Popular Time Management Rules

At least some of us must be somewhat busy these days. Right? There are lots of tasks to be done, people to see, e-mails to see, phone calls to answer, etc…  From start of our day to the end, it is quite overwhelming and we need some time management techniques to overcome this stressing situation. However, before discussing those time management techniques (like timeboxing, 50-30-20 method), we must know the 4 basic rules of time management.

time management rules

Pareto’s Principle – 80% of the outcomes result from 20% of the causes

In 1906, Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto produced a mathematical formula to explain the unequal distribution of wealth within the US, watching that 20 % of people possessed eighty percent within the wealth. Around 1940’s, Dr. Ernest M. Juran inaccurately credited the 80/20 Rule to Pareto, calling it Pareto’s Principle. Even though it might be misnamed, Pareto’s Principle or Pareto’s Law as it is generally referred to as as, might be an very effective tool that will assist you manage effectively.

From a time management point of view, this rule claims that typically 80% of unfocussed effort generates only 20% of results. The remaining 80% of results are achieved with only 20% of the effort. Although the ratio is not always 80 to 20, this broad pattern of a small proportion of activity generating non-scalar returns recurs so frequently as to be the norm in many areas.

By applying the time management tips and skills in this section you can optimize your effort to ensure that you concentrate as much of your time and energy as possible on the high payoff tasks. This ensures that you achieve the greatest benefit possible with the limited amount of time available to you.

Drucker’s Declaration – Do first things first and second things not at all

The power of this incredibly simple technique is doing the “To Do” list at the end of your day. Assess the priorities for the next day and put them on your list. Otherwise, you will be reacting to urgent issues that are bound to pop up during the day, instead of dealing with the important ones you already decided upon.

Doing this “To Do” list will result in doing the 20% that counts the most.

Parkinson’s Law – Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion

While sometimes I suffer from the problem of the task expanding to fill the allotted time (aka Parkinson’s Law), I often find that it’s worth the risk. For example, when I do optimization work on my web site, I’ll frequently think of new optimization ideas while I work, and I’ll usually go ahead and implement those new ideas immediately. I find it more efficient to act on those ideas at the moment of conception instead of scheduling them to be done at a later time.

First completion, than perfection – Done is better than perfect

Many are plagued with perfectionism. Some wear it like a badge of honor. Nevertheless, perfectionism is another delay tactic. Perfection is reserved for a Deity. We mere mortals will have to settle for excellence. And even excellence takes time. You won’t get it right the first time or maybe the first ten times. All you can do is your best with the information you have available, finish it and leave it open for revision when you get better information.

Source: Four time management rules

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