Managing your time is like a tub of pick ‘n’ mix….

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This blog is from TOK speaker, presenter and coach, Alice Beveridge.

As a positive psychology coach I spend a lot of time with people who are struggling to manage their time effectively.

My go to piece of advice weirdly has become an analogy about maximizing the amount of pick and mix sweets you can fit into a tub! Hmmm…what is this saying about me?!

Now credit where credits due – this theory is based on the work of the legend that is Stephen Covey and his time management methods from his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. If you’ve not read it, you really should. In the book, Covey proposes that people should prioritise their time by identifying their most important tasks (or “rocks”) and scheduling them first. This helps ensure that the most crucial tasks are completed and not squeezed out by less important or urgent ones.

Now, let’s apply this theory to the task of filling a tub with pick and mix sweets.

If you’re anything like me, this can be a daunting task. With so many delicious options, how do you decide which sweets to choose?

Here’s how to make the most of your time (and tub space):

Step 1: Identify your “rocks”. When it comes to pick and mix sweets, your “rocks” are the sweets that you absolutely must have in your tub. Perhaps you’re a fan of fizzy cola bottles, or maybe you can’t resist the lure of sour worms. Whatever your must-haves are, identify them first and make sure they take up a significant portion of your tub space.

Step 2: Prioritise the big stuff. Just like with time management, it’s important to prioritize the big stuff first. In this case, that means filling your tub with the larger sweets first, like strawberry cables or jelly snakes. These take up more space, so it’s important to get them in first to ensure you have enough room for everything else.

Step 3: Fill in the gaps. Once your “rocks” and larger sweets are in place, it’s time to fill in the gaps. This is where you can get creative and try new sweets or mix and match flavours. However, it’s important to keep in mind the overall goal of maximizing the amount of sweets in your tub. Don’t waste space on sweets that you’re not crazy about! For me this stage is all about smarties and mini eggs!

Step 4: Consolidate where possible. Just like with time management, there may be areas where you can consolidate tasks or sweets to save time or space. For example, if you love both gummy bears and gummy worms, try combining them in one section of your tub to save space.

Step 5: Enjoy the fruits (or sweets) of your labour! Finally, once your tub is filled to the brim with delicious pick and mix sweets, it’s time to sit back and enjoy. Take a moment to appreciate the time and effort you put into creating the perfect tub of sweets, and savor each and every bite.

In conclusion, by applying Covey’s time management theory to the task of filling a tub with pick and mix sweets, you can maximize your time and space to create the perfect sweet treat.

So next time you’re faced with the daunting task of filling a tub with sweets, remember to prioritise your “rocks,” prioritise the big stuff, fill in the gaps, consolidate where possible, and most importantly, enjoy the sweet rewards of your efforts!

Alice is a positive psychologist, and she delivers workshops on creating high performing teams, engage for excellence, as well as delivering our transformational leadership programme; VIBE.

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