Who doesn’t want to have more time and work less? If you’re going to live a whole life and find time not only for work but also for recreation, hobbies, and travel, you are interested in the basics of time management. So have I.
Why build time management?
Everyone has a different purpose for organizing processes in time. In general, it is necessary to choose a convenient method of time management to
- effectively allocate time for personal and work, for self-education and hobbies, for family and friends,
- separate important tasks from secondary ones,
- to think about your life goals and set priorities,
- to take time and learn to plan the day, week, month, or year,
- not procrastinate,
- motivate yourself and achieve your goals.
What are the methods of time management?
There are many methods of time management. They help me manage time better distribute it between important and unimportant tasks.
I tried different techniques until I came up with my system and picked up the tools to fit it. So please familiarize yourself with other methods, but take the best of them for yourself.
Where do I start?
The method of “90/30”
It was invented by Tony Schwartz, the founder of The Energy Project.
The bottom line: work for 90 minutes, then 30 minutes to rest. Each complete cycle takes two hours. The first cycles should be set aside for the most critical and urgent matters, the next — for more straightforward or less complex tasks.
You can try changing the time interval: 52 minutes for work and 17 for rest.
Where to read more: The 90/30, 8/10 Rule.
The Kanban Method
This is a Japanese scheme with which you can visualize the work process. It was used at Toyota.
The idea is to draw a table with three columns: “To be done”, “In progress”, “Done”. All the planned activities are entered into the table, and during the day, crossed out of one column and transferred to the next. A plus of the method is visibility.
Where to learn more: Kanban books, KanbanFlow app
Time Block Method
If you like to make a list of tasks for the day but still don’t have time to do what you planned, try this method.
Bottom line: you don’t just need to write a to-do list, but allocate time in advance to complete them. And then strictly follow the plan.
An example of a list:
10:00–10:30. Brainstorm with the team
10:50–12:30. Creation of presentation
14:30–15:30. Gathering project analytics.
How is it different from a daily schedule? In that, you only set aside time for the tasks planned for the day. The rest is free.
Where to read more about the method: 11 Time Blocking Tips to Improve Your Focus.
Top 5 tools for time management and productivity
When I tried different time management methods, I singled out the following tools for me:
Sunsumma for time planning
The app summarises how much time it will take to complete tasks for the day and moves them to the next if the time limit is exceeded. Conveniently, there is integration with the calendar.
Todoist Reminder on Mac for small tasks
I use it as a reminder system for small and minor tasks so that I always have them in front of me.
The thing is, according to a study of scientists from Harvard University, a person can keep no more than seven tasks in his head at a time. And I’d rather concentrate on something more important than on the small routine tasks (call a colleague, answer a message, translate a document, etc.). By the way, if a task takes less than 2 minutes, I try to get it done right away, rather than entering it into Todoist.
Grammarly for Literacy
The service helps minimize the time I spend editing emails, messages, and posts.
Notion for organizing your life and creating a personal knowledge base
This service for creating notes and documents, to-do lists, databases, tables, knowledge bases deserves a separate post. For now, I’ll just focus on the fact that it helps me organize my life. I also actively use it to collect knowledge and information for projects, travel, etc.
Superhuman for correspondence
My favourite email service works under the “100 milliseconds” rule. It allows me to process all incoming emails very quickly. I’m also impressed with the clever hotkey email management system.
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How is my time management organized? was originally published in Chatbots Life on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.