There are many areas in our life that need to be managed – the space around us, our finances, our time. In defence of our sometimes messy environment, Albert Einstein comes with his: “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?” 🙂 But with the matters that remain, we have to deal with them ourselves.
What about time management?
There is not one golden rule, instead, we have a couple of models and some strategies. The theories are sometimes divergent – doing easy and tiny tasks immediately or creating some order and a special algorithm. Find time to relax or develop ourselves? Or develop ourselves while relaxing?
We have a lot of techniques to choose from:
– Backlog, to do, in progress, done – do these sound familiar? Yes, the good old fashioned kanban board
– Tracy’s Famous „Eat the frog” starting with the most difficult task, planning and avoiding procrastination
– Allen’s no less popular „Getting things done” acting immediately with 2-minute small tasks
– Time-boxing – structuring or maybe rather the restructuring of our day by placing duties in boxes
– Eisenhower Method – evaluating what is important and urgent/important but not urgent/not important but urgent/not important and not urgent
– The 4D system – deciding what to do/to delegate/to delay/to delete
– The 80/20 rule, also called the Pareto principle – stating that 80% of our results come from 20% of our activities
– Pomodoro techniques by F. Cirillo – taking 5 minute breaks after 25 minutes of work, plus a 20 minute break after 4 sessions and of course, there are many, many others.
What seems to be common in every strategy is the aim of keeping us focused, concentrated and making tasks clear and manageable.
There is lots of advice, recipes and tips. But it’s not about surviving, it’s about living every day, elaborating on the method we use to deal with daily duties. This will depend on our experience, knowledge, temperament and personality.
But don’t lose yourself in permanent prioritization, take a look at some interesting computer insights:
The most important thing in the time management process is to start.
Brendon Burchard, the author of „High-performance habits” wrote, „You and I both know that ‘one day’ really means ‘never’”.
Sometimes, we can fall into the trap of resignation and discouragement about how our time management can be effective by comparing it with others. She has a nanny, so she has more free time to manage, he has more connections, so he has more possibilities, they had rich parents so their lives are already well managed.
„Everybody has 24 hours in a day and the question is, what do you do with your 24 hours? That’s what makes everybody equal.” (Stedman Graham)