Time management is the process of planning and organizing your time. It is important in most aspects of life and takes true skill to master. However, time management can look differently for different types of people. For example, if you are a working mother, you may choose to manage your time differently than someone who is a college student. Similarly, if you consider yourself more of an analytical thinker, you may choose a different way to manage your time than someone who is a creative thinker.
The hard part is finding a method that works for you. Whether you are the CEO of a Fortune 500 company or a first-year college student, we could all use a little help managing our time. So which technique will work for you?
Here are some of the most popular time management techniques:
- Pareto analysis (aka the 80/20 rule): The idea that 20% of actions are responsible for 80% of outcomes.
- Pomodoro technique: This method uses a timer to break down your day into intervals.
- Eisenhower matrix: This technique encourages you to organize your time into four separate quadrants.
- Parkinson’s law: A law that says the amount of time you give yourself to complete a task, is the amount of time it will take you to finish it.
- Time blocking method: Coined by Elon Musk, this method has you assign each time block in your day a task.
- Getting things done (GTD) method: This process encourages you to record tasks on paper and break them down into actionable work items.
- Rapid planning method (RPM): This method works to train your brain to focus on a vision in order to make it a reality.
- Pickle jar theory: This method encourages you to set priorities for your day and plan tasks with time to spare.
- Eat that frog technique: This method teaches you to start your day by doing the least appealing task first.
Not every technique is going to work for every person. If you are someone who gets distracted easily, the Pomodoro technique might be the best bet for you. If you are someone who has a hard time prioritizing tasks on your plate, try the Eisenhower matrix. If you have a habit of leaving things until the last minute, try out Parkinson’s law.
If you need help deciding which method will work for you check out the infographic below for information on how they work and the types of people they work best for. There is also a flowchart to help you choose the best method for you.