Reading time: 4 minutes
Are you one of those awesome people who know exactly how to manage your time and get more things done?
Maybe you have your priorities straight.
Or could it be you’re not getting the right things done?
Dwight D. Eisenhower once said: “Plans are nothing; planning is everything.” What did Eisenhower mean by that?
He wanted to emphasize that you can have many goals, but goals will remain dreams if you don’t know how to reach them. That’s why you should invest time in planning and time management. These things can produce magic.
By learning different time management techniques, you can find more time for your other half, your favorite activities, your business.
Unfortunately, I used to think otherwise. When I started my first company 17 years ago, I tried to get as many customers as possible.
It seemed that the more I had, the more fortunate I would be. I was wrong.
Don’t do this if you want to manage your time and get more things done.
After getting a lot of clients, I realized I had no time. A deluge of complaints fell upon me; this led me to delve into the ins and outs of time management and strategic planning.
I started with the books written by Brian Tracy.
Afterward, I got acquainted with a wide array of exciting tools and methods. I have used each, but not all of them worked as I wanted them to.
So, today I will only tell you about those that worked best.
Pomodoro Technique – a great way to manage your time and get more things done
Francesco Cirillo came about this technique in the late 1980s.
The Pomodoro technique stems from the idea that work should be divided into smaller sections and completed in intervals with short breaks in between.
For example, you would work for a 25-30 minutes period and take a five-minute break after.
Each of these 25-minutes work sessions is called a “Pomodoro,” the Italian word for tomato.
Francesco Cirillo had used a kitchen timer shaped like a tomato, hence the derivative of the name.
After four Pomodoro in succession, you take a more extended break of 10-20 minutes. There should be no interruptions in each Pomodoro session.
The notion behind this technique is this: frequent breaks in between work improve mental agility, leaving you refreshed and mentally charged and ready to take on a new session.
It also helps you build and nurture the discipline to put off distractions later, such as a phone notification or a Facebook alert. That means you get more work done and more time saved for other things.
The Get Things Done Method (GTD)
This method was created by David Allen and started with the user writing down all the tasks they need to complete and breaking them down into smaller executable items.
The smaller or most straightforward tasks are finished immediately, and the most significant lessons are divided into smaller portions to start completion right after.
As a result of the functions being recorded externally, this method primarily focuses on the task itself rather than recalling them.
The organization of tasks by grouping them into similar jobs allows for easy management.
It also helps deal with the anxiety and overwhelming feeling associated with too many tasks, thus allowing you to manage your time and get more things done.
The Important-Urgent Matrix
This technique was made famous by Stephen Covey’s “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” and based on a two-by-two matrix method.
Users write down essential and not urgent tasks on one axis, and on the other axis, they write critical and not urgent tasks.
That results in 4 quadrants: tasks that are urgent and essential, jobs that are urgent but not essential, tasks that are important and not urgent, and tasks that are unimportant and not urgent.
This matrix helps us recognize important and genuinely urgent tasks that need to be dealt with immediately while also keeping in mind the essential ones but do not need execution.
You save the unimportant and not urgent ones for last. Focusing on the entire quadrant helps you become more effective in your daily life.
The Pareto Analysis, also called the 80-20 rule, states that 80% of tasks can be completed 20% of the time while the remaining 20% of jobs will take up the remaining 80% of your time.
That means that 20% of your work will make up 80% percent of your achievements. Therefore, tasks that belong to your work should be given a higher priority, boosting your productivity.
This rule helps you analyze where tasks are currently taking most of your time and energy and subsequently enables you to determine where they can be better allocated to ensure they are spent wisely.
It also helps users look for more straightforward and less demanding ways of accomplishing each task.
Rapid Planning Method (RPM)
Anthony Robbins created this technique, and it aims to help you focus your thoughts on what is most important, which is the result you want. It also focuses on the reasons why you are doing what you are doing. To what ends?
The next step is to construct a realistic, flexible plan towards achieving it. In this plan, Robbins differentiates what it means to make real progress from just checking things off a to-do list.
Thus, RPM isn’t just a time-management technique but also a way to reach your fulfillment and live out the true meaning of your life.
There are exactly 168 hours in a week. That is how author Laura Vanderkam suggests we look at schedules—one week at a time.
By scheduling your tasks around your priorities of the week, you can save up time wasted on misplaced priorities and excuses.
Laura Vanderkam believes that people have more time on their hands than they think, and if they look closely, they can make time to do those things they’ve always wanted to do but haven’t because they believe they don’t have the time.
Do it now – an ideal mentality getting things done
Self-help author, entrepreneur, and motivational speaker, Steve Pavlina proposes a “Do It Now” mentality.
That means that whenever you’re feeling lazy or reluctant to start a task, reciting the mantra “do it now” and doing it will save you a lot of time instead of procrastinating until it gets too late.
You can even set this as your lock screen or print it and pin it on your wall.
Pavlina explains that you save time by just doing the task rather than putting it off because you waste time mentally thinking about what you have to do or what you should have done.
Pavlina also lives by a 60-second principle for making decisions, whether big or small. So, don’t waste time thinking about which task to complete; just up and start one.
So far, these techniques will take some getting used to. But the good thing about it is that as you start to see the results in your productivity, you’ll be more inclined to want to keep using them.