Time management is an important skill to have in order to make the most of one’s day. There are nine popular techniques and tools for time management, such as the 80/20 rule and the “eat that frog” method.
Use the 6-12-6 rule.
- Kathryn McKinnon developed the 6-12-6 rule to help manage email correspondence: check emails for 20 minutes at 6 am, 12 pm, and 6 pm.
- A client of McKinnon’s was spending 4-5 hours a day on email, most of which were unrelated to his priorities.
- To reduce time spent on email, McKinnon recommends designating time to work on it, deleting non-essential emails, unsubscribing from unessential news, and categorizing or filing emails.
- It improves time management skills such as setting priorities, avoiding distractions, and effective planning.
- It solves issues such as multitasking and ineffective scheduling.
- The 1-3-5 Rule also helps you to break down large tasks into smaller, more manageable chunks.
- This allows you to focus on one task at a time and complete it in a timely manner.
- It also encourages you to prioritize tasks based on their importance and urgency.
- Additionally, the 1-3-5 Rule can help you stay organized by creating a list.
Pareto Analysis (a.k.a., the 80/20 rule)
- Pareto Analysis is a technique created by the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto to prioritize tasks that are most effective at solving problems.
- It involves listing problems, identifying root causes, assigning scores to each problem, and grouping them together by cause.
- People who will benefit from this technique include problem solvers and analytical thinkers.
- The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method created by entrepreneur and author Francesco Cirillo.
- It involves breaking down work into intervals, known as “Pomodoros”, with short breaks in between.
- This technique is beneficial for creative thinkers and those feeling burnt out from work/school, as it helps to set goals and stick to daily and weekly schedules.
How Pomodoro works
- Dwight Eisenhower invented the Eisenhower Matrix, a tool for organizing tasks into four quadrants based on importance and urgency.
- The matrix helps prioritize tasks by focusing on those that are both important and urgent.
- People in leadership positions or who need to think critically will benefit from using the Eisenhower Matrix.
- Work expands to fill the time available for its completion, so work more efficiently in shorter bursts of time.
- Try working without a computer charger, getting it done early, setting a deadline, and limiting time for tasks.
- This method works best for procrastinators and people who work well under pressure.
Time Blocking Method
- Time blocking is a method of time management used by Elon Musk to maximize productivity.
- It involves dividing a day into blocks of time and assigning tasks to each block.
- This method works best for working students or parents, as well as analytical thinkers.
How time blocking method works
Getting Things Done (GTD) Method
- The GTD Method is a process created by author David Allen to help people get things done.
- It involves capturing tasks, clarifying their meaning, organizing them, reflecting on them, and engaging with the actionable items.
- People who struggle to focus or feel overwhelmed in their daily lives can benefit from this method.
Rapid Planning Method (RPM)
- Rapid Planning Method (RPM) is a technique developed by Tony Robbins to help focus on a vision and make it real.
- It involves writing down tasks, chunking them together, creating RPM blocks with the task, result, and purpose for completing it, and creating an empowering role for yourself.
- People who will benefit from this method include working students or parents and those with long-term goals.
Pickle Jar Theory
- The Pickle Jar Theory helps prioritize tasks by categorizing them into sand, pebbles, and rocks.
- Sand represents disrupting elements of the day, pebbles are tasks that can be done on another day or by someone else, and rocks are the most important tasks that need to get done today.
- People who benefit from this theory include visual people and concrete thinkers.
Eat That Frog Technique
- The Eat That Frog technique is based on a Mark Twain quote about tackling the most difficult tasks first.
- It involves getting clear on a goal, writing it down, setting a deadline, and organizing tasks in order of priority.
- This technique is beneficial for abstract thinkers and people with long-term goals.