Bread that Yasmin baked

Time Management: An Underutilized Skill & Asset

Written by Yasmin Rasheed

Yasmin RasheedYasmin Rasheed is a 2018 graduate of The Art of International Bread Baking program. Previously, she spent 30-years in Financial Services in Executive Management, focused on coaching and developing talent. Currently, she curates wholesome recipes on her food blog, Juliet Kitchen

As a tenured corporate executive whose focus on coaching for peak performance delivered numerous commercial successes, it has become painfully clear that time management is a grossly underutilized skill. With practice, this life skill can provide ongoing work-life integration, less stress and improved productivity. The basic foundation to achieving any definition of success, time management only calls for our thoughtful and productive use of time.

Practicing effective time management leads to improved outcomes across both our professional and personal objectives. Managing this limited resource—time—more thoughtfully can be life changing and it’s is not nearly as complicated as you may think. Here are three key steps to assist you in making the most of your twenty-four-hour day!

  1. Start Early: Many successful people employ this routine daily. This habit has been hard wired into my DNA since childhood and continues to serve me well while studying in The Art of International Bread Baking program at the International Culinary Center in NYC. Since starting school, I was challenged with finding time for my usual daily exercise at the gym due to a very lengthy commute. I committed to arriving in SoHo early enough to walk for a half hour prior to the start of class. Additionally, this practice allowed me to get to the kitchen with time to spare so that I could get my station set-up for a successful day.  By creating a life-long daily routine that includes waking up one to two hours early, the “extra time” allows for “no excuses.” As a result, value-added activities don’t have to be sacrificed. This start early lifestyle keeps me motivated, highly productive and limits my stress!
  1. Create A Plan: It’s important to write down your plan for your goals and objectives; review it regularly and modify as needed. According to Forbes magazine, research shows that “People who very vividly describe or picture their goals are anywhere from 1.2 to 1.4 times more likely to successfully accomplish their goals, than people who don’t.”  Write down your daily to-do list to support the plan—in doing so employ the 80/20 rule (also known as the Pareto Principle, which states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.) This simply means that you need to prioritize the most impactful activities. Consider writing down your to-do list at the end of each day verses the start of the day; this practice will actually help you sleep better and prepare you for a new day with less stress and improved productivity. Priority planning is immensely valuable in a highly intensive culinary kitchen where the bread baking process is fast-paced and complicated. ICC Chef-Instructor Johnson Yu made it a point to give us a syllabus in advance which enabled effective planning and scheduling of how breads will be mixed and baked.
  1. Create A Schedule: Scheduling is as important as creating a plan. Prioritize high impact activities and tasks. Use a calendar, such as outlook, and add a reminder. If it’s on the calendar it is extremely likely to be completed. Creating an effective schedule requires an investment in your time—it is one of the most arduous tasks, but the reward far outweighs the cost.  Calendaring your activities keeps you organized and productive, and is a routine that continues to deliver rewards during my culinary education. Having an effective and efficient schedule in any culinary kitchen is a non-negotiable!

Applying these time management approaches thoughtfully in your professional and personal life will place you at a competitive advantage, especially if you’re pursuing a career in the culinary industry.  It will open doors more rapidly and deliver outcomes better aligned with your objectives.  You will find that you are in control of your time verses your time controlling you. So, before you begin feeling stressed, remember these three steps to manage your time and you’ll begin reaping the benefits of a happier, healthier and more productive lifestyle!