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Hi, to all the lovely people reading this. Time management is conducive to conditioning a productive lifestyle and achieving good results in tasks you undertake. Nowadays, many students and young adults are burdened with regular duties, which makes it highly difficult to devote time to hobbies and self-care, or rather, to devote time to any action other than schoolwork or work. Managing time efficiently is a necessity if you want to attain your aims.

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The main tip to ensuring that you manage time positively is not wasting time. Along with this basic tip, then follow corresponding aspects – dividing tasks into time periods, planning productively, not procrastinating etc. These are all highly important, but usually, a simple statement is not enough to go by – we need a guide that details that particular statement, and tells exactly how to follow it. And when detailing the given statement, we find that there are many ways to work on that tip – i.e, there are quite a few ways you can learn not to procrastinate, and in the same way, there are many ways you can plan more advantageously.

This dilemma has always been a bit confusing for me, both as a reader and as a writer, which is why I have compiled a list of proven techniques. Another confusion that arises when writing a guide is this - what if this tip is not helpful for my reader? Incidentally, these techniques have been curated and improved, and are efficacious for all those who follow them correctly and in a way that allows them to result positively.

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I sincerely hope these techniques are helpful to you. If you have any further questions about them, you can reach out to me.
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PART Ⅰ – PRIORITIZING GOALS :

When you have a lengthy to-do list of goals you need to complete, it can be a difficult task to decide what you will do first, and how you will do it. Prioritizing your goals is highly important for better productivity and work condition, along with better time management. Following techniques are commonly and effectually used for prioritization.

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ABCD ANALYSIS TECHNIQUE –

This technique is routinely used in business settings. I recommend using this technique as a starter, as it will allow you to divide your tasks in a way through which you can easily perceive the importance of each of them. The groups are divided as such –

  • A - Urgent and important tasks.
  • B - Not urgent but important tasks.
  • C - Urgent but unimportant tasks.
  • D - Not urgent and unimportant tasks.

This table will allow you to perceive the importance of each task and will allow you to divide them simply on the basis of time and productivity. For example, let me assume that I have a day to complete my ‘urgent tasks’ and a week to complete my ‘not urgent’ tasks. The best way to follow this technique would be such –

Group A should be efficiently done and should be completed before the day ends. Group B should be given time to and should be completed efficiently before the week comes to an end. Group C should be completed in a day’s time, but it is not important to ensure that its and group A’s quality is the same. Group D should be completed in a week’s time, but in the same way, it is fine if its and group B’s quality is not equal. The importance of the task defines its quality, its urgency defines its time period and the work quality that should be expected according to time period i.e group B’s quality should be significantly better than group A’s, and group D’s quality should be better than group C’s.

PARETO ANALYSIS TECHNIQUE –

The Pareto Analysis Technique is a defined form of study smart, not hard. The technique tells that 80% of the tasks can be completed in 20% of the disposable time and remaining 20% of the tasks will take up 80% of the time. Simply, 80% of the tasks can be completed in a short time if you work on them efficiently, and 20% of the tasks demand more time due to their importance.

If you study your to-do closely, you will find that most of your to do is comprised of easy, simple tasks that appear to be difficult because of their numbers, and can actually be completed quickly. You will also find that aside from these easy tasks, you have the more important and more time-consuming ones, which are more important and obviously, need more time to be completed. The Pareto Analysis technique states that the former half of tasks should be completed first and in less time, while the latter half should be completed later and in more time.

This technique can also be used as a productivity hack - 80% of the productivity can be achieved by doing 20% of the tasks. Similarly, 80% of results can be attributed to 20% of activity. To state, more productive work, which will result in more productivity, will go towards the 20%, while the 80%, which appears to be a lot of work, will be completed easily. Such tips should be used in completing tasks that aren’t time-consuming and also result in beneficial outcomes. This is also interrelated with urgency and importance.

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EISENHOWER’S PRIORITY MATRIX –

Eisenhower’s priority matrix also stems from the ‘important/unimportant’ and ‘urgent/not urgent’ concept. Dwight D. Eisenhower stated "I have two kinds of problems, the urgent and the important. The urgent is not important, and the important is never urgent." We all may not connect with this, but most life problems follow this routine.

Using this technique, tasks are evaluated and then placed in the Eisenhower Matrix. Tasks should be handled as -

  • Important/Urgent quadrant should be done immediately and personally e.g. crises, deadlines, problems. Important/Urgent quadrant should be done immediately and efficiently.
  • Important/Not Urgent quadrant should get an end date and should be done personally e.g. relationships, planning, recreation. Important/Not Urgent quadrant should be done very efficiently but with less urgency.
  • Unimportant/Urgent quadrant should be delegated e.g. interruptions, meetings, activities. Unimportant/Urgent quadrant should be done immediately, but the quality can differ and is not expected to be as well as the Important/Urgent quadrant.
  • Unimportant/Not Urgent quadrant should be dropped e.g. time wasters, pleasant activities, trivia. Unimportant/Not Urgent quadrant should be done with less urgency, and quality should be good enough, although is not expected to be same as the Important/Not Urgent quadrant.
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PART 2 – IMPLEMENTING GOALS –

When you have prioritized your goals, it is time to start working on them. But implementation of your goals can be a difficult task when you don't know which tips and techniques to use for a more worthwhile result. Following are some techniques that make working on your goals easier.

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POSEC TECHNIQUE –

POSEC stands for "Prioritize by Organizing, Streamlining, Economizing and Contributing". This method can be connected to Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs, as it falls into a routine of dictating a person’s responsibilities and daily tasks which must be completed to achieve a higher sense of productivity. We feel more secure when we have completed a set of tasks throughout the day, and this technique details how by completing your own goals, you can progress on to other connected goals and therefore reach that sense of security. The acronym is described as below –

  • 1 Prioritize your time and define your life by goals. Manage your time efficiently, and give needed time to tasks and goals, both regular and the ones in the long run.
  • 2 Organize things you have to accomplish regularly to be successful (family and finances). Divide and plan time you spend at school, work and home – also organize the time you give to finance and family tasks.
  • 3 Streamline things you may not like to do but must do (work and chores). Use efficient tips to wade through these routines, such tips that allow you to be fast and quick.
  • 4 Economize things you should do or may even like to do, but they're not pressingly urgent (pastimes and socializing). Give less time to social routines and hobbies, but arrive at more in the given time.
  • 5 Contribute by paying attention to the few remaining things that make a difference (social obligations). Participate in social movements and work for the betterment of all by contributing in a way which is easily possible for you, letting other people know and practicing what you preach.

TO-DO LIST TECHNIQUE –

A to-do list is something we all have adopted in our lives and advantaged by. Usually, we note our to-do lists on paper or notebooks, but now different apps and sites are also available. There are many ways to write a to-do list and many aspects connected with a to-do list, which is why there is no fixed rule or technique. The secret to writing the most effective to do list is writing it in a way that allows you to be most productive, thereby allowing the results to be highly positive.

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ABC PRIORITIZATION IN TO DO LIST –

The ABC method allows you to prioritize and manage the tasks in your to-do list. There are three groups – a, b, and c, and each group is labeled according to the tasks which will be put in it. The labeling depends upon the way you prefer to prioritize, but here is some inspiration –

  • "A" items are the most important, "B" next most important, "C" least important. This is prioritization on the basis of importance.
  • “A" tasks are to be done within a day, "B" a week, and "C" a month. This is prioritization on the basis of urgency.

OTHER TIPS –

  • In a daily to-do list, write the task with the most priority first, or assign it a number - ‘1.’ The rest of the tasks will follow in the same routine.
  • Mark the most unpleasant task to be done first in “A”. “B” and “C” will follow the same routine. This way, the unpleasant task which is appearing difficult is done first, and the rest of the list appears easier.
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THE GETTING THINGS DONE (GTD) TECHNIQUE –

This technique was created by David Allen. The technique tells how the small tasks will be completed first, and how the big task will be divided into smaller tasks to be completed after the completion of the small tasks. This allows the person to complete their work more constructively as numerous small tasks appear easier than a collective big task.

POMODORO TECHNIQUE –

By now, you all probably know about Pomodoro. The technique allocates time for work and break, in a way which has been accepted to be fruitful by all. The timer for this technique has now been adopted in many clocks, apps, and sites. The Pomodoro Technique describes a time period of 30 minutes, with 25 minutes for work, and 5 for break, and this collective time period is called a ‘Pomodoro’. After four Pomodoros you take a longer break of 15 to 30 minutes.

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_management
References are from Wikipedia.

I hope you have a lovely day and week.

Kisses,
Abby.
xoxo.

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This article was written by @gypsophiliet on the We Heart It Writers Team.