Managing your time can be a little complicated, especially when you have many personal and work projects on the go. Using time management tools then becomes necessary to balance your work and family life.
The Pomodoro management technique
Invented in Italy in the 1980s, the Pomodoro way involves focusing intensely and without any distractions on one task for 25 minutes. Put your smartphone on airplane mode, or better still, keep it away from you so you’re not tempted to check social networks every minute. Once this time is up, take a 5-10 minute break. Stand up, drink your favourite beverage, do some stretching or close your eyes and listen to some music. After the break, go back to work for 25 minutes and then take another break and so on. Repeat this process four times before taking a ‘big’ break of 20-30 minutes. The Pomodoro management tool works for all people, as the human brain’s concentration (and therefore productivity) times are respected, spaced out by frequent rests. Indeed, staying on an activity for too long reduces the brain’s ability to concentrate.
Eisenhower matrix with mind mapping
This technique was first used by Dwight D. Eisenhower, the former American president, and his cabinet and is widely used today by company managers. Simple, logical and clear, it is based on a four-quadrant model that describes distinct levels of urgency and importance: treat urgent and important activities as a priority; plan less urgent and important activities; delegate urgent and less important activities; set aside or cancel activities that are neither urgent nor important.
You can make the most of the Eisenhower matrix by using a mind mapping tool as a complement. It consists of a mind map that is divided into several branches and sub-branches and works like an idea tree that enables you to list and identify urgent and important tasks. You can draw a mind map on paper or use a software solution on the Internet.
The to-do list management technique
The list of activities to be carried out, commonly called to-do list remains the best known and most used method in the world. Its main principle is to list the activities to be carried out according to the priorities you have defined. Use a notebook or diary to keep track of this list.