Have you ever wondered why some people can work more effectively and efficiently than you?
A common mistake is to think that efficiency = zero distractions. However, the secret to completing tasks on time lies within the ability to prioritize them in a certain order. More often than not, we are inclined to try and beat the clock by working faster and not working on what is important and what needs to be done for the day. Instead, try identifying the right task to work on by classifying them. Creating a positive routine to make conscious decisions on how you spend your time is the actual solution to effective time management. In August Berg, our founder calls it Timefulness.
Classifying tasks are as easy as ABC and D (read on)! According to the Eisenhower principle, all activities can be divided into four distinct categories based on their importance and urgency. Once we have classified all the tasks according to these two criteria, we would know what to do first, what to delegate, and what to eliminate.
Tasks A are the most urgent and important. These are the things that will be at the top of the to-do list. Getting all the tasks done in this category as quickly as possible should be of the utmost priority. However, in the midst of getting the tasks done as quickly as possible, one should never deny the importance of doing them properly and effectively as well.
Tasks B are the important ones that have to be completed but not in an urgent time frame. One of the most common mistakes in time-management is that people tend to ignore Tasks B and instead do Tasks C. What is crucial here is to get the important tasks done before the urgent ones. There is no point in completing a task of least important first because the outcome will not matter as much as the important ones. These things might not be urgent, but they are essential. Thus, it is necessary to plan ahead for it and put them into the schedule as well.
Tasks C are not important but urgent. It might include things like sending emails, arranging appointments or making a call. These are all also important to a certain extent, but Tasks B always has priority over Task C. If we consider the long term effects of Task B, it quickly becomes apparent that they are of much higher value for your current goals in life. Reducing the number of tasks in this category will allow more time for the important stuff. If we can’t reduce them, make sure to delegate as many of these tasks as possible to other people.
Tasks D consists of activities that are neither important nor urgent. These tasks hold little value in our current life and should be avoided. However, it does not mean that these tasks will never be completed. It is just not needed at this point in time to go the extra mile for it.
“If you are NOT in control of your time, you are NOT in control of your results”
- Brian Moran
The key to time management is to see the value of every moment. It starts with the simple habits that each and every one of us can adapt to our hectic lives. Good time management will allow us to accomplish more in a shorter period of time, allowing us to take full advantage of other opportunities. Apart from good habits, you could also adopt some tools to help you increase your productivity, for example, a planner that reminds and classifies your task, a fashionable timepiece to help you time your progress or maybe even a stress ball to provide a quick relieve. Control your time, control your results.