Time Management: Top 10 tool’s cheat-sheet

Time management is a skill that transcends professional and personal realms. While many people and trainers recognize the importance of effective time management, only a few delve into the intricacies of different models and their applications. This cheat sheet is designed to equip all with a comprehensive understanding, allowing them to ACE their wokr-life / programs with a more researched and strategic approach.

Time Management

1. Eisenhower Matrix: Tailoring Priorities

It is a productivity, prioritization, and time-management framework designed to help prioritize a list of tasks or agenda items by categorizing them according to their urgency and importance.

Classroom/Virtual Session Activity:

  • Task Categorization Exercise: Provide participants with a mix of tasks related to their work area. Ask them to categorize each task using the Eisenhower Matrix. Discuss their choices and explore the impact of prioritization on training effectiveness.

2. Pomodoro Technique: Structuring your day

The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method that involves breaking work into 25-minute intervals. Each interval is called a pomodoro, which is the Italian word for tomato

Classroom/Virtual Session Activity:

  1. Give a task related to participant work area
  2. Set a timer for 25 minutes
  3. Create / Through distractions see how they work without distractions
  4. When the timer goes off, ask them to take a 5-minute break
  5. Repeat the process three more times
  6. After four consecutive work intervals, ask them to take a longer break of 15–30 minutes

3. Eat That Frog! (Brian Tracy): Set the tone for the day

Apply Brian Tracy’s “Eat That Frog!” is a task management technique through which people can solve their most important tasks of the day – Tackle challenging tasks early, creating a positive and proactive atmosphere.

Classroom/Virtual Session Activity:

  • Priority Icebreaker: Begin the session with a challenging but relevant task related to their work. This not only sets the tone for proactive engagement but also allows participants to experience the benefits of addressing difficult tasks early.

4. Time Blocking: Efficient Organization

A time management technique that involves dividing a period of time into smaller blocks for specific tasks. It’s a way to schedule out your entire day, including meals, work projects, and personal time.

Classroom/Virtual Session Activity:

  • Task Time Blocks: Assign specific time blocks to different tasks. This helps participants mentally organize the information and ensures a balanced work day.

5. Getting Things Done (GTD): Structured Workflow

It is a personal productivity methodology that redefines how you approach your life and work. “there is an inverse relationship between things on your mind and those things getting done”

Classroom/Virtual Session Activity:

  • Content Prioritization Workshop: Provide participants with their work related tasks and ask them to prioritize it based on GTD principles. Discuss their choices and explore strategies.
  • Steps 1 CAPTURE – Collect what has your attention – Write, record, or gather any and everything that has your attention into a collection tool.
  • Step 2 CLARIFY- Process what it means, Is it actionable? If so, decide the next action and project (if more than one action is required). If not, decide if it is trash, reference, or something to put on hold.
  • Step 3 ORGANIZE – Put it where it belongs, Park reminders of your categorized content in appropriate places.
  • Step 4 REFLECT, Review frequently – Update and review all pertinent system contents to regain control and focus.
  • STEP 5 ENGAGE, Simply do – Use your trusted system to make action decisions with confidence and clarity.

6. The 2-Minute Rule: Immediate Adjustments

It aims to banish procrastination and help people accomplish small tasks. Here’s what the rule says: if you can do an action in two minutes or less, tackle it at the moment — and don’t delay.

You’ll find that nearly anything can be scaled down into a two-minute version:

  • “Read before bed each night” becomes “Read one page.”
  • “Do thirty minutes of yoga” becomes “Take out my yoga mat.”
  • “Study for class” becomes “Open my notes.”
  • “Fold the laundry” becomes “Fold one pair of socks.”
  • “Run three miles” becomes “Tie my running shoes.”

Classroom/Virtual Session Activity:

  • Quick Reflection Breaks: Incorporate short reflection breaks during the session. Participants can apply the 2-Minute Rule to make immediate adjustments to their understanding or application.

7. Pareto Principle (80/20 Rule): Focusing on Impactful Tasks

80% of outcomes (or outputs) result from 20% of all causes (or inputs) for any given event. In business, a goal of the 80-20 rule is to identify inputs that are potentially the most productive and make them the priority.

Do More by Doing Less – 80/20 rule

Classroom/Virtual Session Activity:

  • Impactful Exercise Focus: Design exercises that represent the vital 20% of the participants daily work. Discuss the outcomes and emphasize the significance of prioritizing impactful activities.

8. Batch Processing: Streamlining Workflow

A productivity technique that involves grouping similar tasks together and completing them at once. This can help you get into a flow state and get more done in less time.

Classroom/Virtual Session Activity:

  • Themed Learning Blocks: Group related activities into themed blocks for example Payroll, End-of-month reconciliation, Backups, Filtering & Sorting

9. E.A.T Method: Enhancing Efficiency

Apply the EAT Method (Eliminate, Automate, Delegate) to enhance efficiency. Evaluate their work related tasks and streamline processes to create a more efficient and engaging environment.

Classroom/Virtual Session Activity:

  • Task Streamlining Workshop: Engage participants in identifying and streamlining their work related tasks using the EAT method. Discuss the impact of efficiency on the overall work day.

10. The Time-Blocking Grid: Balanced work-day Approach

A time-blocking grid is a tool that helps you divide your day into specific blocks of time for different tasks. Each block represents the time dedicated to completing a specific task or activity

Classroom/Virtual Session Activity:

  • Interactive Time-Blocking: Provide participants with a visual time-blocking grid. Ask them to allocate time for different work activities collaboratively. This fosters teamwork and illustrates the importance of balanced working day.

Why Trainers Must Master Different Time Management Models?

While many trainers understand the significance of time management, only a few recognize the transformative power of employing different models. Here’s why you should invest time in mastering these techniques:

  • Enhanced Efficiency: Different models cater to different aspects of time management. Mastering them allows you to choose the most effective approach for specific training scenarios, leading to enhanced efficiency.
  • Strategic Planning: Understanding diverse models equips you with a strategic mindset. You can plan your training sessions with precision, considering factors like urgency, importance, and impact.
  • Adaptability: Trainers often face unexpected challenges during sessions. Knowing various models provides you with a toolkit for adaptability, allowing you to adjust your strategies on the fly.
  • Professional Growth: In the competitive field of behavioural training, continuous improvement is key. Demonstrating mastery over various time management models sets you apart as a researched and strategic trainer, fostering professional growth.

Conclusion: As a behavioral trainer, mastering time management isn’t just about implementing techniques; it’s about understanding the nuances of different models and their strategic application. By incorporating these principles into your training style, you’ll not only elevate your programs but also present yourself as a more researched and strategic professional.


FAQs

  1. Q: Can these time management techniques be applied to one-on-one coaching sessions?
    • A: Absolutely! The principles discussed can be adapted to suit various training formats, including one-on-one sessions.
  2. Q: How can trainers ensure participants follow time management principles in their daily routines?
    • A: Integrate short time management exercises into your training sessions, encouraging participants to apply these principles in real-life scenarios.
  3. Q: Are there any specific tools or software recommended for behavioral trainers to implement these techniques?
    • A: While tools can enhance the process, many techniques can be implemented with basic tools such as timers, planners, and online resources.
  4. Q: How can trainers deal with unexpected disruptions during a training session?
    • A: Emphasize adaptability in your training approach. Have contingency plans and be prepared to adjust the session flow as needed.
  5. Q: Can these techniques be shared with participants to enhance their personal time management skills?
    • A: Absolutely! Consider conducting brief workshops or incorporating these principles into your training materials to empower participants with valuable time management skills.

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