How to Better Understand Time Management, With CEO Tiffany Dufoux

This week, we’ll learn how to improve your time management skills with the help of Tiffany Dufoux, founder and CEO of The Cru . And spoiler alert: Effective time management isn’t about blocking time, to-do lists, or the Pomodoro Technique. Instead, it’s about how to clearly define your priorities, how to use your calendar to get things done, and questions to ask yourself when discussing your most important tasks.

Tiffany is the author of Throw the Ball: Achieve More with Less , and her startup, Crewe, is a peer platform for women.

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Highlights from this week’s series

From an interview with Tiffany Dufou

How to hone your priorities:

I think it is really becoming clear what is most important to you … I often ask people what is important to you, and people usually chat about aspects of their life. “My career is important to me. My family is important to me. ” I am trying to teach people what you hope to achieve in relation to what is most important to you? You know, for me this is the promotion of women and girls. This is my life’s work. That’s what I’m here for. My career matters. But if, after all, I don’t have advanced women and girls, this was not a career for me that was worth having … My children are important to me. Education is important for me. But the most important thing is that I educate conscientious citizens of the world. This is what I hope to achieve in terms of my upbringing. And once you have clarity about what is most important to you, you begin to create a filter for what you should really focus on and what to do. It is really rooted in the next step, which is to clarify your best and best use in achieving what matters most to you, rather than just saying yes to anything that goes beyond and your the best and best use is pretty much a combination of something that you do very well with very little effort, not because you are a child prodigy, usually because it is something that you just did over and over again, combined with that that only you can do that would be either heartless or extremely irresponsible to delegate to another person.

On how a calendar can be more effective than a to-do list:

I am completely done with the to-do list. I personally can’t use them because I don’t have enough discipline to take into account the reality of the world. You know, it’s 24 hours a day, [and] there is seven days a week. Time is limited. Yet my to-do list has never taken into account the fact that I am one person and there are only 24 hours in a day. In the end, I just keep writing. I kept adding to the to-do list and then I kept hitting myself and feeling terrible about not doing everything, even if rationally, if I look at the to-do list, it’s probably humanly impossible to do everything on the to-do list. So I use my calendar as an accountability mechanism for myself. When something goes over the fence, I add it to the calendar, I create a calendar and before that, even if it seems like something stupid, for example, don’t forget to go to the post office or go, this is how I put it on the calendar. It’s a measure of accountability for Tiffany, because if I can’t find a place for her on the calendar, it forces me to reality-check whether I need to go ahead and say yes, regardless of whether or not it really is. I need to tell the person who can invite me or participate. I cannot do it or go back to someone else.

We recommend listening to the entire episode for more of Tiffany’s great advice on how to better manage your time.

Any feedback or ideas for future episodes? Do you want to participate in the show? Leave us a voicemail at 347-687-8109 or send a voicemail to upgrade@lifehacker.com.

Episode transcript

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