Three powerful time management techniques and how to put them to work
We often find ourselves working beyond regular hours, and in most cases, it’s because we fail to get the most out of our time. Read this article, to learn the best time management techniques today.
The right time management technique can help you boost your productivity, but choosing one that works for you is no easy feat.
Have you ever got into office (determined to get work done), but instead, got out depressed over not doing enough?
Well, unless you’re a wizard that can freeze time, most likely yes.
But why is that? Was it because you had too much on your plate? Or maybe it’s because of negative Nancy constantly bringing down your productivity?
Well, whatever the reason may be, I can tell you this—lack of time is most definitely not one of them!
Everyone has the same amount of time, but what separates the best from the rest is their ability to get the most out of their time.
Below, I break down three powerful time management techniques, who they’re best suited for and further share actionable methods to take them to work (pun intended!).
Let’s get started!
Best powerful time management techniques to boost productivity at work
1. Eisenhower’s Matrix: best for those with no direction.
2. Time blocking: best for those that are easily distracted.
3. Eat that frog: best for those that procrastinate.
Technique 1: Eisenhower’s Matrix
Eisenhower’s Matrix helps you prioritize tasks by filtering out what’s urgent and important from those that are not.
Basically, this technique divides tasks into four differ quadrants, each with a different work strategy:
This translates into:
Q1: Things you don’t want to do, but actually need to get done.
Q2: Things you want to get done, and actually need to get done.
Q3: Things you want to do, but don’t need to do.
Q4: Things you don’t want to do, and actually don’t need to do.
The ultimate goal here is to filter out less urgent and important tasks which you should either delegate or not do at all by either focusing or scheduling more important tasks.
Who is this for?
Eisenhower’s matrix is great for those that lack direction and find themselves spending much of their time on menial tasks that don’t really move the needle.
For example, the Eisenhower’s Matrix for my work week would look something like this:
Q1: Get done.
Pending client articles that pay the bills
Guest posts that don’t make me any money, but help my blog and brand in the long run
Q3: Delegate to billing software.
Keeping up with client invoices
Q4: Don’t do
Checking out my friends on social media:
(I must admit, I’m guilty of spending time in quadrant three and four! 😅).
Technique 2: Eat That Frog
However, these tasks are the one thing they absolutely have no motivation to do — and are most likely to procrastinate on. This is where the Eat that frog method comes and helps identify the one most important task on that list.
Most people have some tasks on their to-do’s, that they probably want to check off, and that if accomplished would make their day a million times better.
Now, I don’t recommend going about eating a bunch of frogs, Instead, ‘eat that frog’ is a metaphor that boils down to one concept:
Identify one crucial task for the day and do it first.
Now. you’ll still work on other things, but your most important (and often your most challenging task that requires the most energy and focus) will be prioritized first.
Basically, when you start your workday, evaluate your most important or most taxing task.
Then assign the highest priority to that task.
Your goal now is to finish this task before you start doing anything else.
Who is this for?
Eat the frog works great for those that feel overwhelmed and need help to fine-tune their work schedules to work on tasks that are actually important.
What’s more, Eat the frog is great for procrastinators that usually push off their most important thing to their deadline as it forces them to complete that one task before anything else.
On another note, Eat the frog also works great with the Eisenhower box technique as the frog is pretty much:
Q1: things you don’t want to complete, but actually need to complete.
In my case, this is writing client articles before they meet their deadline, what is it for you?
Technique 3: Time blocking
First, you list out tasks you need accomplished and then estimate how long it’ll take (but account for the “I gotta take care of this right now” tasks that might pop up).
Then prioritize and allocate the necessary part of your schedule towards completing it.
Finally, implement time blocking by using your favorite calendar app and adjust as needed (if you have trouble sticking to your allotted time slots).
This technique gives you the clarity that, in turn, makes the most efficient and effective use of time and focus (two extremely scarce resources).
In fact, research has been clear that most workers can realistically stay productive for about 20 minutes at a time, so blocking time is great to get the most out of this finite resource and avoid bad habits like multitasking.
Who is this for?
Time blocking is for those that frequently deviate from the path they set out and need direction to focus to help stack on track.
Ultimately, time blocking forces a more (deliberate) structured workday—and this helps you get into that ‘flow’ much faster by adopting a deep work ethic with minimal distractions.
Not everything is as important as you think.
There are many time management techniques, but at the end of the day, it all comes down to your ability to differentiate what’s important and what’s not.
As Brian Tracy, a productivity expert says “There is never enough time to do everything, but there is always enough time to do the most important things.”
Similarly, you need to stop trying to do everything at one and develop a habit of focusing on tasks that actually move the needle (no matter how uncomfortable they are).