By Vladimir Marchenko
- What is time management
- Where the time goes
- How to achieve more in 24 hours
- Easy ways to manage time
- More complex methods
- How to delegate correctly
- Why time management might not work
What is time management
Time management is a conscious control over the time spent on the performance of
certain actions, with an increase in the efficiency and productivity of the individual. Time
management teaches you how to rationally dispose of the available hours and minutes,
relieves of "time stealers", helps to appreciate every moment and sometimes even makes
At first glance, time management seems unnatural, because modern people have
surrounded themselves with gadgets that significantly speed up many processes. Cars,
planes, mobile communications, Internet, home delivery - all of this should have saved
time, but lack of time is still a big problem. The fact is that the speed of life, the
consumption of information, and the need to keep up with the others have grown in
Where the time goes
Sometimes it seems like the clock is running ahead of the curve in a marathon and is
invariably winning. However, time flows steadily, and the main mistake is that we use it
irrationally. For example, the most popular time “black holes” are:
- bad planning;
- lack of self-organization;
- distractions (social media, idle conversations, calls);
- taking on too many responsibilities;
- inability to say "no";
- negative thoughts and actions;
- lack of motivation.
How to achieve more in 24 hours
The basis of time management is a to-do list for the day. It (preferably with the time for
each task) allows you to plan your schedule more productively.
However detailed the lists may be, we are all limited to 24 hours a day. As a result, those
who want to get more done find an obvious, but not entirely correct solution. They reduce
their rest and sleep time to get things done. As a result, such people stay up late, go to
bed after midnight, but at the same time get up early and go to work drowsy. There they
again do not have time, leave late and fall into a vicious circle of eternal lack of sleep,
violations of circadian rhythms, tardiness and chronic fatigue. At the same time, they forget
that sleep is very important for rest, recovery, and maintenance of the brain functions.
It is great that at least a part of the daytime worries can be transferred to nighttime with no harm. For example, using the mental health app Hypnopedia. Its uniqueness lies in the
fact that it plays short motivational statements (affirmations) at the optimal moment of the user's sleep. At the same time, it does not awaken the user and does not require
conscious perception. The recordings are perceived at the subconscious level, and the effect persists even after waking up.
Try fo free:Ссылка App Store
Thus, the improvement of psychophysiological characteristics (productivity, motivation, etc.) occurs in generally “useless” sleep time, which takes up to 30% of life. Accordingly, during the day, the user can spend their free time on other activities.
Easy ways to manage time
The problem of planning and managing time is not new, and the founding fathers of the
United States and later political leaders tried to solve it. For example, politician and
philosopher Benjamin Franklin proposed a pyramidal structure for time management. It
should be based on one or two values in life (happy family, wealth, career). It is followed
by an add-on of four "plans" - global (reaching intermediate and important checkpoints -
finding a partner, initial capital accumulation, employment in a large company), long-term
(for 1, 3 or 5 years), short-term (for a week, month or quarter), daily planning.
The Eisenhower Matrix is suitable for daily planning. All your tasks can be divided into
- urgent and important;
- important and not urgent;
- not important and urgent;
- not important and not urgent.
With good planning, most of the tasks are in the “important but not urgent” column. Much
worse, if a person is usually busy with urgent and important matters, this indicates a lack
of planning, regular stress and irritability. Not important, but urgent matters can be
postponed or even abandoned altogether. Unimportant and non-urgent matters generally
belong either to the category of unplanned ones, or are useless pastime or rest.
The "Pomodoro technique" developed by F. Cirillo is considered the most simple and
beginner-friendly. It allows you to focus on completing a specific task with maximum
efficiency. The essence of the method lies in striking work for 25 minutes, without being
distracted by anything and performing it as quickly and correctly as possible. This is
followed by a five-minute rest, preferably with complete distraction from what is happening. After 3-4 such cycles, a longer rest follows (up to 30 minutes) and the cycle continues until the task is completed.
More complex methods
There are also methods that allow you to plan your time in more detail. For difficult or
incomprehensible tasks, they recommend the "Elephant eat technique". It suggests starting with simple, affordable steps that may prove inspirational for dealing with the big problem. For example, the global goal of “losing weight” should start with visiting a doctor, drafting a diet, establishing sleep and rest routine, exercising at home, and watching motivational videos. Thus, you seem to "eat off" many small pieces from a large "animal" and gradually "eat" it.
Productivity consultant Ivy Lee suggests his own version of time management, especially
relevant for those who "jump" from task to task. First, you need to make a list of six top
priorities for the day. Then prioritize them - the most important in the morning, move the
rest to the afternoon. This option is optimal if your productivity is high in the morning, that
is, you are a morning person. For the "night owls" it is more productive to postpone
important things after waking up, closer to lunchtime and further until evening. Then start
by completing the first and main task and in no case move on to others until it is
completed. After completing the main task, revise the list, perhaps priorities will change or
new related questions will appear. Continue execution strictly according to the list.
Blitz tips from B. Tracy boil down to simple rules, which are not always easy to follow. In
particular, he believes that those who manage their time better than others tend to achieve
- Speed and urgency are vital components of time management. The habit of doing
everything quickly, correctly and as soon as possible is considered one of the most
important for success.
- Avoiding procrastination. As you know, with procrastination there is a chronic desire to postpone everything "for later", even the most important matters. For more information on how to cope with it, read the article What causes procrastination and how to beat it without professional help?
- Make a to-do list for each day. According to some reports, keeping a diary increases
productivity by 25%.
- Keep the workplace in order. Both the working desk and the computer you are using must be kept clean. There should be no unnecessary and distracting objects on the table, and in the computer, files should be sorted into folders.
- Delegate. If you objectively do not have time to do something, this means that you need to transfer some of the powers and functions to other employees / family members.
How to delegate correctly
Powers should be delegated according to the specific rules. The effectiveness of the
results of the work will depend on that. Here are the basic principles of delegation of.
- The assigned business must correspond to the level of the executor. Usually, if a person is able to complete at least 70% of the assignment, he is likely to get the thing done even if the task is with elements of novelty.
- Shift authority gradually to build self-confidence in the subordinate. If necessary, shoot some tasks if he does not cope.
- Delegate the task in full, not in parts or individual orders. This develops a sense of responsibility for the result.
- Encourage criticism, discussion and suggestions. So the employee will be able to feel their significance not just as a performer, but as a full-fledged participant in the life of the company.
- Allow the performer to calmly complete the "mission". Do not change, transfer the task to someone else, and do not evaluate the intermediate result.
Why time management might not work
Time management should not be seen as a magic pill that can dramatically and reliably
improve the quality of life. Rather, it is one of the components in achieving new peaks and
positive changes, and not at all the main pattern. This explains the frustration that
sometimes overtakes those who have read a couple of small books and listened to a
lecture on time management and expect a quick result.
Sometimes high expectations, different approaches to time management for freelancers
and full-time employees hinder achieving noticeable results, and for representatives of
many professions the work schedule is completely irregular or depends on sudden
external events (doctors, rescue workers, news journalists, etc.).
In addition, time management is not a panacea for force majeure or irresponsibility of other people (partners, bosses). In fact, it can be compared to filling a "suitcase" (hours in a day). Someone puts in there a T-shirt, a jacket, sneakers, and a winter hat (all mixed up,
that is, trying to be ready for everything and keep up with everything). And someone fills
the time - "suitcase" only with the necessary - a business suit, tie, shoes, shirt and
Thus, time management is a part of an ongoing self-improvement process. It allows you to
focus on the most important tasks, distribute your powers and do it without compromising
your health. Time planning often includes exercising, eating well, sleeping and resting, and
with regular and prolonged use leads to a better quality of life.