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Time management is a critical skill that can make or break your success in various areas of life – and it isn’t always straight forward. It can be challenging to juggle numerous tasks, responsibilities, and priorities. There are often competing demands and needs. However, there are some ways to manage time that you may not have considered before. In this article, we’ll explore 5 time management methods to getting things done and to help you manage your time more effectively.
Table of contents
What is time management?
Time management refers to the process of planning, organizing, and allocating one’s time effectively so that you or myself can get tasks done and reach the goals we are working towards.
Good time management involves prioritizing tasks, creating schedules, and avoiding time-wasting activities and distractions. Using time management tools and techniques allows people like us to be more efficient and achieve better results with less effort. In other words, we get to work smarter and not harder.
When we’ve got more time, it can also lead to reducing stress and an increase in productivity; as well as provide a better work-life balance. Time management is a crucial soft skill that can be applied to all aspects of life, from personal to professional.
Time management tools & techniques
1. The Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. This technique involves breaking your workday into 25-minute intervals called “Pomodoros,” separated by short breaks. During each Pomodoro, you focus solely on one task without distractions, and after completing four Pomodoros, you take a more extended break.
This technique has gained widespread popularity because it helps to manage time better, improves focus, and reduces burnout. By working in short, focused bursts, you’ll be more productive, and your brain will be less fatigued.
2. Time Blocking
Time-blocking is a simple but effective time management technique that involves scheduling specific activities at specific times. With this technique, you assign time blocks for various tasks, such as answering emails, making phone calls, or attending meetings. You can also assign time blocks for breaks, exercise, or personal time.
This technique helps to manage your time more effectively because it eliminates multitasking and encourages you to focus on one task at a time. By allocating time for specific activities, you’ll be able to manage your own expectations and stay more organized. A step closer to the land of productivity.
3. The Eisenhower Matrix
The Eisenhower Matrix is a decision-making tool that can also be used to manage time better. This technique involves dividing tasks into four categories based on their urgency and importance:
- Urgent and important: Tasks that require immediate action
- Important but not urgent: Tasks that are essential but can be scheduled for later
- Urgent but not important: Tasks that can be delegated to others
- Neither urgent nor important: Tasks that can be eliminated or postponed
By using this technique, you can prioritize your tasks based on their importance and urgency — which can be a great way to help you manage your time more effectively.
4. The 80/20 rule for managing your time
The 80/20 Rule, also known as the Pareto Principle, is a time management technique that suggests 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts. This means that by focusing on the most critical 20% of your tasks, you’ll achieve 80% of your results.
To apply this technique, identify the most critical tasks that contribute the most to your goals and focus on them. By eliminating the less important tasks, you’ll get better at learning where your time should go and prioritize for outcomes.
5. Body Doubling
Body doubling is a technique that can be used to help individuals with ADHD stay focused and productive.
This time management technique involves having another person present while the individual with ADHD works on a task, providing a sense of accountability and reducing distractions. This person may be online or off-line but either way, this technique works well for people who struggle with getting started independently or who find distractions to be oh-so-tempting. By having someone else present, individuals with ADHD can feel supported and motivated to complete the task at hand.
Here at Leantime, we see the future of body doubling being more accessible and a more natural part of work. Ideal for time management software. We are currently working on taking an AI approach to this as we build out our Virtual Project Manager features (more to come on this soon! If you’d like to be part of our pilot to test, please reach out).
Time Tracking Tools
If you’re struggling to get started, prioritize, or track time — we hear that. Getting started and organized is hard. When you finally do get going, though, Leantime works as a time management software and has a built in time tracker linked to your tasks. By clicking, “Start work” a time will appear on the top of your bar and will track the time spent on the task. Don’t forget to stop the work, though. It’ll keep tracking and add it to your timesheets.
So maybe the dollars don’t pop up like there here but it’ll feel like it when you can use the timer to help keep you accountable to the work you are actually doing. I know for myself, sometimes it’s just that commitment that I need to get started.
So whether you’re using pomodoro, eisenhower matrix, 80/20, body doubling, or the Leantime timer as your time management tools, there are management techniques to help support you to get through everything you need to do and hopefully more efficiently. Working smarter, and not harder, can decrease your stress and ultimately give you a better work life balance.
Interested in learning more about Leantime as a time management software? We’re an open source system and combine time management into the overall work management experience.
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