6 effective time management techniques

25th July 2021

How to manage your time and succeed more?

When you don’t have enough time to do things as planned and everything seems important, it’s hard to get your priorities right. As a result, efficiency tends to zero and you sink into the chaos of unfulfilled tasks. To help you, we have compiled a selection of simple and proven techniques to help you properly allocate your time and energy.

Ivy Lee Formula

This technique will help you prioritize your tasks and move steadily toward your goal. It’s very simple: once the author of this technique, journalist Ivy Lee, was able to explain it to industrial tycoon Charles Schwab in 15 minutes. The effect of using this technique was immediate – after a few weeks, Schwab sent Lee a check for a huge amount for that time – 25 thousand dollars.

This technique can also be tried by you. To do this, simply do the following:

  • determine your main goal for the near future.
  • every evening, plan six major tasks for tomorrow, which will help you achieve the main objective.
  • arrange the tasks in order: from priority to less important.
  • work on each task on the list until it is completed. Repeat everything the next day.

The MoSCoW Method

The MoSCoW technique was invented in 1994 and has been used extensively in project management ever since. It helps to prioritize current tasks and makes the teamwork smoothly and efficiently. It can be adapted to solve not only the team but also personal tasks.

The essence of this method is to divide the tasks planned for the day into 4 categories according to their importance:

  • Must Do (M) – mandatory tasks.
  • Should Do (S) – important matters, but less priority than M. Must be done after Must-tasks.
  • Could Do (C) – things and tasks that do not require urgency. They can be done if there is some free time and a desire to do them.
  • Won’t Do (W) – things that can be done without losing anything. Such tasks can be easily moved to another day.

For example, the preparation of homework for tomorrow is an important task of category M, it is better not to put it off. The consequences may not be the most pleasant. And even when you do not have time to do your homework for some reason, it is better to turn to essay help. Asking your parents to call your grandmother falls into section S – important, but not urgent. Do your homework, then be sure to communicate with your grandmother. Chatting on social networks or completing a new level in a video game are tasks you can devote your free time to. If you realize that these activities interfere with the things you need to do, feel free to postpone or cancel them.

With the MoSCoW technique, you’ll learn to focus on what’s important and increase your own efficiency.

Most Important Task Method

Think about what you want to achieve the most in the near future. Set a goal and a deadline for achieving it. To achieve results faster, implement the method of the most important task, which will teach you to pay attention to the goal without prejudice to the current daily activities.

The essence of the method: do not try to do a dozen things every day. Highlight the 2-3 most important tasks and be sure to do them that day.

Unlike the method of Ivy Lee, only one of the planned tasks is aimed at achieving the main goal. The others will help with current issues that cannot be put off because of the “big” goal. If you’re learning English, practicing yoga, or mastering sketching, set aside 20-30 minutes each day for your next class.

The most important task method will allow you to accomplish much more than the basic 3 tasks on your list. It will also make you want to take action because you’ll be getting closer to your goal every day.

To-Don’t To-Do List

Some things interfere with efficiency and quietly steal time. Try to make a list of such activities and eliminate them from your daily routine.

Work backward. Start planning not what time you will sit down for classes, but when you have to finish them. Figure out what time to start your homework so that you are free by the scheduled hour.

While you’re working, don’t be distracted by social media posts, phone calls, or conversations with family members. Take away anything that might interfere with your work: your smartphone, non-work-related books, or your cup of tea. Turn off your computer if you don’t need it at the moment.

The method of bundling similar tasks

We all have days with so many things to do that it seems impossible to do everything planned. The method of bundling similar tasks can help you get your schedule in order and get more done.

Try grouping similar activities and doing them in “boxes,” as a package. This will allow you not to switch and effectively accomplish all similar tasks at once. To do this, review your to-do list and think about which ones can be combined.

For example:

  • make all necessary calls, text, and respond to all incoming messages at once;
  • combine all written homework, do it together. Do the same with oral subjects. When you are finished with your lessons, gather your textbooks, writing materials, and notebooks. Prepare your school uniform for tomorrow. That way you won’t have to go back to it in the evening;
  • combine homework and cleaning with listening to an audiobook or podcast.

To be even more efficient, set yourself a time limit for each task set.

Time Boxing

This technique focuses not on tasks, but on time. For each task, there is a fixed period – a time box. For example, you need to clean up your desk. Depending on your mood, workload, and playlist, the cleanup can last from half an hour to several hours. If you use the time-boxing method, you set aside 15 minutes in advance for this task.

Psychologists and scientists recommend planning time-boxes up to 45 minutes – this is the period of maximum concentration that our body is capable of. Then it needs a break for 5 – 10 minutes. If your task is more extensive, divide it into parts, so you’ll get through it faster.

Time-boxing can be of two kinds:

  • Hard – when you work strictly within the allotted time for the task. If you don’t make it, you put it off so you can complete it next time;
  • Soft – when you work on the task at hand within the allotted time, but if you don’t finish in time, you can add more time. It’s important not to add too much time so that it doesn’t decrease your productivity.

You can use this technique in its pure form or combine it with the time management techniques listed above.