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Human Optimiser Micro Module

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Lesson 11, Topic 2
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Time Intelligence

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Time management is one of the most empowering skills we can offer our future. 

What you choose to spend your time doing has a major impact on what your near and long term future looks like.  

In order to help build your skills around time management, we will share with you some key principles for task and time management. For example, regardless of how much time you think a task will take, add on another 20 percent or more as insurance. Or make a game of getting the job done well in advance of the deadline. You will be amazed at how much more relaxed you are and how much better a job you do when you are on top of your most important tasks.

If you are to successfully run a business, without being stressed all the time, time management is a fundamental part of your success.

Good time management is crucial to your success. Using an effective time-planner and masterlist, you can achieve any set goal. There are a range of supportive time management tools and techniques that you could familiarise yourself with as well as practice for maximum productivity and good personal organisation, all of which will support you in achieving your goals.

Each of them takes a little time to learn and master, but pays you back in greater efficiency and effectiveness for the rest of your life. 


building time awareness 

Over at least a week, I ask you to focus on and actually track how you are using your time in your personal but mainly your professional setting. We’ve included a time tracking tool, but you can use a range of tools to efficiently track your time, like toggl, harvest, tempo, Everhour, RescueTime, Clockify, Hourstack.

We know self-awareness is one of the most important tools, we need you to know what you’re doing with your time, not just guess or estimate. We want you to track everything you do when you’re supposed to be working. Include the downtime, you take, when do you get distracted google, stare at Facebook, ring someone. Deviate from the task read emails, go to the fridge over and over, watch tv, Talk to a colleague, wonder. What tasks do you avoid, that you really should be doing?

We want you to track your time by listing out all of the tasks you do and how long you spend on them. We want to quantify what you’re doing with both your personal and professional time. So often, we tell ourselves we don’t have enough time.. Not enough time to start a business, not enough time to grow the business, not enough time to do the hobby we want. 

But just like the currency of money, if you quantify it, and work out what you are doing with it, we can often redirect it and use it in more productive ways, than build wealth and success rather than let it leak out of our wallet. 

Track your time for a week! 

Once you’ve tracked your time, we’d like you to map it. The ways of working template sits in your Personal Playbook Miro Template. This is the second component of this assessment activity that covers your ways of working. We want you to map out your time clustering your time usage based on thinking spaces. The more time you spend on the task or areas the bigger the chunk of time will be. The less time you spend the smaller (much like we did for your missions activities).

Move your tasks into relevant clusters and what thinking space the task or activity requires you to think in. 

Then reflect on where you spend your time, especially work time. Do these spaces align with your thinking preferences? 

Your goal is to determine if how you’re spending your time, particularly in the work you do, is it capitalising on your preferred thinking spaces/ Or if you are spending more time in tasks and spaces that continually stretch and often as a result drain you?

If you are the latter, and you’re stretching you’re thinning all day continually at work, your work-life probably isn’t serving you as well as you could. When you are already stretched, you’re more likely to get tired and susceptible to bad or negative attitudes and limited thinking patterns. Once you’ve tracked your time, we’d like you to identify all of the things you’re not getting to; you know you should. These are the ‘shoulds. 

All of the things you’d love to get to but never to, are your ‘coulds’ if you could have the time, what are the things that would support your work.

Once you have adequate awareness, you can choose better ways, you can plan to change the way you work, which is what the next supportive template is all about. What can you do to work better?

Here we draw on the concept of return on investment. You know your time is valuable, so let’s get you starting to design your days and week to optimise your time usage, flip the hourly rate (wages) mindset, and start being more productive with your time, which could result in you working less but returning more of your time.

Time Tracking Tools


Here are some supportive spreadsheets by smartsheet to help you track your time:

24 Hour Activity Log

Time Log

We also encourage you to explore some of these tools: toggl, harvest, tempo, Everhour, RescueTime, Clockify, Hourstack to facilitate you to easily track your time.


designing new ways of working

Once you have adequate awareness, you have the ability to choose better ways, you can plan to change the way you work, which is what the next supportive template is all about. What can you do to work better?

Here we draw on the concept of return on investment. You know your time is valuable, so let’s get you starting to design your days and week to optimise your time usage and flip the mindset of the hourly rate (wages) and start being more productive with your time. Which could result in you working less but returning more on your time.

There are so many ways you can better manage your time usage. But there is no one way is best, as you now are very aware everyone works differently. The trick is to find the solutions that work for you. Here we provide a few time management tips, that we want you to keep in mind when completing the final board on this section of your Personal Playbook – Future Working Playbook.

time management tips

Plan out your day and stick to it

As painstaking as they can be, to do lists or task management is critically important. The best way to stay accountable for your days’ work is to make a list of your work priorities the day before. This will help you avoid having to ask yourself the question: “What should I be doing now?”. You can simply work through your priorities and ensure you are working to the business plan!

Set work hours

It is important to separate your business from your personal life. Set your work hours and stick to them. Avoid getting distracted by interactions with family and friends during your set work hours.

Once your hours are completed allow yourself to knock off work.

Use your ‘peak time’

Everyone has a time when they perform better. For some it is first thing in the morning. Others come alive in the afternoon or early evening. Focus your energy on your top priorities during the time when you are at your peak.

Eliminate clutter

Focussing on too many things can be quite distracting. Only focus on those things that are necessary. For example, place file folders inside your desk drawer or filing cabinet. Don’t leave stacks of papers piled up on the floor or on your desk. Sort through magazines and donate the ones you no longer want to your local library.

Find your personal work-life balance

Trying to find enough time to not only work but do the other things that keep your brain, body and personal life in check is important.

Look after yourself. You may think you’re doing your business a favour by sacrificing hours of sleep, your diet, and your exercise program. The truth is, you’re doing the opposite. When Richard Branson was asked his top productivity secret, he said, “Work out.”

Allow yourself time out

It’s great to be social, and some experts think that some relaxation is absolutely necessary to stay mentally healthy.

If you’re having fun on Facebook, don’t pretend you are trying to network with other businesses when in actual fact, you’re just enjoying yourself. Instead, set a limit for twenty minutes, or any reasonable length of time, for you to relax off work.

If your friend calls you on the phone, set a limit of how long you can talk to them.

The important thing is that you’re being honest with yourself and budgeting your time just like you would with your money or your junk food intake.


In any business there is menial work to be achieved. Set your work priorities and determine what work is menial or low skilled and which requires professional skills in your business. Determine what tasks take you longer than they should to achieve, perhaps because you don’t enjoy them or lack the experience or skills to complete them.

Consider hiring out some tasks

Hire out/contract out low skilled and personally time consuming work.

Your time is very valuable, if you can pay someone less than your hourly rate and generate more income for your business, by investing your time into business development, you may be better off.

For example, it may be more effective to hire a bookkeeper or a cleaner and spend your time doing things that you are more effective at.