- Getting Things Done
- The Pomodoro Technique
- Franklin Covey’s Focus.
The article concluded, unsurprisingly, that each technique had benefits and drawbacks.
More interesting though, was author Sue Shellenbarger’s insights from focusing on time-management techniques.
- An overlong to-do list was a set-up for failure
- To get more important stuff done, she did less of everything else
- Gaining control of her time through the day required a significant up-front investment of time and brainpower.
A Simple Approach to Time-Management
Sue’s insights are arguably more useful that any of the expensive time-management systems around. Just learning those systems alone can be time-costly and distracting.
Instead, you could try a simpler time-management approach based on Sue’s lessons:
- Each day, spend time identifying your top priorities and scheduling them into your day
- Each day, choose only your 3 to 5 most important items to put on your to-do list
- Release the notion that you can do everything, but relish the goal of doing the things that matter.
My Time-Management Process
As I mentioned in a comment on that article, for me the best ‘system’ is a combination of:
- Making lists – I do this to download stuff from my brain, remove distracting thoughts, and feel organized
- Following my natural motivation – doing what I feel drawn to, and excited to work on, but…
- Resisting the urge to do the easy, unnecessary and trivial – like email checking, busywork, etc.
I also use a productivity ritual for serious work.
When it comes to managing your time, what works or doesn’t work for you? Please share in the comments.