Many simple time management skills will totally change the way you live, work and have fun. You’ll go from a point of being starved for free time to enjoying abundant leisure to indulge in everything you want.
Among the simple time management skills that are most effective are learning how to turn down chores or delegate them intelligently, time your activities to get done efficiently, and focusing only on the most important tasks. Another skill you will benefit from mastering is to chunk your time into blocks.
How to chunk time into blocks for projects?
When you work on a particular task, you get into the ‘flow’ in a few minutes – and that’s broken when the rhythm is disturbed by an interruption. Several studies have shown that barely 30% of people return to the task they were doing if they were interrupted during it.
Worse, even if you manage to get back to it, the rhythm has been destroyed, making it harder to hit your stride and thereby wasting precious time. When you try and get back to the task, you’re starting all over again, and won’t reach the state of ‘flow’ for a few minutes (or hours).
The smart thing to do is ensure you are not disturbed or distracted when doing something important – for at least as long as it takes to complete the job.
Allotting chunks of time (their length depending on the nature of the work to be done) lets you enhance productivity while spending the least amount of time on the job. It is far better to spend 30 minutes undisturbed than 3 smaller time blocks of 10 minutes each on a project.
Coaches who teach simple time management skills talk about the concept of ‘protected time’ – time when everyone at home knows you should not be disturbed. That applies even to little children and only emergencies are allowed.
By clearly defining a block of time during which you will focus exclusively on a task, you increase the chance of completing it, get the work done most efficiently, and free up more time to concentrate on other jobs or have quality time to spend with family and friends.
Also, when you’re engaged upon a specific type of work, and have the tools, applications, material and people you require for it around, it makes the most sense to chunk together all related types of work so that you can optimally leverage available resources and get them all finished expediently.
One of the most simple time management skills is to work with lists. Make a list of the things you need to do and prioritize them by grouping them into 4 categories:
- A. Absolutely must be done.
- B. Needs to be done today
- C. Would be nice to get done
- D. Needs to be done at some point
You then do the things in the A column first, grouping them into common chunks and finishing them quickly. You then rework the list and do the things that now make their way into the A column and so on.
The list evolves over the course of a working day since things change over time, which is the reason you must re-prioritize it before chunking the tasks into blocks.
Time Management Tao teaches many such simple management skills rooted in the three tenets of knowing how to
- Find your center – know WHAT to do
- Understand your order – know HOW to do it
- Pick your timing – know WHO to use & WHEN
Greater detail about specific elements such as learning how to focus can be gleaned from the series of Ming Vase Time Management guides.
And to continue learning simple time management skills, sign up for our free email newsletter – the “Time Taozine”. Join by submitting the form below.