There are several “Time Management” methods in the literature and explain in my lectures in deep. Today I want to share with you the foundations of time management which can be used easily every day. Personally, I use the Eisenhower matrix to prioritize my tasks in the day and decide if I really should do it or not. After the categorization, the Pomodoro technique is a useful tool to complete your tasks efficiently.
Let’s start with the basics, The Eisenhower Matrix. For each task, we decide if it is important and if it is urgent. So we will have 4 task groups. Let’s look at each one.
1. Important and Urgent:
Do it now, right now.
We have two distinct types of urgent and important activities:
Tasks we couldn’t foresee and the tasks left to last minute.
Avoid last-minute activities by planning ahead and avoiding procrastination.
However, there are issues, and crises cannot be foreseen or avoided. Then leave time to handle unexpected issues and unplanned important activities. If a major crisis arises, reschedule other events.
If you have too many urgent and important activities, then identify which could be foreseen and schedule activities ahead of time. So they don't become urgent.
2. Important but not Urgent:
Plan to do it.
Achieve personal and professional goals, and complete important work. Allocate enough time to do these things properly. Keep them on schedule and avoid stress becoming more urgent than necessary.
3. Urgent but not important:
These kinds of tasks, stop you from achieving your goals and prevent you from completing your work. Ask yourself: Can they be rescheduled, or can you delegate them? It is important to know to say “no” politely.
4. Not urgent and not important:
Avoid if possible, cancel and ignore. Say “no” politely.
One additional advice. Eat the frog first. There is no more disgusting thing than eating a fresh frog in the morning when you start your day. So do the most difficult tasks first. It will help you to create less stress during the day.
After you decide which tasks to do and which not. The Pomodoro method is good to use while completing your tasks. Especially important and attention needed ones. This technique is working with time, not against it.
25 minutes work, 5-minute break. After 4 cycles, give a 15-minute break. You need to eliminate all distractions and focus only on the task during 25-minute work. No emails, no phones, nothing. If an urgency occurs, then stop the timer and continue where you left.
If you work home office, here are some quick tips for you:
Seperate your work place. Do not try to work on sofa or in front of the tv. Make sure your family understand it is your working time even you are at home.
Create your routine and plan your day. Set your alarm, wake up on time and allocate breaks during the day. Do not wear suit but dress properly. Do not sit and work with pijamas.