Time Management: Tips to Increase Your Productivity

Have You Ever Found Yourself Looking at the Clock and Wondering Where the Time Went? If you are a baker or a cookier, you know that time is a precious ingredient. Let’s talk about time management in confectionery and how you can optimize your hours to produce more and live better. And, of course, with a touch of humor, because laughter is always the best medicine!

The Importance of Processes and Operations

First and foremost, let’s talk about the importance of knowing your processes and operations. Imagine trying to bake a cake without knowing the recipe. Chaos, right? The same goes for time management. Having your processes mapped out is essential to increase production and, consequently, revenue.

Balance: The Key to Success

Balance is when you are satisfied with the result at the end of the day. It’s when time is on your side, and you can organize and execute your priorities in a way that makes you feel accomplished. To achieve this balance, it is crucial to be honest when organizing your day. After all, no one wants to end the day feeling like there were more tasks than hours.

The Jar Metaphor

Let’s illustrate the importance of prioritization with a classic story: the jar metaphor. Imagine that the jar is your life. The big rocks are the really important things, like family and personal growth. The pebbles and sand are the smaller things. If you fill the jar with sand first, there will be no room for the big rocks. Therefore, prioritize what really matters!

The Metaphor

Once, a master took a glass jar and placed some big rocks inside it. He asked his disciple, “Is it full?” The disciple replied, “Yes.”

The master then took a small bag of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He asked again, “And now, is the jar full?” The disciple replied confidently, “Yes, master. This time the jar is completely full.”

But the master didn’t stop there. He took a can of sand and poured it into the jar. The sand filled the spaces between the big rocks and the pebbles. After filling the jar with sand to the top, the disciple, already eager, said, “Done! Now it’s finished, master. Nothing else can fit in this jar.”

With a smile, the master took a glass of water and poured it into the jar. The water soaked and saturated the sand. After that, the master took a new empty jar and asked the disciple to repeat the experiment, but this time in the reverse order of the elements.

The disciple started by pouring the water, then the sand, then the pebbles, and finally tried to place the big rocks. However, these no longer fit in the jar, as much of it had been occupied with smaller things.

The Lesson

The master then turned to the disciple and concluded the lesson: “The glass jar is our life. Our availability of time is what fits inside our jar. The big rocks are the really important things in your life: your relationships (family, friends, and Higher Being), your personal and spiritual growth. If you prioritize these, the other things will adjust themselves: your profession, your material possessions, your leisure, and all the other smaller things that complete life. However, if you fill your time with small things, the really important ones will never have space in your life.”

In this experience, we saw that time is, above all, a matter of priorities, of knowing what comes first. Be the owner of your jar and, consequently, of your time. To do this, ask yourself: What are the important things in your life? Projects, adventures, loves. Ask what the big, solid rocks are that light up your heart and put them in the jar. The rest will fit in.

Christian Barbosa’s Time Triad

Christian Barbosa, a productivity specialist, developed the Time Triad theory, which is an effective methodology for better managing our daily activities. This theory divides activities into three distinct spheres: Urgent, Important, and Circumstantial. Let’s explore each of these spheres and understand how to apply them in our daily lives.

Urgent Sphere

The urgent sphere includes all activities that need to be done immediately. These are tasks that require instant attention and cannot be postponed. Usually, these activities arise unexpectedly and can cause stress, as the time to complete them is short or has already run out. Examples of urgent activities include:

  • Solving last-minute problems.
  • Attending to unforeseen customer demands.
  • Dealing with crises or emergencies.

The key to managing the urgent sphere is prevention. Many urgent activities could have been avoided if they had been addressed when they were still important. Therefore, it is essential to plan and anticipate possible problems to reduce the number of urgent tasks.

Important Sphere

The important sphere encompasses all activities that bring significant results in the short, medium, or long term. These are the tasks that contribute to our personal and professional goals and, if done in advance, prevent them from becoming urgent. Examples of important activities include:

  • Strategic planning.
  • Personal and professional development.
  • Establishing partnerships.
  • Quality time with family.
  • Physical exercise and health care.

To increase the important sphere, planning and organization are necessary. Regularly dedicating time to these activities ensures that they are completed before they become urgent. This can be done through schedules, task lists, and time management tools.

Circumstantial Sphere

The circumstantial sphere includes all activities that do not bring significant results and are often done out of convenience or because they are socially appropriate. These tasks consume time but do not contribute to our goals. Examples of circumstantial activities include:

  • Unnecessary meetings.
  • Tasks that could be delegated.
  • Social activities that do not add value.
  • Aimless browsing on the internet.

To reduce the circumstantial sphere, it is important to learn to say “no” and be selective with the activities you accept to do. Constantly evaluate whether a task really deserves your time and effort, and eliminate or delegate those that are not essential.

Applying the Time Triad

Applying the Time Triad involves a continuous process of planning, execution, and review. Here are some practical steps to implement this methodology:

  1. Task Audit: For a few days, record all your activities and categorize them into the three spheres. This will help identify where you are spending your time.
  2. Planning: Dedicate specific time to plan your important activities. Use tools like schedules, task management apps, or even a simple notebook.
  3. Organization: Organize your work environment and tools to facilitate the execution of important tasks. An organized environment increases productivity.
  4. Execution: Focus on completing important activities before they become urgent. Use focus techniques, like the Pomodoro technique, to maintain concentration.
  5. Review: Regularly review your planning and adjust as necessary. Life is dynamic, and your plan should be flexible to accommodate changes.

Benefits of the Time Triad

Implementing the Time Triad can bring numerous benefits, including:

  • Stress Reduction: By decreasing the number of urgent tasks, you reduce daily stress and pressure.
  • Increased Productivity: Focusing on important activities increases your efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Better Balance: You can better balance your personal and professional responsibilities, dedicating time to what really matters.
  • Greater Satisfaction: Completing important tasks brings a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.

Christian Barbosa’s Time Triad is a powerful tool for those who want to improve time management and increase productivity. By understanding and applying the Urgent, Important, and Circumstantial spheres, you can transform the way you manage your daily activities, achieving a healthy balance between personal and professional life.

Techniques to Maintain Focus

Maintaining focus is essential for good time management. Here are some practical tips:

  • Tackle difficult tasks first: Start the day with the most challenging activity. After that, the rest of the day will be easier.
  • Reward agreements: Promise yourself a small reward after completing a task.
  • Turn off phone notifications: This helps avoid distractions and maintain focus.

Combating Procrastination

Procrastination is the enemy of productivity. Here are some tips to combat it:

  • See the benefits: Think about how good you will feel after completing the task.
  • Break large tasks into smaller steps: This makes the task less daunting.
  • Associate unpleasant tasks with enjoyable activities: Do something you like while performing the task.


Time management is a continuous process of adjustment and improvement. With the tips and techniques presented, you will be on the right path to increasing your productivity and achieving a healthy balance between personal and professional life.

Another approach to Time Management can be found here:

Time Management

And don’t miss this TED Talk on procrastination for more insights.


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