Time Management Techniques to make most of your available time
| June 18,2012 10:22 am IST
Do you ever plan your day ahead of starting it? A survey reveals that most successful people prepare calendar of activities to be done during a day, so that they can make most of their time. In this tough job market, people who can make maximum of their time, take more responsibility and exceed expectations most likely advance in their career.
A large number of people neglect things like personal care, sleep, and exercise regime in order to make maximum room for work in their schedule, avoiding the fact that this can ruin your health and productivity over a period of time. Thus, it is important to prioritize goals, overcome delay, set a schedule and manage time effectively.
There are more ways to cope up with work overload and striking the string between work- life balance. Here are four great techniques on how to manage your time effectively:
1. The Pomodoro Technique: This technique suggests breaking work periods into 25-minute intervals, as that's how long our minds focus effectively. The creator of this method, entrepreneur and mentor Francesco Cirillo, calls these intervals 'pomodoros.'
The technique gets more complicated as you look into it; begin by deciding which tasks you need to accomplish first. Set the timer to 25 minutes and work without any distractions during this periodtake a five minute break thereafter. Take 15-20 minutes break after every four hours.
2. 18 Minutes: Peter Bregman, chief executive officer of the global management consulting firm Bregman Partners and author of 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done, coined this technique. The technique states:
Five minutes in the morning: Sit down and think about what you need to do today to make it successful. 'What can you realistically accomplish that will further your focus for the year and allow you to leave at the end of the day feeling that you've been productive and successful?' Bregman writes in his book. 'Then take those things off your to-do list and schedule them into your calendar.'
One minute per hour: Refocus. Set an alarm every hour and when it beeps, 'take a deep breath and ask yourself if you spent your last hour productively,' he writes. 'Manage your day hour by hour. Don't let the hours manage you.'
Five minutes in the evening: Turn off your computer and review how the day went. Ask yourself questions like: How did the day go? What did I learn?
3. COPE: Peggy Duncan, a Personal productivity expert has suggested the Clear-Organized-Productive-Efficient technique. He suggests beginning with an analysis on how you spend your day by analyzing your activities and eliminating time wasters. The next step is to organize and prioritize tasks to get the main things done without multitasking.
4. ABC & Pareto Analyses Combo: Marter recommended this classic business-management combination of the ABC and Pareto analyses techniques. This technique works best when work is combined as per either A, B, or C:
A: Tasks that are perceived as being urgent and important.
B: Tasks that is important but not urgent.
C: Tasks that is neither urgent nor important.
Starting with the A column, apply Pareto Analysis highlighting work that will take least time in this group. 'Pareto Analysis suggests that 80 percent of tasks can be completed in 20 percent of disposable time and the remaining 20 percent will take up 80 percent of time,' Marter says. 'Productivity will be higher if the tasks that take less time are completed first.'
In other words, get the easy stuff out of the way first for maximum productivity. Then, move on to group B.