Last week we discussed 3 big-time management tools that might help you improve your productivity and use your time more effectively (also giving you more room for leisure activities).
This week we are going to talk about the next 3 big ideas and methods that will greatly improve your life and these are the Time Blocking method, the Getting Things Done method, and Eat that Frog technique.
1. Time Blocking
It’s supposedly the technique that Elon Musk uses (and Elon is the guy that works 80 hours every week, so – stay tuned).
How it works – from the moment you wake up, assign each time block in your day to a task. It might be everything – from taking shower, to eating breakfast, to studying for a test.
Get a piece of paper (if you are more into modern and technology tools, I strongly advise using Google Calendar for that purpose) – and on the left write hours, from waking up to going to sleep. Then for each task of the day assign hours in which you want to accomplish each of them.
Add some buffer times in between each time block, as you can never tell what can happen and this can help you to allow for adjustments during the day.
2. Getting Things Done (GTD)
This is the technique created by David Allen (writer of the book „Getting Things Done” – who would have thought). This process is created to help you by recording tasks on paper and dividing them into smaller and smaller actionable steps.
Our brain can create the worst things from the easiest ones – that’s just how our primal brain evolved, to keep us safe. But these times are long gone and it’s not useful nowadays. To help us work and do the job that we should be doing on a day-to-day basis David Allen proposed this method to trick our mind to work for us instead of against us.
1. Capture the actions that have your attention:
2. Clarify what they mean: Decide whether the tasks that have your attention are actionable or not
3. Organize your actions: Prioritize your list according to what you need to get done when.
4. Reflect: Review your list of actions frequently to determine your next priority. Cross off tasks you have accomplished and update your list.
3. Eat That Frog
This technique is named after a Mark Twain quote: “Eat a live frog the first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” Start your day by doing the most onerous tasks first and getting them out of the way.
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Set a goal for yourself. List the things you have to do to get to that goal. Prioritize this list from the most important to the least important tasks (be honest with yourself!).
Start with either the most important or the most „froggy” (difficult) task, that you really do not want to do.
By doing one of these just after you wake up, you will automatically boost your self-esteem, create momentum and have a sense of accomplishment for that day.