The role of time management in people’s lives is much more important than it may seem at first glance. The ability to control and rationally distribute your time increases productivity and allows you to keep track of how much time was spent on a particular activity.
In today’s article we offer 20 ways to organize your work tasks. The listed methods will help you organize your time so that not a minute is wasted.
- Rule 1, 3 and 5
The working day is limited and often not enough time to do all the things you have planned.
We recommend using rule 1, 3, and 5 for effective time management. Its essence is as follows: in a working day you can manage to do one big thing, three medium tasks and five small ones. This way you can do nine tasks a day and not create a backlog.
- The Three-Task Rule
If the first point seems awkward or difficult to follow, we recommend taking note of the “Three-Task Rule” developed by writer and productivity consultant Chris Bailey. There are three priority tasks to accomplish during the workday.
Of course, less important tasks aren’t going anywhere, so you can alternate between the first (1, 3 and 5) and second methodology.
- Ten minutes
If there’s a task that you don’t want to do, you can set yourself the following attitude: I’ll do it for only ten minutes, and then relax.
When you will start to carry out a task, there is a probability that you will get involved in the work and want to finish it.
- The Pomodoro method
The methodology was developed by Italian student Francesco Cirillo (owner of the consulting company “Cirillo Consulting” and an expert in time management) to optimize and facilitate preparation for exams. It is a great option for those who have difficulty concentrating, as well as for time control. The method is named after a kitchen timer shaped like a tomato.
You need to set the timer for 25 minutes and concentrate on the task at hand. After the timer ends, you should rest for 5 minutes and then continue the task again. After 4 cycles, you can take a break for 30 minutes.
Started timer also acts psychologically, ticking reminds you that time is running out, you need to concentrate and complete the task.
The technique involves 90 minutes of hard work and a 30-minute break. During the first part of the timer, the most important things should be done. According to Yale expert Peretza Lafee, ninety minutes is the best time to concentrate on one thing. A thirty-minute break is enough time to rest and get back to work.
This method is similar to the previous one, the difference is in the numbers and ease of implementation compared to 90/30.
It takes 52 minutes to work and 17 minutes to take a break. The specialists of the employment service conducted an experiment and found that 52/17 is the optimal time for productive work and rest. You can also use the technique to avoid overwork.
- Eating a frog
The method with the unusual name was developed by Brian Tracy, a well-known expert in the psychology of success. He calls frogs difficult and unpleasant things that need to be done even through “I don’t want to”.
At the beginning of the work day, you should do one of these things (eat a frog), and then engage in more pleasant tasks with a sense of satisfaction from the finished difficult case.
- Time Frame
The task list has the disadvantage of not always having an idea of how long it will take to complete each item. They are just lines on the list, but each of them takes time to implement.
To implement the method, you need to keep a calendar. For each item, you should have an estimated time to complete it. It is important not to be distracted by other activities and follow the plan.
- Getting Things Done
The method was developed by David Allen, a consultant on productivity and time management.
You need to write down all the tasks and ideas in one notebook or text file, and then do their sorting by moving them to a table with sections written in advance, for example, “Work”, “Home”, “Vacation”, “Shopping”. Completed cases and those that are no longer relevant are crossed out.
- Zen to Done
If the previous method seems difficult, we recommend “Zen to Done. The method was developed by Leo Babauta, author of books on self-development.
Upcoming tasks should be written down, dividing them into major (for a week) and daily (for each day). They should also be divided into categories, as in the previous method. Cross out unnecessary and done tasks.
The Japanese method allows you to control which things get done, which things are done, and what else needs to be done.
You need to take a post-it or marker board and make three columns with notes: “To Do,” “Doing,” and “Done.” Sort the to-do’s according to their status.
- The 2-Minute Rule
If the activity takes a few minutes, do it immediately and don’t think of it as a looming task again.
- Zero Inbox
The method is to process mail in a timely manner. Incoming mail should be handled as it arrives. This minimizes the chance of missing an important notification. When parsing your inbox, you need to decide what to do with each item – execute, forward, postpone, delete. You can simplify the process by using filters in your mail.
- Fresh or Fried
he technique was developed by blogger Stephanie Lee. Everyone has a high period of productivity and a low period of productivity during the day. It is important to find out at what time you are most productive, then perform the most important tasks. Most often people have a burst of vigor in the morning and a decline in activity in the evening.
Save articles, emails, notes, and other materials for work in one place, such as a note-taking service. Then organize the content into folders and categories. Delete irrelevant and useless tasks.
Write down upcoming activities in a notebook in random order. Choose and mark the urgent and difficult tasks first, and then proceed to those that are easier and more comfortable. Cross off the items that are done.
- Eisenhower Matrix
A tried-and-true method developed by Dwight Eisenhower over the years. Categorize the tasks into categories:
- Urgent and important.
- Important but not urgent.
- Urgent but unimportant.
- Non-urgent and unimportant.
By categorizing the cases, you can see which activities you need to pay attention to first.
Consultant and writer Edward Ray suggests the 4D technique:
1.Do – to be done as soon as possible.
2. Delegate – to pass the task to another employee.
3. Delete – if the task is useless or irrelevant, delete it.
4. Delay – if the task is not urgent or too big, you can postpone it for a while.
Many people who want to improve their time management carefully track how many hours they spend doing things, but do not take into account time spent on entertainment and nonsense. The timekeeping technique allows you to understand what a person spends time on.
Over the course of a few weeks, write down in a notebook how much time you spend and what you spend it on. As a result it may turn out that it is necessary to reduce time spent in social networks and to concentrate more on work.
- Tim Ferris Technique
A productivity specialist suggests two rules. The first rule is 80/20 – 80 percent of tasks can be done in 20 percent of the time. The second rule is that work should fill all the time allotted to it. Concentrating on tasks helps you complete them quickly and efficiently.
By applying the right time-management techniques, you can take control of your time, distribute tasks rationally, and avoid piling things up.