: Can you be less fussy?

  • Get more time in your week by overcoming perfection.
  • Less important tasks don’t require perfection.
  • Overcoming Perfection
    • Determine what you do too well
    • Determine what you want more time on
    • Give yourself a time limit for unimportant things.
    • Don’t get lost in the details.
  • “It really doesn’t matter. It’s not going to kill me.”
  • Summary
    • Do the important things really well
    • Do the unimportant things only well enough

How to apply time-saving tactics

  • 5 ways to Control Your Time
    • Say no
    • Negotiate
    • Delegate
    • Improve systems
    • Overcome perfection
  • Managing Interruptions
    • Say no: Perhaps put up a Do Not Disturb Notice, or hide in a meeting room to do you work.
    • Negotiate: You can negotiate over how long the interruption takes, or when you meet with the person.
    • Delegate: “Anyone who needs me this morning, please see Louise”
    • Improve systems: Where people book appointments, or maybe get to the root cause so they no longer need to interrupt you.
    • Overcome perfection: You could spend do it less well, and spend less time on it, or refer them to something online.
  • Pick your time waster -> Pick your time-saving option.
  • First thought should be:
    • Wrong order: Do it myself -> Delegate -> Say no
    • Right order: Say no -> Negotiate -> Delegate -> Do it myself


Next steps