8 Time Management Techniques to Improve the Way You Work

Li Ramos
Li Ramos
Published: May 10, 2022
Last updated: Nov 21, 2022
6 min read
Time Management Techniques

It can be tricky to apply time management in business but if done right, it can increase your productivity and efficiency.

There are a lot of time management techniques, so it’s a matter of finding the right one to keep you motivated and reduce your stress. Mastering the right techniques can also give you a better professional reputation, opening up opportunities in your career and other aspects of life.

Give your operations a boost when you find the most effective time management method for your business. Look into 8 time management techniques proven and used by experts and choose, combine, or adjust them to maximize your time.

1. Pomodoro Technique

Invented by entrepreneur Francesco Cirillo, the Pomodoro Technique makes use of a timer to break down work into more manageable intervals. The goal is to manage time effectively by focusing on the task at hand for a certain duration without burning out.

How it works:

  • Set a timer for a specific time (e.g. for 25 or 30 minutes).
  • Start working without any interruptions.
  • When the time is up, take a short break for about three to five minutes to relax.
  • Repeat the steps until work is done.

2. Time Blocking

One of the simplest time management techniques, time blocking splits your day into discrete periods of time, allowing you to focus on individual tasks within specific time limits.

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How it works:

  • Create a table with two columns.
  • On the left column, write down the hours of the day. Create blocks of time such as 30-minute or one-hour chunks.
  • On the right column, add the tasks you need to complete, fitting them into your time blocks.
  • Add buffer time in between the time blocks in case you need to make adjustments within the day.

3. Eat That Frog Technique

If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.

Mark Twain

Derived from a famous Mark Twain quote, this is an effective time management technique that prioritizes finishing the most onerous tasks first. Once they are done, you can finish smaller tasks quickly and easily, thereby making more effective use of your time in a day.

How it works:

  • Compile a list of things that need to be done to achieve your goal.
  • Organize these tasks in order of importance and difficulty. These will be your “frogs.”
  • Take on the biggest “frog” you have first and make your way to the smallest one.

4. Eisenhower Matrix

Named after its creator, US President Dwight Eisenhower, this time management technique is also called the urgent-important matrix. This is most suitable for time management in business. It sorts out tasks by urgency and importance to determine which you should work on or delegate to other people.

How it works:

  • Create a matrix and label it as such:

Eisenhower Matrix

  • Fill in each quadrant with tasks according to their classification.
  • Do the tasks according to their quadrant:
    • Quadrant 1 — tasks to be done right away
    • Quadrant 2 — tasks to be scheduled for later
    • Quadrant 3 — tasks to be delegated to others
    • Quadrant 4 — tasks to be eliminated

5. 80/20 Rule

The 80/20 Rule or Pareto Analysis was developed by economist Vilfredo Pareto, stating 20% of actions are responsible for 80% of results. When applied to time management in business, its concept centers around prioritizing tasks that are potentially the most productive at hitting goals.

How it works:

  • Make a list of the things that need to be done for the day.
  • Pick 20% of tasks that significantly drive your outcomes and prioritize them. For example, if you have 10 tasks to do for the day, choose two to focus more of your time and energy.
  • Eliminate or delegate the remaining 80% of tasks as it only brings 20% of your results.
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6. SMART Goals

SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. This time management technique defines the parameters of achieving your objectives within a certain time frame, as well as removes generalities and guesswork from your work. It also works as an approach to creating the best productivity system for your business.

How it works:

  • Specific — Narrow your goals so you can plan more effectively.
  • Measurable — Quantify your goals to make it easier to track work. This can be done using metrics, numbers, or smaller tasks that will show your progress.
  • Achievable — You should realistically be able to finish your goals with your available resources.
  • Relevant — Make sure that you align your goals with your values and long-term plans.
  • Time-Bound — Set a specific and reasonable time frame in which to finish your goals.

7. Getting Things Done (GTD) Method

The GTD Method is one of the most widely used and successful time management techniques suitable for those who struggle to focus on one thing at a time. It breaks down tasks into specific, manageable steps to make it easier to act upon and complete them

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How it works:

  • List down all the things you should do in a day.
  • Decide if each item should be done, set aside, eliminated, or delegated.
  • Organize the tasks according to their label and urgency.
  • Regularly review your list of actions to update and determine the next thing you should work on.
  • Engage in the actions that you can complete right away.

8. Glass Jar Theory

This visualization method helps set priorities for better time management. The jar represents the amount of time you have in a day, which gets occupied by rocks (representing important work), pebbles (urgent tasks), and sand (non-essential, trivial stuff). This concept allows you to plan your day based on what’s useful and what’s not.

How it works:

  • Visualize a glass jar and think about how you can fit the rocks, pebbles, and sand you have into it.
  • Start with the rocks and buffer them with pebbles. You can also sprinkle in some sand if time permits.
  • Make a list according to what you visualized and include a realistic time estimate.

Manage Your Time with Magic

Maximize time management techniques by adding Magic to your work process. We can find the right people for you to get things done. Get matched with a vetted virtual assistant within 72 hours and effortlessly integrate them into your operations.

Delegate tasks to a Magic Assistant so you can accomplish more in a day. They are on-demand, college-educated remote workers who can take on a roster of roles for your business:

  • General Virtual Assistant — They can help in your day-to-day administrative activities such as email and calendar management.
  • Bookkeeping Assistant — They can manage the basic accounting affairs of your business such as invoices, tax filing, and financial reports.
  • Sales Assistant — They can help build your sales process through cold calling, lead generation, data mining, lead qualification, etc.
  • Customer Support Assistant — They can assist customers by handling phone support, email support, chat support, escalation management, or customer retention strategies.

Got little to no time because of too many things to do? Reach out to us and we’ll help you hire a dedicated assistant to leverage business, especially for startups and small or mid-size enterprises (SMEs). Time is a valuable resource that’s why time management in business must be applied in any way possible to boost your productivity and efficiency.

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