What I do now? Should I focus on the most important or on the most urgent task? Usually, when we don’t know how to manage time we look after what demands an immediate answer – e.g. notifications on smartphone – and we tend to postpone more important tasks – e.g. interpreting reports. In order to be a good manager, you need to reverse the priorities: the important tasks must be done always first. And you can learn it now by practicing:
1. The Eisenhower Method
Former United States – and also Columbia University – president, General Dwight Eisenhower stated that the important is seldom urgent and the urgent, seldom important. What happens is that, at first glance, many tasks of our day to day seem equally important and urgent. But a closer look may reveal that many urgent tasks are not really important in the long term, and very important tasks such as improving methods, creating new products or services, enhancing skills, spending more time with family and expanding the relationships’ network often are not urgent. So, let’s consider the Eisenhower’s matrix:
IV: The Quadrant of Waste. Eliminate or reduce to a minimum of true leisure.
III: The Quadrant of Illusion. In some cases, say tactfully “no” and in others, just delegate. The uproar creates the illusion of importance, which may exist for other people, but not for you.
II: The Quadrant of Quality. Set a schedule for these activities. Reduce time spent on Quadrants III (urgent and unimportant tasks) and IV (non-urgent and unimportant tasks). Remember that failing here means transferring tasks to Quadrant I, of Stress.
I: The Quadrant of Stress. Solve it now. You may be overwhelmed because of a planning lack or a failure to anticipate hurdles.
2. Prioritize. Just prioritize.
It’s more likely that you take some time to meet a great friend than to invest in your great project, like writing a book, traveling or starting a sport. But now it’s time to treat your priorities with respect, by setting a time for your tasks and saying “no” to anything that might slow you down. There’s a myriad of distractions, so don’t be fooled, thinking “I’ll just do it here first, then I start that…” The question is: What’s the most important (and not urgent) task that I could be doing right now? The trick is to choose no more than three tasks per day and pursue them relentlessly – and this is how to manage time.
3. Chrome Extensions
After searching a lot, I have listed here the 7 extensions for Google Chrome the friendliest possible to you no longer ask how to manage time working on the Internet.
• StayFocusd: limits the time you can access some websites.
• Boomerang: schedules the sending of your e-mails to the date and hour you need.
• Send from Gmail: sends immediately an email with the website address and the subject already filled, you just have to enter the recipient.
• Pocket: saves your favorites pages to read later, in getpocket.com.
• Any.do: lists your reminders and may sync with your mobile (via app).
More than knowing the desired delivery date for a task, there are some softwares that allow you to view when each one will be delivered, based on the time you actually spent. Runrun.it allows it and a little more. Finishing what you started is much easier when you avoid interruptions. Whether you truly need to do it, pause a task to work on another. And never work on two tasks at the same time – the tool won’t let you. Work more organized, more focused and more relaxed. Try Runrun.it for free: http://runrun.it
Recommended for you:
- 8 very simple time management skills
- 6 tips for effective time management
- Do you have an efficient time management?