03.09.2018

Time management - techniques to save several hours a week

Why is skillful time management important?

The ability to manage time in everyone's life regardless of the stage they are at is very useful. It is mainly based on planning and improving one's productivity. This skill is important insofar as it allows us to be more organized and have more time for ourselves. This is especially true for Poles, as their average weekly working hours are among the longest in Europe. Moreover, Polish residents are among the least productive workers. You definitely need to work on efficiency, and that's where time management helps.

How to save a dozen hours a week?

The first step to saving a dozen hours a week is to set ongoing short-term goals (for a few months ahead) and long-term goals (for several years ahead). This type of action allows you to outline priorities and eliminate factors that reduce productivity.

There are many different methods, theories and techniques for time management. The following are those that are the simplest yet most useful.

  • Collection and analysis - consist of collecting all tasks and responsibilities on one list and sorting them from the most urgent to the least important. In addition, you should deal with one thing at a time and not put the unfinished ones on a previously prepared list (don't put them off). These tenets come from David Allen's Getting Things Done method and Francesco Cirillo's Pomodoro technique.
  • Time management and interruptions - When studying or working, it is essential to take breaks, even very short ones, so that the brain has time to rest. It's best to set yourself a stopwatch to keep track of time. According to the Pomodoro rule, there should be five-minute breaks after every 25 minutes of work and 20-minute breaks after every 2. This is just an assumption and each person should set the time frame to suit themselves. If you don't have time to complete the pre-set task, you should go back to it after the break.
  • Planning your time - The main goal of the Pareto principle is to achieve the greatest possible effect with the minimum amount of work, effort and resources. It is impossible to get the best result with the maximum amount of work, and a smaller part of the input often generates a larger part of the result. Examples include statements that 20% of work done yields 80% of results, or 20% of a company's products yields 80% of profits. However, it is recommended that you schedule about 60% of your time and allocate the rest to unplanned matters, tomorrow or simply to find time to relax.
  • Setting priorities - Dwight Eisenhower said: "what is important is rarely urgent, and what is urgent is rarely important." According to his methodology, it is a good idea to divide one's plans and activities according to a scheme: important and urgent matters, important and non-urgent matters, unimportant and urgent matters, and unimportant and non-urgent matters.
  • Controlling - Another method is to monitor activities. It is advisable to check whether our plans and assumptions are following the previously set course, in other words, monitoring the progress and implementation of the work.
  • Dosing energy to the amount of work - in some cases, time management will not work, for example, if you are dealing with the most demanding problems when you are very tired. This involves not wasting your most productive hours of the day on secondary and tertiary issues. The predawn hours are considered the energetic peak, where we can deal with the most intricate problems.
  • Avoiding distractions -. In the age of the Internet and social networks, it's hard to concentrate on anything. Incoming messages and notifications often disrupt the organization of work, so the basic task of any person who wants to gain more time is to cut off sources of communication for the duration of work. How can this be done? The answer is simple, only worse is the execution. Examples include, muting the phone and putting it away in a distant place or turning off the Internet so that nothing disturbs our concentration.

Applications

The techniques listed above are some of the simplest and most effective to save a few to several hours per week or month. They are also ways to improve your productivity and time management. Keep in mind that, according to Parkinson's Law, work takes as much time as a person is willing to spend on it.

Wojciech Kędzierski

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