There are several different methods of time management that can be used to increase productivity. Some of the most popular are the timeboxing, Pareto analysis, and POSEC methods. Each of these methods focuses on building habits that encourage better use of time.
Timeboxing is one of the most common methods of time management. It involves dividing large tasks into smaller, more manageable portions by strictly adhering to a specific time schedule. The individual must first decide on a set of tasks and determine the approximate time it would take to finish each one. Then a timer is set for the appropriate time period at the start of each task. At the end of the allotted time, the individual must stop, whether or not the task has been completed, and rest or engage in some other enjoyable activity.
With the timeboxing time method, each of the tasks to be done is approached one at a time in their designated time periods. If there are tasks remaining after one cycle through all of the tasks, the same process is started again. This tends to be one of the most rewarding methods of time management because periods for rest or some other reward are built into the structure, thus increasing motivation.
The Pareto analysis is also commonly referred to as the 80:20 rule. It was invented by an economist who suggested that 20 percent of causes creates 80 percent of problems. The first steps of the method include listing problems, finding the roots of those problems, and then grouping them by cause. Then the groups are rated by level of importance. The method is based on the belief that the group of problems with the highest level of importance will also typically be one of the smallest, or approximately 20 percent of the work load.
POSEC stands for prioritize by organizing, streamlining, economizing, and contributing. This is one of the most personal methods of time management. It operates under the belief that the things that affect individual security, such as money and personal issues, should be handled before other tasks.
The first step of POSEC is to identify goals and prioritize them from most to least important. The next step is for the individual to organize a schedule that ensures that daily personal goals are achieved. Next the individual must streamline the most unpleasant tasks, such as running errands, so that they take as little time as possible. The fourth step is to economize the least urgent pastimes, such as shopping for clothes or having lunch with friends. Finally, the individual will round out his or her time schedule by contributing to society through other important if not vital obligations.