We’re continuing with the theme of time management!
In one of our latest articles, which you can check out here, we covered the causes of poor time management, highlighted the importance of reclaiming your time, and gave concrete examples of how to do so.
In this blog post, we’ll introduce you to four effective time management techniques that you can apply to your work, school, or personal life.
1. Pomodoro Technique
Being one of the most popular time management methods, the Pomodoro Technique is used by over 2 million people worldwide.
The basic concept behind it is that it encourages people to work with the time they have rather than against it.
The technique works by breaking your workday into 25-minute chunks that are separated by 5-minute breaks. The intervals between the work sessions are called “pomodoros”. After around four pomodoros, you then take a more extended break of about 15 to 30 minutes.
When working like this, a sense of urgency is introduced. You only have 25 minutes to make as much progress on a task as possible. You can’t sit around for hours procrastinating. This combats the feeling of having an endless amount of time in the day to get things done.
Also, sometimes it’s so easy to get caught up in work and not take any time to rest. With the Pomodoro Technique, the timer constantly reminds you to take a break. This prevents you from feeling too drained and exhausted.
How to implement the Pomodoro Technique?
1. Select a task you wish to complete.
2. Set your timer for 25 minutes.
3. Concentrate fully on your task and work on it until the timer rings.
4. Take a short break of 5 minutes.
5. After repeating this 4 times, take a longer break of 15-30 minutes. Start working again when you feel recharged and ready to tackle another 25-minute work session.
6. Repeat this process a few times during the day.
Even though you’re taking a lot of breaks, you’ll find that you can achieve a lot when utilizing the Pomodoro method!
2. Ivy Lee Method
When you’re swamped with tasks, it can be difficult to concentrate and be productive.
The Ivy Lee method is a simple time management technique that can help you combat that suffocating feeling of being overwhelmed with work.
How to implement the Ivy Lee Method?
1. When you finish your workday, write down the six most important things you must do tomorrow. Do not be tempted to write down more than 6 tasks. Six is the maximum number!
2. Now you have your 6 tasks, you need to prioritize them in order of importance. Number 1 for the most important task and number 6 for the least important task.
3. When you begin working the next day, only concentrate on the first task - the task with the highest priority. Work on that task until it is completed. Only then can you move on to the second task.
4. Work through the rest of your list in the same manner. If you cannot complete all tasks in one day, move the unfinished ones to a new list of six tasks for the following day.
5. Repeat this process every working day.
3. Eisenhower Matrix
The Eisenhower Matrix is a simple decision-making tool that assists you in distinguishing between tasks that are important, not important, urgent, and not urgent. It divides tasks into four boxes that highlight which tasks you should prioritize and which you should delete or delegate to someone else.
The idea behind the Eisenhower Matrix is to make it simple to understand what is of high priority for you. It also assists in helping you realize that some tasks are not important and are taking up unnecessary mental space.
How does the Eisenhower Matrix work?
Organize your tasks into four sections:
1. Do first: Tasks that are important and urgent. First focus on important tasks that need to be done the same day.
2. Schedule: Tasks that are important but not urgent. Not-so-urgent stuff should be scheduled for later.
3. Delegate: Tasks that are urgent but less important. You can delegate these tasks to others who are capable of completing them.
4. Don’t do: Tasks that are neither urgent nor important. You can delete them completely.
TIP: Limit the number of tasks you add to each quadrant. Have a maximum limit of 8 and be ruthless when deciding which tasks are important - you can always add more tasks once you’ve completed the current ones.
4. Eat The Frog Method
“Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” - Mark Twain
This is one of the most straightforward time management approaches.
Do the task you dread the most before starting with your other tasks.
Once you’ve confronted the beast, you are able to relax with the thought that the worst is behind you. You’re then likely to embrace a positive attitude throughout the day and be able to manage your other tasks.
This method is perfect if you struggle with procrastination, find yourself working on stuff that isn’t important, or have trouble deciding what work to do.
Did any of these methods catch your eye?
We recommend trying out different time management methods. What works for someone might not work for you and vice versa. Different people require different time management strategies.
It could take some time for you to work out which method or approach is best for you but the key is patience. Once you’ve found the right strategy, you’ll be able to master your time and boost your productivity!