You know what they say, time is gold and indeed precious. And with today’s fast pace environment, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week is not enough in getting things done and finish all tasks. Think about it, we can’t work all day and night just because we need to. But then, we get ourselves sleep-deprived just so we can keep up with everyone; to get important things done; cater urgent activities; manage your small business; update your social media accounts, or to go on with your personal life. But one thing is for sure, we need time to sleep as well as keep our body well and fully-rested. Time might be limited but so is our life.
“Sometimes the biggest gain in productive energy will come from cleaning the cobwebs, dealing with old business, and clearing the desks—cutting loose debris that’s impeding forward motion.”
― David Allen, Ready for Anything: 52 Productivity Principles for Getting Things Done
We want to work effectively, or just plainly be an effective person making use of effective time. But then, it doesn’t mean we need to do a 2-3 hours task squeezing it into five minutes. We don’t have the ability to store and save time, literally. That will definitely mess you up and your goals. It’s about how we can simplify our work, and doing tasks better. If you ever heard of multi-tasking, it’s a very common thing to do to increase our productivity. We can definitely do one or more tasks, that’s a given. But it has to be done the right way.
Utilizing Time Management Techniques
Well, fret not. We are always being fed with time management tips and tricks. Thanks to the internet and the books, ofcourse. From time management skills, to time management techniques, to productivity tips. Everything else is easy peasy because they are always available to research. And to help you get through those important tasks, I have listed below a productivity improvement plan based on two techniques. This will help you on how to have an effective time management as well as to improve and increase productivity.
The Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro Technique is a philosophy of time management that is designed to provide you with maximum focus and creative freshness, which can allow you to complete projects quicker with less mental fatigue.
The process is relatively simple. For every project or task that you need to complete during the day, you budget your time into short increments, of 25 minutes, and incorporate periodic 5-minute breaks. After you’ve finished four periods of work with 15 minutes of break time, then you take a 15-20 minute break before starting back to work.
How to Use the Pomodoro Technique
Start by choosing one task that you want to focus on. Get yourself ready by grabbing a pen and paper and a timer. Set the timer for 25 minutes and start to work on your task. Once the 25 minutes have passed, jot down your end time and mark your first period complete. Next, set the timer for 5-minutes to carefully time your break. Once your break is over, set the time for another 25-minutes and start on your next tasks. Repeat this process four times and then enjoy a longer, 15 to 20-minute break.
If you want to be successful, you will need to remove all distractions before you get started. The purpose of the Pomodoro Technique is for you to focus on one task at a time without distractions that can kill your productivity. This is a must so as not to waste time but still being able to work on the important items in your list.
Have Everything You Need
To get the most out of this process, you need to ensure that you’ve gathered everything you need to complete the task for the day and place them somewhere close by. This allows you to be more effective during the process, eliminating the need for you to spend time looking for items you need to complete the task.
Don’t Skip the Breaks
For you to remain focused and remain productive, first thing’s first; you have to take the breaks. When the timer goes off, stop what you’re working on and take your 5-minute break. This will help you to clear your mind a bit and get it ready to focus on the next task.
Record Your Thoughts
No matter how focused you are, you will always have random thoughts pop into your head. Rather than allowing these thoughts to derail your process, just jot down your thought on a piece of paper and get back to the task at hand. At the end of the day, you can look at the list of thoughts and make a plan to tackle tasks the next day.
To successfully utilize the Pomodoro Technique and boost your productivity, it is essential that you stay focused on your task for the entire 25-minutes. The only way the technique will work is if you remain productive for the whole of the 25 minutes.
If you find it difficult to manage your time and get your tasks done during the day, you may need to start utilizing a time management technique known as time-boxing. Time-boxing requires you to allot chucks of time to each of your tasks. Once your allotted time for a task is up, then you need to move onto the next task. Here are four reasons why you need to utilize time-boxing if you want to become more productive.
To Prioritize Your Tasks More Effectively
If you have trouble prioritizing your tasks, then time-boxing is a technique you’ll want to utilize. Time-boxing forces you to decide how you will spend your time. Since your tasks are contained and can’t be done at the same time you have to choose which tasks have to be completed today versus tomorrow, or even in a week.
To Increase Your Focus
Part of being more productive is finding your focus. Time-boxing is a great way to increase your focus. When you permit yourself to work without interruption, great things can happen. Time-boxing allows you to settle into your work, approach a problem, hone your skills, practice your creative thinking, and get more done.
Know How Much Time You’ve Spent on Something
Have you ever wondered how much time it took you to respond to your emails, write a blog post for your company, or to shop for your mom’s birthday present? When you time-box your tasks, you not only create a finite set of tasks to accomplish within a specified period, but you also create a record of how you spent your time. This information can be beneficial if you need to enter detailed information into time sheets at work, or if you want to better manage your time in general.
Never Set a Deadline
Deadlines drive the very nature of time-boxing. You set a specific timeframe for completing a task or project as you go. If you have trouble setting deadlines for larger projects and tasks, you might want to start out small by time-boxing your daily tasks. This will give you more and more practice reaching your deadlines on a regular basis, eventually allowing you to translate this towards completing your more significant projects and tasks.
Learning how to utilize time-boxing to complete your tasks can help you significantly increase your productivity.
Time management techniques are key tools to help you increase productivity
There are a lot of time management techniques available for you to read on, and take it as a tool for productivity improvement. Being productive doesn’t start with the people around you. It will depend on you, and how you want to make yourself more productive. Remember, everyone is different. We may have the same hours, but we don’t always have the same tasks. So take it easy, breath and have breaks every now and then. Life is a continuous improvement. Working smarter is always better than working harder. Try and utilize these tools and follow appropriate processes to increasing productivity.