Time Management: 3 Techniques That Actually Work
Let's say yes to more productivity!
Time management is a common issue we hear a lot of people complain about.
It affects our productivity, performance, and ultimately our desire to live our dream life and to achieve our goals.
Often, it will even impact our self-esteem. By not completing our tasks and projects, on time or not at all, we beat ourselves up for not being competent enough.
Here are three helpful techniques to make time management more easy for you!
1. Do an 80/20 assessment of your most important tasks
The 80/20 Principle or Pareto’s law was first introduced by Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto who first observed that: 20% of the pods in his garden produced 80% of the peas.
He then examined the principle further and found that over 80% of the land in Italy was owned by only 20% of the population.
What it means, in brief, is that: in any given area, about 20% of the inputs (or actions) will achieve 80% of the desired results. Of course, this rule is not set in stone and there are countless variations on the exact percentages. But the general principle is the same.
Now, you may ask “How can I apply this to time management and productivity?”
Here is what I suggest you do.
Grab a pen and a piece of paper and ask yourself the following questions:
- Which tasks generate the most profit for me? Which tasks benefit me the most? Think of this in terms of every area of your life (e.g: work, housework, social relationship).
I would actually advise you to answer these questions in terms of categories.
- What activities do I do each week that have the most impact on my happiness and well-being?
- What activities produce the most discomfort and distress in my life?
- Who are the people who have the most negative impact on my emotional state?
Once you’ve answered these four questions, I want you to take an honest look at your life: your work, your daily/weekly routines, and your social circle and ask yourself the following :
- What activities should I cut out to become more productive?
- What activities should I double my time on to increase my results?
2. Use the Pomodoro Technique
Did you know that we sleep in 90-minute cycles?
Also, did you know that your brain’s functioning throughout the day is also cyclical?
It’s something known as the Ultradian Rhythm
What this basically means is that our brain waves are cyclical and go through peaks and troughs every 90 minutes or so.
What you have to take from this is that since the cognitive output is cyclical, you physically cannot sustain high levels of concentration without intermittent periods of rest.
This is where the Pomodoro technique comes in handy.
Instead of fighting against your Ultradian Rhythm, the Pomodoro Technique suggests that you work with it.
How to use this for time management?
- Choose one of your most important tasks for the day and focus on it for a set amount of time between 25 and 90 minutes.
- Next, you’ll set a timer, eliminate all distractions, and start working on that project, focusing only on it until the timer goes off.
- When the timer sounds, you’ll take a 5-22 minute break (depending on the length of your work session) before sitting down again to start the process over.
Give it a try and I can almost guarantee that if you use this technique on a regular basis you’ll feel and be more productive more efficient and more satisfied with your time management and performance in any given area of your life.
3. Use the Eisenhower Matrix
Use the Eisenhower matrix and learn how to prioritize your to-do list!
The Eisenhower matrix works in terms of four boxes or degree of urgency and importance.
List everything you are supposed to do.
For each task, identify if it is Urgent and if it is Important. Importance is related to your personal goals, urgency is related to external factors and deadlines.
You then classify your tasks into four categories:
Category 1: urgent and important tasks
You have to do them, starting with the hardest ones
Category 2: important non-urgent tasks
These are the ones that you have to plan, cut into small pieces and do a little each day, give them the time they deserve because they will make you move forward towards your goals.
Category 3: unimportant urgent tasks
Get rid of them, you have to learn to delegate them or entrust them to other people who could take advantage of them to learn and progress.
Category 4: tasks neither urgent nor important
Report them, you will take care of them when your other three categories are empty.
I hope you give these thre technique (or at leats one) a try and benefit from them.
Don’t expect miracles though. Change starts with baby steps and you will definitely need an adjustment time to a new way of doing things.
About the Creator
Sally From The Shine Project
A self-made entrepreneur/writer.
From entrepreneurship, wellbeing, self-help to personal growth.
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