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5 Effective Techniques for Correct Time Management

Even the most organized people sometimes find themselves in situations where they have to solve problems and perform various tasks in a very short period of time. You can try to get things done as fast as possible, but in most cases, there are no actual shortcuts and all rushing leaves you with more stress and problems you need to fix. You can solve most of these problems if you only learn how to manage your time correctly, and here are 5 proven methods that help you do so with surprising efficiency, especially if you use them all together.

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1. Life balance wheel

First, you need to know how to best prioritize your tasks, and then you can build a schedule to help you accomplish all your goals. To do this you may want to create a life balance wheel, divided into 8 categories. Each category is another area that is important in your life and requires responsibility and control. It is likely that your life balance wheel will look different from that of another person since each of us has different goals in life.

Some areas that you could put in the wheel are a happy family, financial stability, career success, improving a certain skill, improving health, weight control, traveling around the world, spending time with friends, spiritual development or anything else that matters to you.

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Each part of the wheel is divided into 5 segments, which symbolize your level of satisfaction with your success in that field. Your goal is to analyze your life balance wheel honestly and rank each area with a score of 1 to 5, where 1 is dissatisfaction and 5 is total satisfaction. The areas where you experience the least satisfaction are those that require your primary attention, and you have to invest more in them over other areas.

Do not limit yourself to achieving your goals, instead, be aware of the results you expect, because it will give you more motivation to achieve them. Every goal must also be realistic and you should set milestones for each of them - for this, the last method on this list will help you a lot.

2. The Eisenhower Matrix

Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th president of the United States, was considered one of the country's finest leaders who knew how to best manage their time, and was known to have effectively controlled several areas of his life at the same time. How did he do this? Eisenhower used to divide a page into 4 parts, giving each a different title:

  • Upper right: urgent and unimportant
  • Upper left part: urgent but important
  • Lower right part: not urgent and unimportant
  • Lower left part: not urgent but important
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  • In the upper left category (urgent and important) are usually all the things you haven’t had time to do but need to get done today. If you use this list daily, this part should remain blank most of the time.
  • The top right category (urgent but unimportant) is the most important because you need to know how to divide your time correctly and the next method on the list can help you with this greatly. However, the tasks here should not be done in haste, because if you do this they can easily move to the top left (urgent and important) when you don’t do them correctly.
  • The lower left category (not urgent but important) usually includes phone calls that you don’t want to make, meetings that you need to schedule or anything else that can be postponed to another time.
  • The lower right category (not urgent and unimportant) includes tasks that even if left undone, won’t affect you too much.

Make this list daily, and it will help you know exactly what you need to do, when and how much time you need to spend on each task or whether you can postpone it for another time.

3. The tomato method

The goal of this method is to set deadlines for completing tasks, and it helps complete more tasks in a short time. In this method, the "tomato" is a piece of time that includes 25 minutes of work and 5 minutes of break. Work until you complete your task, and after 4 "tomatoes" allow yourself to enjoy a longer break of 15-20 minutes.

This method is especially helpful in preventing distractions because you spend time also on things that are not necessarily related to your main task. Additionally, if you think about how many "tomatoes" you did each day, you can slowly learn to plan your time with "tomatoes" every day.

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4. Eat the frog first

This method was inspired by Mark Twain, who used to say with amusement: " If you eat a frog in the morning, you can live all day with the feeling that it won’t be worse." Meaning do the hard stuff first! Then, any other task will be much easier for you to perform, and it is important to remember that the more you postpone a difficult task the more you’ll feel stressed about it. When you work with this method you will experience much less stress throughout the day.

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5. Benjamin Franklin’s method - the pyramid of productivity

This method was developed by Benjamin Franklin, and he developed it at the age of 20. Today it is also known as the "pyramid of productivity" and is particularly effective for goals that require long-term investment. You need to spend time planning your goals and ways to achieve them, and after doing so you will have a clear path on which you can fulfill any dream and ambition.

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  • In the first stage, you must understand what your values and aspirations are so that you know what really matters to you.
  • In the second stage, you must set an achievable goal for your life that can be reached within the specified time. So, ask yourself, "What do I want to achieve in the next X years?"

Each step is then devoted to planning the path to achieving the goal:

  • General planning - detailed instructions for achieving the goal in general
  • Long-term – steps for 3-5 years
  • Short-term - steps for the month/year (1-12 months)
  • Top step - steps for every day or week

Once you’ve written instructions for each time span, you will have a lot more motivation to achieve your goal, because you already know exactly what you need to do and when to finish each stage - sometimes lack of planning is what lowers motivation, but clear tasks help you know what steps need to be taken, and for the most part they also seem less threatening as a result.

source: fabiosa

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