Stephane Kasriel is the CEO of Upwork (previously Elance-oDesk), which is the world’s largest freelance hiring platform. He has previously worked on top positions at PayPal, Work4Labs and zong. Stephane advises that people should dedicate more time to focus on things that matter most to them. They should not set unachievable goals and should not measure their life in the set goals.Three books have inspired Stephane in his vision for time management:
- Getting Things Done, by David Allen
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey
- The 4-Hour Workweek, by Tim Ferris
He took insights from the above books and has came up with four ways busy people can use to better manage their time.
Your inbox as a single task list. Stephane follows the approach Get Things Done (GTD) that advises usage of one task list only. In his case it is his inbox. Stephane tries to handle his inbox as efficiently as possible. If he can respond to an email or take care of its task in a very short period, he is doing that immediately. If not, he either schedules, delegates or archives the email. Schedules emails go into his calendar, delegated emails are being forwarded to the right people and archived emails go into a Google folder for later review. He also uses Evernote for saving notes without the reminder feature that some to-do applications have.
Focus on what’s most important each day. Stephane starts each day with a list of important tasks that need to be finished by the end of the day and he doesn’t leave work until they are accomplished. This list helps him to stay focused on what is really important to be done.
Delegate ruthlessly. For the remaining activities that are still important to do and Stephane is not the only or the best person who can do them, he uses delegation. On a business level, delegation can be applied to various areas like bookkeeping, accounting, payroll, doing market research, handling and paying invoices, scheduling meetings, making travel reservations, filing expense reports and many others. Delegation allows him to focus on core strengths and in the same timeframe to achieve more for a single unit of time with the help of other people.
Value your own time highly. Spending time on activities that are not that important or on such that can be handled better by somebody else is just a waste of time that could instead be used more properly for really important tasks or for tasks that cannot be handled by another person, or even as a free time. Understanding that time is of value and taking the proper actions may result in increased productivity, reduced stress and even increased leisure time.