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I never accept a meeting without preparing for it first, without its subject, if it’s more than thirty-minute long. Never, ever. I try to push for written exchanges whenever possible.


Streamlining time management for improved organization


Solenne Niedercorn-Desouches

Non-Executive Director and Senior Advisor in FinTech/VC, podcast host


The key: planning and color-coding

My planner is full of color codes. I have three, no, four distinct planners: one for the family, one for myself, one for work and one fo the kids. And I have color codes according to my clients. As I said, I appointed specific days to take care of work. For instance, yesterday evening, I was supposed to work on an episode for next week. I couldn’t do it, I was exhausted, so I cleared up some time to do it early this morning. From the moment I give myself deadlines, I keep them. And I let my clients know: here’s how many days a week I can allocate to you. I can evaluate long before a project starts how much time I can spend on it. I plan six weeks ahead. So, there isn’t really room for improvisation, it is all very much scheduled. I do have security buffers in case something catastrophic comes up. I also work on the weekends, but on very specific time slots so it doesn’t impact our family life.


Adapting as a family

I get a lot of support at home. I have someone who helps me a lot. So, that’s pretty nice. I also set myself very strict rules that I try to stick to so I can be available for my children when they’re home, and spend time with them. My kids can see that I am super enthusiastic about my job. So, it isn’t really… It doesn’t stress them out, because I don’t bring any stress home. Everything happened progressively. I didn’t have my four kids all at once, they weren’t quadruplets! It was gradual and I learned how to manage. Even when I was working, because I never stopped working. When I left my office job, I already had four children and I was able to make do. You get used to it, you know. And you’re much more adaptable than you think!


A golden rule for meetings

I never accept a meeting without preparing for it first, or knowing what it’s about, if it’s more than thirty-minute long. Never, ever. I try to push for written exchanges whenever possible. You can solve a lot of things through written communication. Verbal communication is often a plus, if you feel tensions rising up, it can help defuse them… But a lot of things can be said in written form, even in the corporate world, people don’t realize this. It can help you save time. So, if you’re super rational in your organization, you can squeeze a lot more things into your schedule.


Rationalizing your time to get everything done

I set some time limits on my phone so I don’t spend hours reading through useless threads. I have a few moments throughout the day where I go on LinkedIn to respond to people. You have to be somewhat active on LinkedIn for your posts to be good, for your reach to be optimal. But that’s it. Rationalizing your time allows you to get a lot more done. It’s a discipline that you have to apply to your life in general. People ask me “How do you even find time to run, with how busy you are?” Well, I time myself! If you’re free for a half-hour, boom, you go. There’s no reason for me not to go out. Even just for a half-hour, it’s nothing… You may only run 5 miles, or even just 3. But that’s still 3 miles! You see? And it can turn your day around. So, really, there’s no excuse!


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