In a world brimming with time management techniques, how do you choose the best one for you?
There are five popular time management strategies we’re going to cover and share our ratings of in this article.
Our goal is that you finish reading this and decide on ONE (or two) of these strategies to start using this week. Remember, there is no perfect way to manage your time, only the right way that worst best for YOU!
Our Top 5 Time Management Strategies Ranked by Effectiveness
If you have the ability to not scroll down to the bottom of this article to find the winner, we are proud of you! 👏👏👏 We’ll count down from the fifth most effective time management tactic (for us!) and work our way to #1 on our list.
We both 👩🏻🦰👨🏻🦲 ranked each time management strategy on a scale of 1-10 and then we combined our scores to get the final ranking. Feel free to rank these time tactics for yourself OR identify five strategies you use and rank them.
The 5th most effective time management strategy: Eat the Frog Bug
The “Eat the Frog” technique advocates tackling the most challenging task early in the day to start with a sense of accomplishment. We are renaming it from “frog” to “bug” because frogs are cute and we shouldn’t eat them 🐸 and bugs are gross 🪳.
This time management strategy works well for people who have peak morning energy and self-discipline. However, it may not be effective for you if you use your morning energy for creative or enjoyable tasks.
That’s why Eat the Bug earns our lowest score of 14/20. Still effective! Just not the most effective.
4th most effective strategy: The 2-Minute Rule
From David Allen’s popular book, “Getting Things Done,” The 2-Minute Rule suggests tackling tasks that take two minutes or less immediately.
We’ve all felt the pile-up of all the tiny tasks in our days/weeks. Answering text messages, signing a PDF, taking out the trash, etc. David’s rule posits that if you just knock those small tasks out quickly they won’t take up precious mental space!
This strategy is great for staying on top of small tasks and preventing them from accumulating. However, it may disrupt deep-focus work which is why it also received a 14/20 score.
3rd most effective strategy: Time Tracking
Time tracking as a tactic is pretty obvious! It involves recording and analyzing how you spend your time to improve time estimation and identify the time wasters in your day.
This strategy helps you understand how long tasks take, making future planning more accurate. However, time tracking requires extra TIME to track your time diligently so it can feel cumbersome.
We put time tracking in 3rd place (15/20 score) because it is helpful to learn how long projects will take to complete so you can work smarter and more efficiently in the future.
2nd most effective strategy: Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro Technique involves breaking your work into focused 25-minute sessions followed by 5-minute breaks. There are other time increments you can use, but 25/5 was the one that Italian creator Francesco Cirillo popularized this technique with!
While some find it highly effective for maintaining focus and accountability, others may find the ticking timer a source of stress (that’s me, Jason 👨🏻🦲).
Admittedly, our ranking score shouldn’t have Pomodoro Technique in second place BUT… this time management tactic is SO HELPFUL for 👩🏻🦰 that we had to put it as #2 on the list. Even if I can’t use it at all 😂😂. Ranking score 9/10 (but skewed for actual effectiveness for Caroline!)
🏆 Our #1 most effective time management strategy: Time Blocking 🏆
Time blocking is the practice of allocating tasks to specific blocks on your calendar, accounting for the time you want to spend on each.
We also love time blocking because it helps in planning and visualizing your day, ensuring you allocate time for essential activities in your life BEFORE your work. This time management method is excellent for decision-making and protecting your non-negotiables.
We’ve been doing some version of time blocking for as long as we can remember and it continues to help us accomplish our goals while juggling multiple businesses and countless tasks! That is why this tactic earns a 22/10!
Time Management Tips Wrap-Up!
Just like so much of the advice in life and business, there is no one perfect time management tactic or strategy. We all work in different ways with different capacities.
Some people can work long hours, while some only have the ability to focus for short periods of time. Neither way of working is better as long as you find the right strategies to help you get the most amount done with the least amount of stress!
Find the right time management strategy that works for your brain and your circumstances. And if you aren’t sure which is best, experiment and find out 👍👍.