We all want to be masters at time management and have the ability to crack down and get work done. There are a bunch of productivity methods that are popular with people all over the world to help you get more done.
The Pomodoro Technique
One of the most popular of these, the Pomodoro Technique involves writing a list of the things you need to get done and working on each task for 25 minutes. You focus completely on the task, shutting down your phone and any other distractions. After those 25 minutes, you take a five-minute break to answer any texts or get a drink and then start on the next task, repeating for two hours.
Now, this is a very effective technique for many people, but it isn’t perfect for everyone. If you’re trying this in the workplace, you can’t just ignore your boss or coworkers if they need you to do something crucial when you’re in the middle of your work cycle. Interruptions in the workplace can happen at any time. Also, if you’re working on a team, you’d all have to sync your Pomodoro cycles.
So what do you do if this technique doesn’t work for you? We have some suggestions.
The 1-3-5 Method
The 1-3-5 method is all about lists. You think up one big thing, three medium things and five small things you want to accomplish throughout your day. The timing of those things doesn’t matter, and you can choose to do them whenever you want.
One nice thing about this method is that the website gives you the checklist, leading to a sense of accomplishment when you see a task is checked off. To curb your urge to procrastinate or do something else, you can set the 1-3-5 site as your homepage, so it pops up every time you want to open a tab for Facebook.
Anything you don’t get done can go on the list for the next day. And if you aren’t feeling “in the zone,” you can start small, like sending out emails, and work your way up to your big project.
If you’re working on a team at your business, the Power Hour technique could work well for you. It’s similar to the Pomodoro, but it’s shared with all of your colleagues. You have one or two hours each day where you just sit down and work with no interruptions. If you have questions about the project, you write them down and wait until after to ask. Instead of random interruptions throughout the workday, questions are usually consolidated into the fifteen minutes before and after power hours.
Getting Things Done
Developed by productivity guru David Allen, Getting Things Done helps you manage both work and life in general. You capture everything that needs your attention, including every to-do, both personal and professional. It doesn’t matter how big or small the task is — make a note of it.
This method focuses on things that are actionable, so if they aren’t actionable, you get rid of them. If they are, you deduct how much time they’ll take. If it’s less than two minutes, you do it right away. If not, you organize it into a category, like phone calls to make, for example. You choose tasks based on how much time you have and how important they are, and then you do a weekly review to evaluate how much you got done.
There’s a book to go with this method to help get you organized, as well as courses and coaching services if you feel you need that extra boost.
Productivity methods aren’t universal. What works extremely well for some people doesn’t always work for others. Don’t feel discouraged if the Pomodoro Technique or other popular methods don’t work for you. Try these out and find something that does!
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