The Engineering Industry is a stimulating field that can sometimes get overwhelming for people who struggle with time management. In order to be more organised when it comes to executing daily tasks, there are several techniques.
Whether you are a procrastinator, a perfectionist or an underestimator, there is at least one time management technique made for you.
The Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro technique is a time management technique based on a tomato-shaped timer that is used to force the user to work for 20 minutes before taking a break. It is an efficient way to increase productivity, especially when it comes to remote work or Engineering students that also work in freelance.
The objective is to stay focus on one single task for about 25 minutes. Each working sessions are separated by small breaks, and after a certain number of sessions, the user can take a longer break.
The steps of the Pomodoro technique:
- Chose the task you want to focus on and divide it into sessions of 25 minutes
- Set the timer on 25 minutes
- When the timer rings, stop your task and take a 5 minutes break
- After 4 sessions, take a longer break (20 minutes)
This technique is very beneficial for Engineering students who struggle to focus for a long term on a task, or for those who are easily distracted. However, it can be hard for some people to work on regular cycles, or to estimate the time needed for a task.
The Eat That Frog Technique
The goal is to prioritise your daily tasks: the day before, pick up one task as your ‘”frog”, that will be the first thing you will do the day after. Your frog can either be your biggest task, the most annoying one, the one that requires to be the most focused, the one you have been avoiding for some times, etc.
In order for the Eat That Frog technique to work, the most important step is to identify your frog and sort your tasks from the most important to the least important:
- Task 1, your frog: the task you have to tackle first, no matter what.
- Task 2: the one you will tackle just after your frog, still very important.
- Task 3: something you should do, but that is not that important.
- Task 4: a task you can delegate.
- Task 5: a task you don’t need to do. If you don’t have the time to do it, it will be okay.
The Biological Prime Time Technique
Your biological prime time is basically the time of the day when your energy level is the highest. Determinating your biological prime time will allow you to be more productive with your work, and to prioritise tasks according to their level of importance to do the toughest ones during your biological prime time.
How to know your Biological prime time?
- Track your focus, energy, motivation and attention span during a period of 20 days.
- Try to track those elements within a fixed period of time (for example, the period of time you are at work.)
- Chart your results every hour, every day.
- After 20 days, analyse your results and identify the times you are the most productive.
You can then set the biggest tasks during those times. It will help you with scheduling and effective planning.
The Seinfeld Method
This technique is based on a Jerry Seinfeld quote about productivity: ‘don’t break the chain’. This technique will ask you to make a very specific calendar: you will mark every day you need to work on a task or a skill with a red mark to form a chain of red days. If you don’t work on that task for a day, you won’t mark it, and therefore, break the chain.
This technique is very useful for people who struggle with deadlines and to keep yourself motivated when it comes to a task that takes several days.
How to use the Seinfeld Method:
- Identify the task or skill you want to work on
- Take a calendar
- Mark each day you work on that task with a red marker
- If you miss a day, don’t mark it. You will break the chain.
This visual representation of your work will help you keep your motivation level. However, careful not to get too bummed out if you break the chain. You should always focus your energy on your actual task, not on the technique!