I’m a Belizean who came to Taiwan in 2012, thanks to an ICDF full scholarship and I
stayed on to further my studies and obtain a Master Degree in International Affairs.
Currently, I am working remotely full-time for a US-based certification and tech
consulting company. In my “free time” I give back to society via the written word. I
write about travelling mostly but have covered stories about Belizeans in Taiwan that
have made their debut in my blog “Soul Expressionz” and thereafter made their
successful stories highlighted in Belizean media.
No one really addresses it, but it’s pretty clear to me that the full time job we have is just
there to finance our personal dreams and aspirations of becoming successful entrepreneurs.
Am I right? Yet, we find ourselves scrambling, pushing through our deadlines in the hopes of
having a little spare time here and there to also attend to those ever-piling to-do lists and
ensure that our personal goals receive some of our time and attention. Not to mention, if we
already have a family of our own, how can we provide them with quality, undisturbed private
While I cannot say I am an entrepreneur, I have learned through blogging in my “free” time,
hosting webinars for entrepreneurs, having a full time job, and parenting, that time is never
on our side. But I have also learned that it can be if we implement certain measures and
stick to them.
Eight months ago, I quit my job in Linkou as a Certification Specialist for a Chinese company
(yes, Chinese from China), and moved from Taoyuan to Hsinchu to be 10 minutes away from
the new job’s office. The idea was that the hour and a half that I used to spend commuting
from work to home in the evenings, would transform into the time I would dedicate to
blogging. One of the perks of the new job was that we are also allowed to work from home
and we have the liberty to choose our start and end time, as long as we put in the 8 hours
everyday. Goodbye parking tickets, good-bye spending on 7-11 meals, hello to waking up
later and hello to increasing the number of blogs published in a month.
However, I became a little too excited about my new job and the work environment, that I did
not write a single blog in three months! I became the workaholic I used to be in my younger
days and thus back to scrambling for time.
But not everything was doom and gloom for my personal aspirations during these first three
months. Working for a global company gave me the opportunity to obtain feedback from
persons belonging to different cultures located in different time zones. I picked up a few tips
and tricks on time management during my weekly meetings and during one-on-one
The Tried and True “Pomodoro Technique”
The first time I had a one-on-one with my new coworker Eve, at the beginning of our 30
minute Google Meet she said, “Give me a sec, let me click start.” I noticed on the shared
screen that she used a Pomodoro App to keep track of our allotted meeting time. I became
even more curious to see if it would actually work for me since my friend Karina had just
shared a blog about it on her business website, Giggedbz. So, I asked Eve to share the name of the
App and I downloaded it. While I forgot about it after a few days, I learned from my team
leader that Eve is regarded as one of our most efficient and most organized coworkers in the
company. She uses the Pomodoro for almost all of her meets and tasks. She doesn’t
engage in a lot of chit chat and goes straight to what she is there for. This allows her to
check that to-do list box faster and finish her tasks in a timely manner. The trick to it, Eve
tells me during our interview today, is to not let any distractions get in the way of the task.
During your focus time, turn off all email and chat notifications, place the phone away from
you, drown all background noises (if any) with your favourite go-to songs and get to it. Just
don’t start singing.
The Golden Hour
Have you ever had a personal project you wanted to carry out within a certain period of time
but decided against it because of the million other tasks you also had to do? “I won’t be able
to finish it” you told yourself and left it for another day. Then, the days passed and the
months passed and soon a year passed and that task did not even see a start.
Based on your experience, you will know that around a certain time during the day, you DO
have a little golden opportunity.
Visualize these possibilities:
-It’s early in the morning. Your partner and kids are still sleeping but your mind is already at
HSR speed. Take this 20 to 30 mins and work on that task!
-You’ve had your lunch and you still have some spare time before clocking back in. But this
particular day, you decide against a nap or scrolling through social media. Take this 20 to 30
mins and work on that task!
-You are already in bed and everyone is asleep but you cannot seem to fall asleep no matter
how many positions you try to get comfortable. Take this 20 to 30 mins and work on that
Break Big Tasks Into Smaller Ones
Last week, Eve had a client that requested a quotation for one product which required over
100 tasks to be completed within three days. At first, she felt overwhelmed and thought,
“Impossible!” The reason her brain immediately released this thought is because, we tend to
want to finish tasks within the hours of the specific day in which we received it, right? She
then took a deep breath and re-organized her thoughts. She started to prioritise her work,
delegate some tasks to other colleagues and immerse herself in 30% of the task. Why
specifically 30%, you ask? If she can at least reach the 30% of the total goal on the first day,
she will be able to relax during her personal time after work, be able to turn off “work mode” ,
be present for those around her and will have a better night’s rest.
Breaking tasks into subtasks can help us to slowly, but surely, achieve that goal and make
the best use of the time we have. Furthermore, the benefits surpass just completing the task
100% as it affects other aspects of our daily lives and gives us that feeling of
Delegate, Delegate, Delegate
If you are like me, you hate asking for help and refuse to reach out to others for help
because you think if it was assigned to you, it is your responsibility. But as we know, there
are not enough hours during the day to finish everything and we are not super-humans. As
my leader always tells us during team meetings, there will always be a task we didn’t get a
chance to complete, it is normal everywhere. In my company, we have the advantage of
having a global presence and we can delegate an unfinished task with a deadline to
colleagues from another time zone. I’m slowly learning to do so while also building a strong
relationship with the colleagues I “bother” the most.
And this brings me to my next point, you have co-workers for a reason. Forget their sour
faces when you ask for help, pretend the tone of voice they used to answer you had nothing
to do with you but some internal struggle they are facing (which could be true), and think of
how much wiser they will become if they solve some difficulty while carrying out the task. We
always think we know what the person’s reaction is at the other end of the request but that is
just because our minds are wired to think of the worst possible scenarios. You never know if
this was the opportunity they were waiting on to learn more or get closer to you as their
While there are many more tips we can follow to make wise choices with regard to time
management, I want you to reflect on the four points highlighted in this article and really try
to make some adjustments to your daily routines in an effort to make time for your goals.
Disclaimer: This article was in no way prepared under time constraint. Wink.
This article was first published on October 5th, 2022 in the Taiwan nationwide renown “Taiwan Impact
Entrepreneurs” FB private group page which boasts of almost 7 thousand members.