How to better manage your time?

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Good time management is the key to success at work and in family life. If you have a problem with it, you can use one of many time management techniques. Useful methods are not always complicated.

What are time management techniques?

Time management is a way of rationalising the way we work. By introducing clear rules we are able to predict the amount of time we will spend on a particular type of task

Planning of work

Time management techniques enable us to organise our work in a more efficient manner. This is especially useful when we know what we have to do and how we have to do it, but lack motivation or when sequences of activities take too long due to distractions

What is time management?

There are four basic elements. These are:

  • formulating goals properly,
  • setting the right priorities,
  • using time planning tools,
  • ability to eliminate things that take up our time – so-called time eaters.
Photo: Pexels

Time Planning Techniques – Five Ways You Need to Know

You can find up to dozens of different time planning techniques and clever ways to get things done faster in the literature, in the trade press, and on websites. Here are eight of them:

1: The Pareto Principle

The classic 80/20 rule is over 125 years old, having been described by Italian economist Vilfriedo Pareto back in the 19th century. What makes it still relevant today? Pareto found that 80% of his country’s wealth was in the hands of just 20% of its population. Most surprisingly: this principle has proven to be very universal, and applies to other fields as well. In time management, it presents itself as follows:

80% of the results are achieved during only 20% of the time allocated for work. Among tasks, you should focus primarily on the 20% that are responsible for the largest part of the final result.

2: The Eisenhower Matrix

American general and president Dwight Eisenhower was considered to be a person who planned his time in a particularly meticulous way. He is credited with creating a matrix where tasks are assigned to each of the quadrants:

  • quadrant A – contains priority tasks, intended to be done personally on an urgent basis or delegated to someone, but under strict control; without them, the strategy breaks down;
  • quadrant B – tasks with very significant impact, but which can be postponed somewhat;
  • quadrant C – tasks of high urgency that need to be done quickly but are not very important (e.g., paying bills)
  • quarter D – tasks that are neither urgent nor important; they can be treated as optional.

3: The ABC method

The essence of this method is to list all the tasks we have to do and to rank them in order of importance. Thus, we have

  • category A: very important tasks that account for only 15% of the total, but yield 65% of the results;
  • category B: important tasks that contribute 20% of all, but are responsible for 20% of the outcome;
  • category C: less important 65% of all tasks that account for only 15% of output.

Each day must be planned to include each category of activity according to its category of importance

4: Parkinson’s principle

The method is based on the belief that work tends to expand in such a way that it will fill all the time available to complete it. In short, the same work will take two days or three days depending on how much we decide to spend on it. In addition, humans tend to finish work on the last allowable date. The essence of the method is to set aside a very specific, defined and not to exceed designated amount of time for each task.

5: The SMART method

Specific, measurable, attractive, realistic, timely defined – from these words comes the acronym of the SMART method. It’s about formulating ‘smart’ goals that have particular characteristics in their names. The key to performing a task is to properly define its objective, which must be:

  • specific,
  • measurable,
  • attractive,
  • realistic,
  • defined in time.

Photo: Lukas Blazek/Unsplash

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