Do you wish you had Hermione’s Time-Turner to complete all the tasks that you need to do? Well, even a smart student like Hermione needed a time turner to attend all her classes and complete all her homework work. Then what can muggles like us do? What we need is good time management techniques.
Table of Contents
A lot of research and have curated the most effective and scientifically proven 8 time management methods, including Elon Musk’s time management technique. Let’s begin with this technique:
1. Eisenhower Matrix:
What is the key to time management? Dividing time between important and urgent things. Now take a piece of paper. Divide it into four quadrants along the important urgent axis.
Important and urgent: An assignment which is due today. Do it now.
Not Important but urgent: Your mother tells you to buy bread from the shop, delegate it to your sibling.
Important but not urgent: Doing yoga or studying for a test next week. Schedule a time for it now.
Not important & Not Urgent: Like watching Netflix, Delete the Netflix application or watch Netflix when you have spare time.
Put all your tasks for the day in these four categories and you will realize what is actually important in your life. Eisenhower Matrix works well for people who have tough decisions to make and those that are critical thinkers.
2. Time Boxing:
This is Elon Musk’s favorite technique to manage his hectic 90 hours work week. So what is timeboxing? It’s easy. We just need to divide a full day of 24 hours into blocks or boxes of time and fill in the activities we are going to do in that time. The first task is to estimate how much time we are going to need for each activity.
So let’s say we have to revise the chapter in biology for 1 hour. solve math paper, 3 hours. exercise, maybe 1 hour. When we estimate how much time you’re going to need for each task, we need to keep a little cushion of extra time because there are always some unexpected interruptions like your doggo wants to come and play with you or your mother is calling you. These are certainly going to take away a few minutes.
Now, once you have all the tasks for the day and the time needed to do them, fit them into your day. This is when you realize that 24 hours is a large amount of time and we can achieve quite a lot. So let’s say
- Biology revision from 7 to 8 a.m.
- Then 8 to 8.30 a.m. is breakfast.
- 8.30 to eleven is solving your math paper.
And it’s very important to categorize every hour of your day. So even if you want to dedicate some time to social media, catch up, box that into, say, 11.30 to 12 noon. This will ensure that you use your phone only at that time because you already have the next task waiting for you at 12 noon, which is taking a bath. And I hope you’re all taking a bath daily in the winter. Here are two pieces of advice for time boxing.
Do not over-schedule your day:
Make sure you’re allocating time for friends and family. Even Elon Musk has the time to play with his five children four days a week. And tip number two, if possible,
Timebox for the next day in advance:
The best way is to write down your schedule in a diary before you go to bed the previous night. This way, you’re not going to waste time the next morning, and you might just sleep well because everything’s off your head. Timeboxing works well for students and analytical thinkers.
3. Pomodoro Technique:
Author and entrepreneur Francesco Cirillo did not have Hermione’s Time Turner, but he had something cooler, a tomato-shaped stopwatch. Now, Pomodoro, which actually means tomato in Italian, gave the name to this super-efficient time management technique. Chirillo used it when he was a student, and in fact, many Harvard and Stanford students still stand by it. We can try it for ourselves.
Let’s say you have to learn the chapter on World War 1 in history. Set a timer of 25 minutes to do it. When the timer rings, stop studying, take a five-minute break, come back, sit for another 25 minutes and take a break again. Each 25 minutes slot is called a Pomodoro, and after four such sessions, take a long break of half an hour. This technique is great.
If you feel overwhelmed by large amounts of work, how will you learn the whole chapter? Don’t worry, just focus on the first 25 minutes and the next everything will follow. I would suggest using a physical stopwatch if you have one. It’ll keep you away from the phone and the Tring of the watch will give you a boost of serotonin.
4. Parkinson’s Law:
British historian Cyril Northcote Parkinson became famous for the phrase work expands or shrinks to fill the time available. What he meant was that if you have a submission tomorrow, you’re going to finish the essay tonight. But if the same submission date gets extended to next week, then we will take the full week to finish the same essay. Isn’t that true? Parkinson’s law is a good one if you’re one of those who perform well under pressure. So all you need to do is set a target for yourself.
You have to finish typing your essay on your laptop before the battery dies out. Work on your laptop without your charger. You have to read an English chapter before your favorite TV show comes on at 07:00 p.m. Set a time limit and hustle to complete it. Time Management Technique number five just does it.
5. Just Do It:
The developers of Linux found that their systems were taking more time categorizing emails than actually reading them. So if you’re one of those who find making schedules too confusing and you feel it drains the energy out of you, then just push yourself to start a task for five minutes. No more than that. Instagram founder Kevin Systrom uses this trick. Sometimes we don’t do a task because it seems too big or too scary, but we have to do it.
Suppose just for five minutes. It doesn’t seem intimidating at all. It also activates something called the Zeigarnik Effect. Half began tasks keep popping in your brain and chances are you’re going to continue doing it till you make some progress. You can use this technique for instance, if you have a huge assignment to do and you need to do a lot of research on it, then just start preparing the word document, think of a title, write the content list, etc. Once you begin, it will become much easier to continue doing the task.
6. Eat that frog in the morning:
Mark Twain said, if it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest ones first. No, you don’t really have to eat frogs. What he’s telling us to do is to start with the toughest task in the morning and get it out of the way.
Let’s say you have a math test next week and you don’t like math at all, then that is the first thing you should do every morning. Wake up, study one exercise of integration. The toughest part of the day is done. Next morning wakeup and solve a few more sums of integration. Once the toughest piece of work is done in the morning you feel charged up and continue the rest of the day with positive energy.
You will ask why should I wake up early and study something which I don’t even like. You will get rewards for it. For that activity set yourself with some rewards like I will watch one episode of Netflix when I complete one chapter of geography. You can also turn your destruction into rewards.
Let all the notifications collect and then you can use your phone for 15 minutes after finishing studying your first 25 minutes. Hardware engineers called this interrupt coalescing. Make your interruptions come together as a bunch and then you can see all your messages and watch all your episodes guilt-free later.
8. Learn to say No:
The trouble is we want to be everywhere. We want to be there at a party, want to watch new movies, sleep for 10 hours but like Hermione, we would need to pick up the things that are good for us. Learning to say no to things that will only distract you will take you a long way. Even Hermione realizes that she can’t be everywhere at the same time so find the people who motivate you and keep them close. Focus on activities that help you grow and you will see the magic soon.