Time is a resource that cannot be bought. Regardless of what you do throughout the day, it will always have 24 hours. The time factor is always a challenge for those who have a full agenda and deal with many projects and activities every day. A very common fact for those who have a career and still need to take care of their home as well. Some people manage to organize themselves well and do everything they need, while others have more difficulty in the matter of time management.
Indisputably, everyone needs to know how to deal with it and plan it in their favor to account for day-to-day activities. To help in this challenge, there are some time management methods for organizing projects that you can easily apply to your routine. Here you’ll learn three of them, tried and tested, and you’ll be able to start handling your pending tasks more easily. For starters, get to know the Pomodoro technique.
Pomodoro Method: eliminates anxiety and saves time
Neuroscience explains many things about human behavior, motivation and productive potential. One of them, already proven, is that anxiety makes you clumsy. When you have a day with many commitments, it is normal to be anxious and with that alone you are wasting precious time, since you are reducing your efficiency. The same is true for long tasks that require many hours to be completed. The longer you are trapped, the more anxious you become and, therefore, the less efficient you are.
The Pomodoro Method works precisely on anxiety. It was created by Italian Francesco Cirillo in 1980 and is based on the use of frequent breaks to increase brain productivity and spend less time on each task. That’s how it works:
- List your tasks from the most urgent to the least urgent;
- Start with the task with a shorter timeframe and set a timer to wake up in 25 minutes;
- Follow the normal flow until the alarm sounds;
- Did it sound? Then, take a short pause, about 3 to 5 minutes;
- Go back to the task and set the timer for 25 minutes again;
- After four 25-minute cycles, that is, every hour of focused activity, take a longer break of at least 15 minutes.
According to Francesco, these pauses help reducing anxiety and 25 minutes is the time the brain manages to maintain its concentration without dispersing. After that, it needs to stop, get distracted and come back. Francesco believes it’s possible to maintain focus and be more productive in the 25 minutes of activity than if you spend an hour doing homework non-stop.
Kanban method: categorize to do more and better
In addition to helping to save time, the Kanban Method works to manage each stage of the project. It is widely used in large companies and is based on the division of the task into tables that define your status. This control can be done manually with the use of tables and post-its, for example, or by management software, such as Evernote and Wunderlist.
The methodology was created by the Japanese from Toyota, following the technique of Just In Time (JIT), which is based on increasing the efficiency of production, through the optimization of the demands control system, gaining more ability to solve tasks. An action only begins when another action necessarily linked to it ends. It is a chain reaction. To use it you must:
- Create an online or physical table with at least three divisions: to do, ongoing and finished. You can have other categorizations like “for approval” or “for adjustment”, it will depend on the dynamics of the project;
- Get post-its or create virtual cards with different marks to identify each task;
- Write the task on these cards or posts. Give a brief description of the activity, as well as your deadline and people involved in it (in case it’s not just your responsibility);
- Now organize tasks according to status.
It is important to keep in mind that projects with many tasks and people involved must have an exclusive Kanban for them, following the same logic of division by charts or tables. The methodology can be applied to teams or individually.
In software, for example, you can create tables for different teams, invite each member to register on the platform and make the division of tasks and indicate deadlines and responsibilities. Generally, it is more efficient to create this online control rather than physical, but many companies prefer to have the picture visible to all employees and they prefer using the update time to create interaction. Choose what works best in your reality.
GTD method: do not cumulate what can be done at that moment
The tasks seem endless. When you’re getting one done, another one comes along. The GTD methodology comes precisely from the Getting Things Done assumption, that is, to make it happen. In other words, don’t go accumulating and building up tasks. Solve them and you’re done. Its creator is the American consultant David Allen and his techniques can be applied to domestic or professional activities. See how to apply it:
- Specify the tasks you have in mind, transferring them to a paper or to an organizational system, such as Trello or Google Notes;
- Analyze activities and immediately do those that take less than two minutes, such as replying to an email, message, or sending a file;
- Define when and how you’re going to do each pending task and start doing them;
- Has a new request arrived? Place it in the row and review the list daily;
- Whenever a pending task of less than two minutes arrives, do it immediately;
- Try to record the time it takes for each task so you can organize your day better.
For David, when you do time management in this way you are reducing the feeling of burden on your shoulders and reducing the amount of accumulated pending activities. In this way, stress is reduced, focus is easier to keep, and you work with more clarity and control. The technique improves self-esteem, quality of life and increases productivity and performance.
Defining what is important and organizing it
Regardless of the methodology you will apply, it should be noted that everyone has the organization as a starting point. Choose the one that best fits your routine and use it to carry out time management, so you will have the opportunity to do new things and generate more control over your agenda. Organize yourself and see you later!