Time is of the essence to us here at Coffeebot and we use it to get things done. We don’t see time as a limiting factor, but rather as an opportunity to do more work with proper management.
We understand that if we maximize our use of time that would lead to more opportunities that doesn’t have to do with work at all, like spending more time with your family.
Time management can be perennial problem. Some people even have a hard time being punctual, much less in keeping an appointment.
We at Coffeebot understand that too well. And part of our desire in addressing the problem of task and time management is in using appropriate techniques for time usage, achieving more task in the process.
You can try out these techniques too for your task and time management. You can incorporate these techniques depending on the workload or the type of client you’re dealing with. The idea is to maximize the time you already have to get more work done.
Getting Things Done (GTD) Technique
From a book of the same name, Getting Things Done, author David Allen used his “To-Dos” in dealing with time management. Getting these tasks out of the way as quickly as possible as basis for organizing your time is a main purpose of GTD.
This technique uses priorities and the time required for a specific work while breaking down larger subjects into smaller parts for manageability.
Blogs, seminars and apps about GTD are readily available online.
The Pomodoro Technique
Francesco Cirillo started using the Pomodoro Technique in the early 90s. It uses the idea of doing frequent breaks to improve focus while working.
Pomodoro time management usually looks like this:
- You secure a timer and set it for 25 minutes
- After setting the timer, you can now start working
- Don’t stop working for 25 minutes
- After 25 minutes, you take a short break (5 minutes)
- Repeat steps 1-5, doing four Pomodoros
- After 4 Pomodoros, take a long break (15-30 minutes) to recharge
Pomodoro enables you focus more in a sustained manner and control deadline anxiety through every Pomodoro cycle.
Don’t Break the Chain
Don’t Break the Chain is often called Seinfeld’s Productivity Secret, a time technique developed by Adam Dachis.
Seinfeld’s Productivity Secret is easy to use:
- Chose a work you want to start doing
- Then work on it
- Repeat the same process by doing the same thing
- Mark it down for monitoring purposes
- These marks then will serve as motivation for you to keep going
Planning your days ahead is the purpose of doing ‘Break the Chain”, like creating a calendar of activities while determining workloads ahead of time.
The Action Method Technique
Action Method Technique is a brainchild of Behance, the methods and the software used in it. It has its similarities with GTD, but instead it uses “action-steps” as its own to-dos, separated as “references”.
Others take issue with Action Method because it crams work and cuts the idea of putting categories, but because of its bite-sized approach, users have a clearer view of their tasks.
This technique is flexible because it offers a variety of apps to expedite certain projects.
“Must, Should, Want”
Famous for his habit-building app, Jay Shirley, uses ‘must’, ‘should’, and ‘want’ as barometers for efficiency in work.
- I must (dealing with high-priority work that has immediate impact)
- I should (activities or tasks that has long term goals)
- I want (tasks that you really wanted to do)
Shirley says that this technique enables you to compartmentalize your workload according to short and long-term goals. It also prevents burn out because it lets you do tasks that you like doing as a start.
The “Biological Prime Time” Technique (BPT)
Sam Carpenter believes that an individual’s productivity is based on how a person’s body clocks work. This is what he had in mind when he developed “Biological Prime Time” (BPT).
BPT focuses on three main items, i.e., Productivity, Focus and Motivation.
- Rate each item (1-10), every hour or two
- Create a draft after a week so you can start scaling such trends
- Aligning specific items at high point will enable you to determine biological patterns in the graph
- Pinpointing “sweet spots” will allow you to make schedules out of it, only then you can proceed with your work
You can use any of these technique on its own or in combination of other time management techniques and tools to improve productivity. We use combinations of these techniques and adapt them depending on the task, project and client demands. And over time, we’ve explore more tools and techniques to make ourselves more productive and efficient.
The important thing to remember is to find the technique that best suits you. It took a lot of trial and error for us to figure out which techniques work best for us. But once you find the right mix, don’t be surprised if you find yourself doing more and doing things better, even with limited time.