All of us have the same 24 hours in a day and some of us still manage to do 3 people’s workloads in that same day, while others permanently struggle with meeting deadlines. So how can one work less yet manage more?
Let’s be effective. Let’s not waste our time looking for solutions. Let’s use the results of people who have been dealing with productivity for decades, be it companies, economists, scientists or enthusiasts.
This is a list of the best, most famous and most widely used time management techniques:
This is one of the most popular methods, created by the time management guru David Allen. The whole method is rather involved and its explanation would need more that one short article. It contains a simple technique, that can be immediately applied and it has the potential to bring in big results. It is called ‘The 2-minute rule’.
How to make it work: If completing a task takes less than 2 minutes, don’t put it off till later, but complete it immediately. Split bigger tasks into smaller steps that take up less than 2 minutes to complete.
If you want to become a better writer, write at least one sentence whenever it happens to come to your mind. When you get going, you may be writing for an hour without stopping. But that one sentence will help you start.
Do you want to live a healthier life? Spend just 2 minutes of doing quick exercise, whenever you have the time during the day. Or eat a piece of fruit.
Small steps don’t require a lot of effort, but when they stack up, they can bring impressive results.
The Pomodoro technique is based on the scientific knowledge that the human brain is not able to fully concentrate on a task for longer than 25 minutes. After this, attention starts to drastically decline and a person is a lot less productive.
How to make it work: Work intensely for 25 minutes and alternate with 5 minutes of relaxation. Make a note before each break. When you reach note no.4, enjoy a longer break- minimum of 15 to 30 minutes. This way the brain stays fully focused and fresh.
The Pareto principle says that 80% of all tasks can be completed in 20% of the time available. The remaining 20% of the tasks will take up the remaining 80% of the time.
How to make it work: Sort your tasks into two groups based on this principle. The first group of tasks will have the bigger priority. Only when tasks from the first group are completed and you still have some time, work on completing the others.
It works like a row of neatly placed dominos, whereby when if you tap the first block a chain reaction takes place with the other blocks cascading as one. All it took was minimal effort; just moving one cube. The domino technique works with similar logic.
How to make it work: Choose an activity that you will do once but one where the results will have a long-term effect. Such an activity can be, for example, writing a book where the author is receiving royalty payments long after the book has been written.