21 Feb Time management techniques that actually work
Business advice trends come and go, and time management tips are no exception.
Today’s time management techniques focus on cutting down on external chatter, unplugging, and sorting through the overabundance of stimuli we all have.
Here are three time management techniques that actually work:
The Pomodoro Technique
If your biggest struggle with productivity is staying focused for long enough to complete the task at hand, the Pomodoro Technique may be the perfect solution.
The brain fatigues after an extended period, focused on a task, and while it may seem like we can continue working anyways, our productivity drastically decreases.
Adopting the Pomodoro Technique removes this obstacle by reducing the amount of time we are asking the brain to be optimally functioning.
To use this technique, the next time you start a task, set a timer for 25 minutes.
Work diligently and with focus (no sneaking onto Facebook!) at the task, until the timer goes off.
When you hear the timer ring, give yourself a five-minute break and then set the timer and start again.
After completing four to five rounds of this, give yourself a longer break and then repeat the cycle.
The technique works not only because it targets brain focus, but also because it allows us to benefit from delayed gratification, where we know if we just get through these 25 minutes, we get a break – or a chance to scroll through Instagram!
Plus, you can do anything for 25 minutes!
Eat a frog for breakfast
It is probably pretty safe to say that your idea of a delightful meal likely isn’t a big green, juicy bullfrog.
But if you had to have a frog, wouldn’t you rather eat it first and get rid of it rather than have it linger on, the prospect of it later ruining your entire meal?
The same idea applies when it comes to prioritizing tasks and increasing productivity: start your day with the things that are the hardest, or that you want to do the least.
In other words, eat a frog for breakfast! Set them up as the first part of your schedule and get them out of the way.
Doing this not only means you are sure to get them done, since you start out with them first, but also means that they don’t loom over you for the entire day interrupting your productivity of other tasks and demands.
The 4D Technique
For many of us, the thing that eats up a lot of our time is email.
There are constant messages popping into the inbox, and it is not uncommon for them to pile up unopened, or worse yet for important ones to be pushed to the bottom from all of those annoying subscription list emails.
You can reduce the email anarchy by limiting the number of times you check email to only certain times of the day.
In addition, when you do check your mail, commit to doing the Ds: delete, delegate, defer, or do:
- Delete – If it’s a message you know you don’t need, delete it immediately.
- Delegate – Assign the task or request from the email to the appropriate person, or forward the message to the appropriate person
- Defer – if the action isn’t urgent, but has to be done, defer it to another time, by scheduling it in, placing it in a specific email folder, or making a sticky note on your computer so you don’t forget!
- Do – Don’t let yourself put it off: if you know the email requires urgent action on your part, buckle down and make it happen!
Ready to get more out of your day?
Jump onto these helpful tips to get on top of your efficiency and time management and watch your productivity soar!