Proper time management can look different from person to person. Still, the bottom line remains the same: time is money and waits for no one. Check out these time management processes and see if one or more is right for you.
Here's what you need to know about the Pomodoro Method and other time management techniques to boost efficiency:
- The best time management techniques keep people on track and cater to their needs.
- Better time management leads to reduced stress and increased productivity.
- Effective time management strategies help workers achieve their goals faster without increasing stress.
With all sorts of impending deadlines during a typical business day, time management ends up being more complicated than it has to be. There are always pressing matters that require dedicated attention:
Even so, only 12% of workers from a study said they have a dedicated time management system. Of that population, 91% still understood that better time management would lead to reduced stress and increased productivity.
Proper time management can look different from person to person. Still, the bottom line remains the same: time is money and waits for no one. The best time management techniques keep people on track and cater to their needs.
Without proper time management, excessive due dates can result in burnout. Plenty of workers sit in front of their computers, working, typing, and clicking hour after hour without taking care of themselves. To avoid this issue and decrease the lack of productivity and competence, the Pomodoro Method was created.
What is the Pomodoro Method?
The Pomodoro Method is a time management technique created in the 1980s. It instills the idea that a person should only work for 25 minutes at a time before taking a short 5-minute break. After 2 hours (4 Pomodoros), an extended break lasting 15-30 minutes should be taken.
Intermittent breaks allow a person to have better focus. During their frequent short downtimes, they can gratify distractions and take a breather. Using that small 5-minute break for self-awareness and other meditative efforts hinders exhaustion. Essentially, this technique allows a person to work within the time they have available without causing a mental breakdown.
This method is perfect for those who carry the mindset that they have all day to complete a list of tasks. Each 25-minute segment simplifies goal setting, allowing complex goals to be broken down into digestible pieces.
As such, the 25-minute work period should be uninterrupted. Any sudden ideas, requests, emails, or instant messages can be noted and taken care of:
- During the 5-minute rest period
- Once the task is complete
- During a different 25-minute block
Initially, keeping up with the intervals may seem cumbersome, but some apps can help a person stay on track. It may also help to have a timer close by that will go off when the 25 or 5-minute breaks are over.
How time management techniques improve workflow efficiency
Effective time management strategies help workers achieve their goals faster without increasing stress. Instead of getting tied into endless multitasking, team members can focus on a single task or project at a time. Doing allows workers to give each duty individualized attention and care without being troubled by a massive to-do list.
When people intentionally manage their time, it can become evident that some tasks are more critical than others. Time management techniques allow a person to assign each duty a hierarchy of sorts, which can help them prioritize their time slots. This enables workers to meet or beat their deadlines without worrying about being overdue.
When people intentionally manage their time, it can become evident that some tasks are more critical than others.
Time management skills are also instrumental in combating mental fatigue. When people realize they haven’t been able to tackle their ceaseless list of things to do, they can feel overwhelmed and lack confidence.
In contrast, setting time aside to dive into a single task can help them reach their bite-sized goals with time to spare. Not only does this increase their self-esteem and sense of accomplishment, but it gives them extra time to get a grip on their mental health to manage the rest of the week.
Other time management techniques
Time management comes in many forms. Workers have several structured systems options to assist them in effortlessly reaching their milestones. It doesn’t matter if they’re a chronic procrastinator or die-hard workaholic — the below information includes a strategy that will work best for anyone’s preferred style.
The Rapid Planning Method (AKA, the result, purpose, and massive action plan) was developed to train a person’s brain to focus on an overall vision of what they find most important. This approach assists them in bringing it to fruition.
In this method, a worker will write down the tasks they need to complete and categorize them into groups. Then, they can label the importance of the groups in three categories. The:
- Desired result of the task
- Purpose for completing the task
From there, a person can list all the actions necessary to make it happen.
Time management processes were developed to train a person’s brain to focus on an overall vision of what they find most important.
The 80/20 Rule
The Pareto Analysis or the 80/20 rule instills the idea that 20% of a person’s tasks will contribute to 80% of their accomplishments. In other words, 80% of the assignment’s steps can be finished without taking more than 20% of a person’s allotted time.
This is a helpful tool for analytical workers who need to know how much of their time is currently spent on their daily workflow.
The GTD method
The Getting Things Done method focuses a worker’s attention on organizing the details within each task. As part of this method, they would write down what they wanted to accomplish and then break down the timeline for each job based on smaller actionable items.
This process effectively reduces the tension caused by projects that are more difficult to manage.
The Pickle Jar Theory
This visual method helps workers prioritize tasks that are more useful than others during their daily workflow. They would imagine a pickle jar with:
- Sand at the bottom symbolizes distractions
- Pebbles in the middle represent mediocre tasks
- Rocks at the top indicate major priorities that need to be taken care of
This method of symbolization helps people find ways to make time for the rocks first to get to the pebbles. Then, the sand can be tended to.
This uses another, less whimsical, imagery method. Using a 2×2 matrix, a person can use two columns to categorize crucial tasks vs. unimportant ones.
Two urgent matters are placed on an axis. The first one is important, and the other is not. The 2nd axis is insignificant matters classified in the same way.
The matrix strategy helps people see which matters must be worked through first (the top 2 blocks) and which items can wait.
Eat That Frog
As Mark Twain said, “Eat a live frog the first thing in the morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”
When thinking in terms of time management, the frog is the most challenging and time-consuming task of the day. Leaving the frog until later in the day takes up mental capacity all day and saps part of your ability to focus on the task at hand.
Instead of procrastinating, it’s much easier to get it out of the way first before continuing with more manageable tasks that can be done quickly.
Not all tasks are created equal. Each time management technique is designed to help a person prioritize and schedule their events in a timely, stress-free manner. When all the time in a day is handled with patience, it can become much easier for a person to:
- Do their job
- Meet their targets
- Change their outlook on their company altogether
Any approach to time management can be helpful with a bit of personal tweaking. Whether a person is a visual, creative, or analytical thinker, there is always a way to be effective during an 8-hour shift.