A Time Management strategy is a system where you plan the amount of time that you need to complete tasks. Having a time management strategy is crucial since you manage your time and delegate your tasks to be productive at work. Besides, creating managing you time for tasks, you can prevent burnout and exhaustion.
Moreover, it is important to make a brief distinguishment between time management strategies, techniques and skills.
- Time management strategies are the plans and approaches you can apply to manage your time and tasks.
- Time management techniques are the specific methods you can apply to delegate your time with tasks.
- Time management skills are the abilities that you need to use time management strategies and techniques productively.
Some of the most important time management skills are:
- Organisation is a skill that will definitely impact your efficiency. To be organised, you must track your tasks by using software, whiteboard, timesheets, or just your note-taking notebook.
- Setting clear goals. It is important to know the reason and purpose of something you are doing. This way, you will know what to prioritise and your productivity at work will significantly increase.
- Managing stress levels. When dealing with lots of tasks and having time constraints, you might feel overwhelmed, anxious or stressed. You need to be able to manage your stress levels because it can negatively impact both your health and productivity. Some ways to deal with stress are taking regular breaks, getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, work-life balance, and simply asking for help if you get overwhelmed with tasks.
- Avoid procrastination. Procrastination will cause you a lot of trouble if you don’t work on it. To avoid procrastination, be disciplined and manage your goals, avoid distractions and set deadlines.
Time Management Strategies
Tracking your time is the first step to successfully manage your time. You can use tools like time-tracking apps to plan your tasks.
Plan your day
Planning your day will make your work easier. What you can do is outline your tasks, meetings, and deadlines.
Make a to-don’t list
A to-don’t list is a list of activities or habits that you decide not to do. This may include activities that waste your time or lessen your productivity. Having a such list will help you avoid distractions and be more effective at work.
Do one thing at a time
Focusing on one thing at a time will help you be more productive since you give your full attention to one thing at a time.
Order tasks from most important to least
It is crucial that you prioritise your tasks based on their importance and deadlines. Doing so ensures that critical work is completed, and it reduces the risk of missing deadlines.
To increase your effectiveness at work, set deadlines for your tasks. It will help you stay on track and finish your work on time.
To stay focused on completing the tasks, you can eliminate distractions. This could be silencing your phone, turning off social media notifications or finding a quiet place to work.
Taking breaks is crucial for maintaining productivity and preventing stress. Schedule short breaks between tasks, where you could either do some stretches, take a walk or do something enjoyable for a few minutes. Breaks help refresh your concentration and creativity.
It is important to keep in mind that time management strategies are personal and it may require a bit of experimentation to find the strategies that work best for you.
Time Management Techniques
To successfully manage your time and be as productive as possible at work, below are some of the most famous techniques that you can use:
The Pomodoro technique was invented by Francesco Cirillo. The word “pomodoro” is Italian and it translates to “tomato”. Cirillo chose to name this technique Pomodoro because the kitchen time that he used looked like a tomato. This technique involves breaking your work into intervals, usually 25 minutes and then taking a short break, usually lasting around 5 minutes. After completing a round of 4 Pomodoro parts, take a break of 25-30 minutes.
The 52/17 technique was first seen in an article for The Muse. This technique suggests working for 52 minutes and taking a 17-minute break. Trougakos and Hideg write that he idea behind this technique is the concept that the human brain can only focus well for a limited time before getting tired, so taking breaks is essential.
The Parkinson’s Law Technique was created and named after Cyril Northcote Parkinson, a British historian. This technique states that work expands to fill the time available for its completion. By setting shorter deadlines, you can create a sense of urgency and finish the tasks on time.
The “ABCDE” Method
This technique was created by Brian Tracy, and it is simple to learn and easy to implement. This method involves categorising tasks based on their priority. Tasks are named as ‘’2 (critical), ‘B’ (important but not urgent), ‘C’ (nice to do but not essential), ‘D’ (delegate), and ‘E’ (eliminate). By categorising your tasks this way, you will stay on track of your time and focus on what really matters.
The SMART Method
The SMART method was developed by George Doran, Arthur Miller and James Cunningham and they introduced it in one of their articles. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. By using this criterion, you can create clear objectives, making your plan easier and your time more manageable.
In conclusion, effective time management is vital for work productivity. Since time management is personal, combining these methods can lead to productivity and reduced stress. It is important to remember that effective time management is an ongoing process of finding what works best for you.