As I have had a number of conversations about time management over the past couple of weeks, this seems to be a hot topic right now. In order to answer my own questions plus those being asked of me, I did some research so I could easily answer “what are 3 time management strategies”. Since the same strategy won’t necessarily work for everyone, having a backup or 2 is always helpful. Here’s what I learned:
Parkinson’s Law. While this may have originated as part of a humorous essay, it is well known as a time management technique. According to Parkinson, “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” For example, without a set deadline a task could take you over an hour to complete. However, if you set a deadline of 30 minutes, this task could be completed in that time. This is all about the power of focused work time where you eliminate the distractions and concentrate solely on a specific task.
Pareto Principle. This is known as the 80/20 rule. If you apply this to time management, you’ll want to spend your time on the 20% of tasks that will be responsible for 80% of the results. Assess your to-do list to determine the impact each task will have on your big picture goals. This limited list of tasks are the ones that should be at the top of your to-do list and where your efforts should be targeted.
Pomodoro Technique. The core principle behind this time management strategy is the idea that long hours spent working don’t result in equivalent levels of productivity. Scheduling your work in 25-minute chunks, each separated by a short break of 5 minutes is more effective. The breaks can enhance your focus and help to increase your energy. Identify your important tasks for the day, choose one and set your timer. Focus on this task until the timer goes off. Take a break and either resume working on the task or move onto the next one if you’re done.
So if you’re asked “what are 3 time management strategies”, you’ll be able to answer the question. Which strategy works best for you? Please reach out to share.