Keep up with the latest hiring trends!
Too much to do and not enough time? We’ll get to the point – we did the research so you don’t have to. Here’s a breakdown of six tried and tested time management techniques and crucially, who they’d be best suited for.
1. The Pomodoro Technique
Good for: Procrastinators and daydreamers
Will this work for me? Do you often wonder where the day has gone, despite a fastidiously planned out to-do list? This technique might be for you. Breaking your day into segments of 25 minutes forces you to account for your time and adds an urgency that other techniques just don’t manage.
Free online tool: Get your own digital tomato timer
2. Eat the frog
Good for: Delayers and sidetrackers
Will this work for me? Do you often have one big unpleasant task that you know you need to do, but just keep putting off? This technique is inspired by Mark Twain, who famously said that if the first thing you do in the morning is eat a live frog, you can go through the rest of the day knowing the worst is behind you. Brian Tracy famously created this entire productivity method based on just that – if your frog is your worst task, and you should do it first thing in the morning.
Free online resource: Brian Tracy infographic
3. Pareto’s principle or the 80/20 rule
Good for: “Busy” workers
Will this work for me? This technique believes that 80% of the results will come from 20% of the action. It’s not just some hocus-pocus “belief” either – it’s very nearly a universal rule! This distribution between input and output is seen time and again throughout nature, economics and business. When you figure out the effective 20%, you can prioritise on that and reap the rewards of the 80%.
Free online resource:
4. The 4D system
Good for: List makers and fans of alliteration
Will this work for me? If you can make snap decisions and stand by them, this could be the technique for you. First, you delete (or drop) tasks you don’t need, delegate what you can to people who can do it well, defer what you can and finally, DO the tasks you need to do to the best of your ability.
Free online resource: Further reading available here
5. The Eisenhower matrix
Good for: People who have good assessment skills
Will this work for me? Ever feel you’re working on the wrong tasks? More importantly, are you then proven right? The Eisenhower Matrix plots out your tasks against the axes of importance versus urgency.
Free online resource: Instructional video available here
6. The good old fashioned to-do list
Good for: Task-driven people
Will this work for me? Is your poor time management down to simply having too many tasks at one time? There’s a lot to be said for a simple to-do list. Take some time at the start of your day to realistically think about what you can achieve, and write it down. Ticking things off your list can encourage you to do more, so itemise it as much as you need.
Free online resource: It’s a classic!
Notice anything about these techniques? They are all based on pretty similar strategies – figuring out what needs to be done, and what doesn’t. How you apply this strategy is up to you. What’s the best one? That’s – the one that you keep using effectively!