You sleep at night thinking that you will get up early the next morning, go to the gym, eat food, and get to work on time. After that, real life kicks in. You get up late, ultimately find that you can’t go to the gym, leave late, get stuck in traffic, and you’re already annoyed with how the world works when you get to your desk. You sit down to finally knock off the task you’ve been putting off for weeks, but then you remember that you have meetings back-to-back till noon, and sure, you’re already late for the first meeting. You make it out of the previous session, and as soon as you sit down to start going through your email, you are called into another meeting with the Head of the department. He has a request for you that is time-sensitive. He estimates that it will just take an hour to complete the task.
The good news is that there are methods to recapture those hours of the day that have vanished without a trace. It is up to everyone to organise their own time effectively. Time management is coordinating jobs and activities to make a person’s efforts as effective as possible. Take control of your time rather than allowing it to control you. Here are some suggestions for more effectively managing your time to get you started!
The Eat That Frog Technique
The technique was given its name from a statement made by Mark Twain, which reads as follows: “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” You should begin each day by tackling the most challenging things and getting them out of the way as quickly as possible. Long-term planners and abstract thinkers are the ones who profit the most from this method.
Pickle Jar Theory
People who think concretely and are visually oriented would benefit from this. This notion helps determine what aspects of everyday life are applicable and what aspects are not applicable. It enables one to schedule chores with extra time and establish daily priorities.
Consider a large pickle jar filled to the brim with various sizes of sand, pebbles, and rocks. The rocks are on top, while the sand is at the bottom of the structure.
■ The sand: This symbolises components of your day that cause disruptions, such as incoming phone calls, text messages, emails, social media notifications, and so on.
■ The pebbles: These activities must be finished, but they may be done on another day or by another person.
■ The rocks: These are the duties that have the highest priority for today and need to be completed.
Rapid Planning Method
The abbreviation “RPM” could stand for either “rapid planning method” or “result, purpose, and massive action plan.” Tony Robbins, who is known as a motivational speaker, came up with the idea for it as a method to train your brain to concentrate on an image of what you desire to make it a reality. This strategy will be of great assistance to you if you are someone who has long-term ambitions if you are a working parent, or if you are a student.
The GTD Method (Getting Things Done Method)
This method, author David Allen developed, instructs you to write down the activities you need to do and then divide those jobs into more manageable work items. This efficient strategy may assist those who have trouble focusing on a single task at a time and those who experience being overwhelmed daily.
Time Blocking Method
Elon Musk is well-known for his productive nature. Have you ever considered how he can work over 80 hours a week yet find time for himself? You may be wondering how he can effectively manage his time. What exactly is he hiding? The blockage of time. This strategy benefits people who are active in the working world and analytical.
This strategy is ideal for you if you like to put things off until the last minute or if you are someone who does better under time constraints. British historian Cyril Northcote Parkinson is well known for the expression, “Work expands to fill the time available for its completion.” To put it another way, the amount of time you allot for yourself to do a certain work is the amount of time it will take you to finish that task.
This is not a time management strategy in the traditional sense. It is a law that, if comprehended, may be utilised as one of the most useful ways of managing time currently available, but to do so, you must put in the necessary effort. That means getting more done in less time by working more quickly.
People who are good at critical thinking and in positions of authority may benefit from this strategy. Before he was elected President of the United States in 1953, Dwight Eisenhower held the position of Allied Forces Commander in the United States Army during World War II. Every day, he was forced to make challenging judgments, which led to the development of what is now known as the Eisenhower matrix, also known as the urgent-important matrix.
Important but not urgent: These issues are significant but do not require immediate action. Instead, you should focus on developing a strategy for long-term growth. Make it a priority to spend most of your time in this area.
■ Urgent but unimportant: These activities must be done immediately, although they are not critical. They are not contributing to your work; therefore, you should reduce or eliminate their importance. In most cases, they are disruptions that can be traced back to the bad planning of other individuals.
■ Not urgent and not important: These activities are of very little, if any, value and should be avoided as much as possible since neither their timing nor their significance makes them a priority.
The fundamental premise of the Kanban board is that you should advance tasks from one stage to the next. Doing so promotes transparency, as all team members can see every work’s status at any moment. This method of time management has a name that sounds Japanese because it was first adopted by Taiichi Ono in the 1960s when he was working for Toyota Automotive. This was the first time it was used. The primary purpose of this strategy was to improve Toyota’s manufacturing process in terms of both its overall productivity and effectiveness.
The time management strategy known as “deep work” was first presented by Cal Newport in his book “Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World.” Cal Newport draws a definite line, in his writings, between the following two categories of labour:
“Shallow work” means jobs or other work-related activities that are not as hard or demanding.
“deep work” refers to job-related activities or tasks that are more difficult or time-consuming.
The way it works:
To effectively use the time management strategy of deep work, you need to do the following:
■ Plan out your day so that you have sufficient free time to devote to deep work activities; alternatively, create a schedule. During this time, you should only concentrate on the actions or tasks that are the most essential to you, and you should do all in your power to eliminate or reduce any distractions.
■ You should try to arrange “deep work” activities around the day when you feel like the best version of yourself. That is when your energy levels are high enough to handle the demands of “deep work.”
■ After finishing the jobs that need deep concentration, check that you have sufficient space to accomplish all the shallow work activities, which normally demand less physical effort from the worker.
The “ABCDE” Method
It is generally agreed that Alan Lakein was the one who first conceptualised the ABCDE method of time management. In his book “How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life,” he outlined the core principles underpinning this approach. Much like the Eisenhower Matrix, the ABCDE approach is designed to assist with prioritising activities and the revision and optimisation of the time required to perform those tasks.
The way it works:
■ Category A is designated for the most important daily duties.
■ Category B is for important activities, but to a lesser extent than those in Category A.
■ Category C is for things to do or actions that would be great.
■ Category D are the tasks that should be assigned (for example, to your team members or other staff).
■ Category E is intended for functions that are not vital or must be accomplished.
After sorting all your duties into the groupings described above, begin completing the activities outlined in Category A, after which you should move on to Category B, and so on.
Biological Prime Time Technique
Sam Carpenter initially introduced the concept of “Biological Prime Time” in his book “Work the System. “Figuring out the specific time of day when your energy levels are at their peak is the key to success when using this strategy for managing time. After that, the next step is to make a timetable and do the most critical chores when you feel like you have the most energy and are functioning at your peak.
The 1-3-5 Technique
The 1-3-5-time management strategy is a helpful and fascinating way to manage your day-to-day responsibilities and obligations.
The way it works:
■ Try to classify all your everyday responsibilities into one of these three categories: large, medium, or tiny.
■ If you have more than one significant assignment, prioritise them in order of priority and start with the one that is ranked highest.
■ Concentrate on completing one significant project before moving on to the next.
■ The next phase is to complete the three activities that are of medium difficulty (thus the label 1-3-5).
■ Now that we’ve made it this far, it’s time to wrap up the day’s five quick jobs.
Author- Fatema Nawar Silme