3 Time Management Techniques You Need to Master to Live Your Best Life

Novemeber 2nd, 2021– Ariadna Quiles

Sometimes, it feels like 24 hours a day is not enough to do everything we want or have to do. There are also times when we have so much on our plate that we do not know how to start or which task has the most importance. Read this blog post for useful techniques to improve your time management skills and make the best out of every day!

Own your Life!

It is no secret that managing your time well can help you catapult your life to a whole new level. Time efficient people can handle various projects simultaneously, go to work, do exercise, and still manage to get their full 7-8 hours of sleep while maintaining their social/family life in a healthy standard. How do they do it? It is very surprising (and sometimes intimidating) when there are people in life who cannot accomplish half of the things they proposed themselves to achieve in their to-do lists!
We have some news for you: time management is no superpower! It is actually the most valuable trait any person can learn. A lot of practice and commitment to your schedule will help you go a long way, as you will learn through this guide.
Let’s cut to the chase!

Firstly, Understand that Time Management needs to be planned.

This is the first mistake we tend to make when we have a lot on our plate: forgetting to plan how to start and execute. Similarly, people can get rushed with all of the work that is suddenly presented and skip this step. Time management techniques have to be applied after you have planned your day; if not, they will simply not work and you will see yourself wasting your (precious) time. Take at least 10 minutes every day to plan your day with the following techniques and you will see yourself saving at least 2 hours of usually wasted time. After planning your day, you will find yourself less stressed and more focused on your goals.
Here are our favorite ways to manage our time:

1. Time Blocking Technique

Marketed by Elon Musk and Bill Gates, this technique is made to help you plan out every last second of your day to make it more fruitful. This is one of the most popular strategies used by efficient time-managers to distribute their day as it can ramp up your productivity 80% more! This is a must-try technique for every upcoming time manager.
Steps to Succed:
  1. List all of the things you have to do during the day and estimate how long each one will take. 
  2. On a piece of paper, write down each hour of the day, from when you wake up to when you go to sleep, and divide them into hour segments or half an hour chunks.
  3. Fit all of your tasks into those time slots and distribute your day. 
  4. Add some buffer time while your body adjusts to your new tasks.
Some personally recommended tools you can use for Time Blocking are Google Calendar (this tutorial shows you how), DeWo, and Plan; all of which are free. 
To read more about Time Blocking and it’s different variations, you can follow this guide.

Eisenhower’s Technique (4Ds)

Dwight D. Eisenhower, American military officer and 34th president of the United States, created a method that has been adapted over time to categorize what tasks should be the center of attention at the moment, which will be the center of attention at a later moment, and which will never be.
Steps to Succed:
1. Make a list of all of your tasks and add two columns corresponding to “Importance” & “Urgent.” This will help you identify which tasks to tackle first.
  • Important tasks are those that have an effect on your goals.
  • Urgent tasks are in the need of your immediate attention. Consequences of not doing immediates tasks are seen at the moment.
2. Mark the tasks if they are important and/or urgent.
3. Make a matrix with four quadrants and distribute accordingly (like the picture we have above).
  • Do Tasks – Urgent and Important. There are two types of these: the ones you left for the last minute and the ones you did not foresee.
– For the tasks that fall under the first subcategory, this can be resolved through prior planning and avoiding procrastination.
– For the unpredicted tasks, always try to have some extra time in your schedule that is left free just in case unexpected issues arise during the day. If a major crisis occurs, opt for rescheduling any other task that does not fall in this category.
Either way, these are the tasks that need your attention and it is critical that you are part of them.
  • Delegate Tasks – Urgent but not Important
These are possible obstacles that impede you from your goal. These activities usually come in through people on your teams who will ask you for support. Here are some alternatives you can approach with:
– Reschedule with the person
– Delegate the task to someone else
– Respectfully say no; encourage them and guide them to solve their own issues.
  • Decide Tasks – Important, not urgent
These are tasks that help you achieve your personal or professional goals. If you are effectively managing your time, most of your tasks should be here. Let these tasks have generous slots of time so they do not become urgent.
  • Delete Tasks – Unimportant and not urgent.
These activities are distractions, do not do them. You can ignore these or cancel them politely and explain why you cannot do it.
4. Act on your planned distribution.

3. Eat That Frog Technique

Golden hours, biological prime times, productivity peaks, or however you call them– this method encourages you to use the time of the day in which you are the most aware and productive and use it to tackle the most difficult and important tasks you have to do, a.k.a. your frogs.
Steps to Succed:
  1. Write down your goals in detail. 
  2. Break down those goals into smaller tasks.
  3. Read all of the tasks you have to do and rank them in order of importance from A to E.
  4. Start with your A tasks (your frogs) and focus on one at a time.
To learn more on the Eat that Frog technique, read this article.
Fun fact #1: The creator of this method, Brian Tracy, wrote a great book on this method called Eat That Frog! 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time. You can get this book on Amazon.
Fun fact #2: This technique is often paired with the Pomodoro Technique.
With these great techniques in mind, here are two helpful tips to compliment your new efficient-time-manager lifestyle!

Avoid Multitasking

Multitasking is more often thought of as a strength than what it actually is: a bad habit. If you have it in your resume, erase it. According to Forbes, focusing on one thing at a time is more efficient than focusing on plenty. Moreover, it has been proven by neuroscience professionals that multitasking is prone to lower your performance, make you make more mistakes, and increase your stress levels to lower brain functionality.
To avoid multitasking, you can:
– Minimize your distractions (turn off your notifications, work in a quiet place, close unused tabs/apps, and focus).
– Do not be afraid to say no (respectfully).
– Keep your area clean!

Wake up Earlier

Sometimes tedious, but in the long run, very helpful. Think about it… If you tend to wake up at 7:00am and you decide to start your day at 5:00am, you will have 2 more hours of the day to do more tasks; which leads to 14 hours a week, up to 62 more hours (a little more than two full days and a half), and 728 hours a year (a month worth of work)!
In these additional hours you have, you can:
– Take more time to prioritize and plan your day
– Enjoy your breakfast in the tranquility of a quiet space
– Enjoy less commuting
– Do exercise
– Learn something new
The possibilities are limitless! However, one thing should always be clear: you have the full opportunity to completely seize the day! Additionally, there are great health benefits to waking up early.

Take out your calendar; time is ticking!

It is time to start practicing time management! Do you have other techniques that have worked for you? Feel free to share them in our comment section below.
If you or your teams are interested in help in time management seminars, techniques, or general mentorship, feel free to contact the PG team today.

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