The Best Time Management Techniques in 2023

Best time management techniques

While some of us might have the natural ability to plan and be productive, it’s not the case for everyone. That’s where time management techniques get into action.

Time management techniques consist of rules to be more productive and efficient. If this looks like something you may need, keep reading this article!

Discover the best time management techniques and how each of them works.

The 13 best time management techniques you should try

1.  Pareto Principle (80/20 Rule)

There are a lot of uses to this rule. In this case, we’re talking about one of the best time management techniques.

The Italian economist and sociologist Vilfredo Federico Pareto created this principle.

The rule states that, in many of our life events, 80% of the effects come from 20% of causes. For example, 80% of sales can come from 20% of clients.

How can we apply this to time management? The Pareto technique can help us rank the tasks we should be spending most of our time on.

Pomodoro - Best time management technique

2.  Pomodoro Technique

The Italian engineering student Francesco Cirillo developed the Pomodoro technique. This method consists of working/studying for 25 minutes and taking 5-minute breaks.

A small curiosity: ”Pomodoro” in Italian means tomato. Cirillo was timing his study sessions with a kitchen timer that had the shape of a tomato. That’s where the method’s name comes from.

After four rounds of the 25-minute work periods, take a 15-30 minute break. Then, start all over again.
Along with this line of work, there are three essential rules to follow:

  • Break down complex tasks: if a task needs more than four Pomodoros, divide it into smaller steps.
  • Break down complex tasks: if a task needs more than four Pomodoros, divide it into smaller steps.
  • Break down complex tasks: if a task needs more than four Pomodoros, divide it into smaller steps.

Nowadays, you can apply the Pomodoro technique to any type of work that requires focus time. It’s easy you just need a Pomodoro app and it’ll be very easy.

3.  Time Blocking

Time blocking is one of the most popular and best time management methods. For example, Bill Gates and the CEO of Tesla use Elon Musk’s 5-minute time blocking method.

It consists of dividing the day into smaller blocks of time. During each block of time, you should focus on a specific task or a group of similar tasks. This method is also called time batching.

When you divide your day into blocks, you have a solid reason to be productive and protect your focus time. With the time blocking technique, you avoid the urge to add extra tasks to your to-do list for the day.

If you want to know everything about this method, read our time-blocking guide.

To download Elon Musk’s 5-minute rule template, fill in the form below and then copy the Sheet to your personal Google Drive.

There is another method similar to Time Blocking. But, they have some differences. Get to know what timeboxing is and how it works

4  Task Batching

You can put in place time batching with the time blocking technique.

For example, if you need to answer, delete, and organize emails, you can combine them and get them all done at once.

This technique will help you save time and organize your daily tasks. You can also combine Task Matching with Pomodoro and time-blocking techniques.

Time management technique - 4 quadrants of Stephen Covey

5.  Eisenhower Matrix

The Eisenhower Matrix is a great method to help you rank your tasks.

This technique is a simple tool to decipher the outcomes of your tasks. You will focus on what will make you more effective and productive.

All your tasks, big or small, will fall into one of four quadrants:

  • Urgent & Important tasks: projects to be completed ASAP.
  • Not Urgent & Important tasks: projects to be scheduled.
  • Urgent & Unimportant tasks: projects to be delegated.
  • Not Urgent & Unimportant tasks: projects to be deleted.

This technique will help you think about what matters to you, not only in your work but in your life. As a result, you’ll be able to prioritize tasks and organize your day in an easier way.

Read also: Best scheduling apps for a small business in 2022.

6.  Day Theming

Do you know why Day Theming is one of the best time management methods you can use?

This time management technique is a more advanced version of task batching. It has the same principle of combining similar tasks, but you devote an entire day to those similar tasks.

It’s used by people who handle more complex tasks, like entrepreneurs and business owners.
Elon Musk, for example, is a fan of the day-theming technique.

7.  1-3-5 Rule

Do you love to-do lists? If the answer is yes, this can be one of the best time management techniques to implement in your life.

This technique shows that you can’t do everything in just one day. Instead, you’ll focus on nine things: 1 big thing, three medium things, and five small things.

This will help you prioritize what is essential and what you need to do that day. It can be used in your work tasks and daily life.

8.  POSEC Method

POSEC stands for “Prioritizing by Organizing, Streamlining, Economizing and Contributing,” and some say it’s based on the theory of Abraham Maslow regarding the “hierarchy of needs.”

According to this method, you’ll start by prioritizing, from most to most minor important tasks. Then, it would help to organize yourself around the priorities you previously defined.

Streamlining refers to the tasks you don’t like to do but must do to live correctly. Economizing is about what you want to do, and Contributing is about your social obligations and what you give back to the world.

9.  Seinfeld Strategy

Jerry Seinfeld is one of the most successful comedians of all time. According to Forbes magazine, Seinfeld reached his peak in earnings in 1998, when he made 267 million dollars. And how did he manage to do that? Consistency.

Brad Isaac, a young comedian, had the opportunity to talk to Seinfeld about his success. According to Brad, Seinfeld believed that to write better jokes; he had to work on them every day, not only when he felt inspired or motivated.

He kept a wall calendar, where he would mark with a red X the days he worked on his jokes. He says, “after a few days, you’ll have a chain. Just keep at it, and the chain will grow longer daily.”

In conclusion, the Seinfeld strategy consists of creating a chain of daily tasks, whether or not you feel inspired to work on them. By consistently doing them, you will make a habit and avoid procrastination.

10.   Getting Things Done Method (GTD)

David Allen created this time management technique. The method says that the more information you have bouncing in your head, the harder it gets to decide what needs your attention.

To organize ideas and get things done, you need to follow five simple steps:

  • Capture Everything: Big or small, capture anything that crosses your mind.
  • Clarify: Think about what you’ve captured in clear and concrete steps.
  • Organize: Put everything into the right place. Add dates to your calendar, delegate projects to other people, and sort your tasks.
  • Review: Revise and update your lists.
  • Engage: Work on the important stuff.

Read also: How to delegate tasks.

11.   Rapid Planning Method (RPM)

Tony Robbins developed this method. Those are the steps to apply the RPM technique:

  • Start by thinking about what you want to accomplish. This can be a big project or just a small task in your daily life.
  • Next, think about why you are doing it and your purpose. Tony Robbins suggests using trigger words in this step to empower your reasoning as to why you do what you’re doing.
  • Now, you can start creating your plan. Brainstorm ideas, projects, and tasks to help you achieve your goal. Once your plan is defined, you need to act and work towards your goals.

Even though the RPM technique is more appropriate for big projects and goals, you can still use the mindset in your day-to-day life.

12.   Eat The Frog Technique

This time management method consists of tackling your most important task of the day first. The technique goes against our usual course of action as humans.

Most people tend to deal with small tasks to get them out of the way. However, this can hurt your productivity, as you’ll manage to procrastinate on doing the big tasks.

The best way to implement the Eat the Frog Technique is to create a list of priorities. Start with the biggest priority or most important thing. This will create a feeling of accomplishment, motivating you to handle the rest of your to-do list, which now consists of the most straightforward tasks.

This technique is one of the best ways to overcome procrastination.

13.   Pickle Jar Theory

This visual representation can help you understand how you can better manage your time in a day.

Imagine a pickle jar is your day: 24 hours, not more, not less. The pot has always been the same size. However, the order in which you fill counts.

Your daily tasks are represented by sand, rock, and pebbles:

  • Sand: small tasks.
  • Pebble: tasks with average importance.
  • Rocks: big and important tasks.

Imagine that you fill your jar in the following order: sand, pebbles, and rocks. By doing this, you are filling your day with all the unimportant and average tasks first. Once you try to put the stones and the essential tasks, you’ll see that you have almost no space left. This means you have no time left.

Now, let’s take another approach. You begin with the big rocks. Because of their size, you’ll quickly fill the jar. However, you still have space for pebbles and sand. Next, you put the stones inside. They fill some of the areas left but still leave room for the sand. So finally, you put the sand.

The jar contains all the tasks you had planned for the day. However, the big difference between this approach and the first one is that you have enough time in your day for all tasks, from the least to the most important ones.

Even though this is not a technique per se, it can help you prioritize the tasks in your daily life. If you spend your days with small and unimportant tasks, you won’t have enough time for the important ones. However, if you learn how to prioritize, you’ll have enough time to do everything you want.

Which one is the best time management technique?

This is a question with no simple answer. Each person has different needs, personality traits, jobs, and lives, in general. So, the best time management technique will be the one that works best for you.

Now that you know some of the best time management methods, you can begin to try them and find out what works best for you. Get a better handle on your time and start changing your life today!

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