Let me clarify that there aren’t any miraculous magic tools which work for everyone and resolve all of your problems like a magic wand. If you don’t know your priorities, every time management tool will fail. I collected here my favourite methods with a brief explanation. However, before trying out any of these, please go through firstly the basic time management principles to see how to plan your agenda.

1, ABCDE to do list

What’s that?

Collect all of your tasks and categorize them according to the priority. Write A to all of the tasks that has the highest priority, B to the second highest and so on. You may have only 3 priorities: A B and C as you wish. Once you are ready, start with the A tasks and than continue in alphabetical order.

ABCD angol 2

When should you use it?

Whenever you have more than one tasks, it is really useful to see them on the paper. Inserting also the priorities makes it a very effective tool.

Some more tips

It takes time to write the to do list and when you start doing your task, you may forget about the list. Review your tasks regularly, update your to do list every day or whenever it changes. I prefer to keep my to do list on my phone, so wherever I go, I can add new tasks to it.

2, Eisenhower box

What’s that?

If you read the book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” from Stephen Covey, than you must remember to The Eisenhower box. It is like an updated version of a normal to do list. Besides the priorities it also helps you to pay attention how urgent your tasks are. You need to categorize your tasks: important and urgent, not important but urgent, important but not urgent, neither important nor urgent.

Eisenhower angol 2

Important & urgent

You need to do them as soon as possible. Start working on these tasks

Not Important & Urgent

Delegate these tasks to someone else. If you don’t have a team to delegate to, just ask for help. At work, you can ask your team mate if you are overloaded, in private life you can ask help from your family and friends.

Important & not urgent

Decide when to do them, insert them into your calendar, schedule them. These are important tasks which can make you more effective.

Not important & Not urgent

Why are these tasks on your to do list at all? Delete them all or at least try to minimize the time you spend on them.

When should you use it?

When you really need to consider the urgency of your tasks, when it is not needed that you perform all of your tasks. If you don’t like the matrix style, just think on the principle when you plan your day.

Some more tips

Keep it updated. The importance and urgency of your tasks may change during your day. Don’t forget to follow up the tasks you delegate.

3, Pomodoro method

What’s that?

The pomodoro method is not another even more complicated to do list and not even a delicious Italian receipt. It is a method which helps you to concentrate better. It suggests to work for 25 minutes and than take a 5-minute-long break.  Repeat this 4 times and than take a break for 15 minutes. Don’t forget to set an alarm for the work and break periods for yourself!


When should you use it?

If you struggle focusing on work or if you forget to have breaks during a busy day. If you catch yourself writing the same line in an e-mail for more than one hour because you start doing something else meanwhile, you definitely need to try this method. I think it can be really motivating even for hard or unpleasant tasks to know that after 25 minutes you can have a short break.

Some more tips

To focus really on work when you’re supposed to work. Don’t check your e-mails, don’t go to social media, don’t find an excuse and do another tasks. If you work in an open office environment, it can be challenging to find a quiet place to work, but you can book a small room to yourself when you need to work on an important project.

One last thought

Writing a to do list and concentrating on work may seem to you too simple methods, but I believe sometime the simplest solutions are the best. If you are interested in more details about the topic you can find great ideas on mindtools.com or on my blog using time management tag. Do you have other ideas? Share with me what works for you.