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15 Time Management and Task Prioritization Techniques For Easy Planning

There is never enough time to get everything done. Everyone feels this problem, but part of the issue is that people don't properly plan their day to complete important tasks.

For over a hundred years, people have been coming up with methods that are the best for time management and prioritizing tasks. However, what works for one person may not work for the next, so you need to find what works best for your brain.

This list of 15 time management and task prioritization techniques will help you determine what will work best for you.

What is Time Management?

Time management is the process of planning and controlling how much time to spend on specific activities. Effective time management allows you to complete more tasks in less time, reduces stress, and enhances productivity.

Prioritizing tasks and using time wisely (being intentional with your time) helps you achieve your goals more efficiently and maintain a better work-life balance. Work smarter, not harder!

I also want to address time management and procrastination before we move on. Procrastination is the number 1 time killer and will stall your productivity more than anything else, regardless of any time management or task prioritization technique you choose.

Thankfully, Shannyn from EF Bomb Coach has this great post about beating procrastination using routines. I highly suggest, that if you're a procrastinator, you take a moment to save it for later!

A woman with curly hair and glasses working on a laptop at a table in a cozy café. She is wearing a tweed jacket and has a cup of coffee in front of her, along with a notebook, creating a warm and productive work environment.

What is Task Prioritization?

Task prioritization is the process of determining the order in which tasks should be completed based on their importance and urgency.

It helps ensure that the most critical tasks are addressed first, allowing for more efficient use of time and resources. By prioritizing tasks effectively, individuals can focus on what matters most and achieve their goals more efficiently.

How Do These Ideas Relate?

Time management and task prioritization are closely related as they both aim to increase productivity and efficiency.

Time management involves planning how to allocate time to various activities, while task prioritization focuses on identifying which tasks are most important and urgent.

By prioritizing tasks, you can better manage your time, ensuring that you address critical tasks first and use your time more effectively.

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Why Are They Important?

Both time management and task prioritization are essential because they help manage workload, meet deadlines, reduce stress, and improve overall productivity.

They ensure that important tasks are completed on time and resources are used efficiently.

And because they are so closely related, I'm going to group them together in this post to give you the top 15 time management and/or task prioritization techniques.

15 Techniques You Can Try

1. Time Blocking

Time blocking is a technique where you allocate specific blocks of time for different tasks or activities throughout your day.

Each block is dedicated to a particular task or group of tasks, ensuring focused and uninterrupted work periods.

This method helps you manage your time more effectively, reduce distractions, and increase productivity by providing a structured approach to your daily schedule.

My favourite time management program, Sunsama, uses time blocking and it is by far the best app that I've ever used. You can read about how much how much I love Sunsama in this post.

detailed view of a weekly planner from the Sunsama app, covering tasks from Thursday, May 2 to Monday, May 6. Each day is presented in columns with tasks like "Finish editing Sunsama blog post," "Check Emails," and "Draft Notion blog post." The tasks are color-coded and tagged with categories such as #Blogging and #Email, with some tasks marked with time allocations like "8:15 pm" or "10:00 am." The interface includes a "Today" tab, reflecting focus on the current day's tasks, and other UI elements like "+ Add task" buttons for each day
Example of Sunsama using time blocking

2. Eisenhower Matrix

The Eisenhower Matrix is a time management tool that helps prioritize tasks based on their urgency and importance.

It divides tasks into four quadrants: urgent and important, important but not urgent, urgent but not important, and neither urgent nor important.

This method helps individuals focus on what truly matters, allowing them to manage their time more effectively and reduce stress.

The Eisenhower Decision Matrix, a four-quadrant chart categorizing tasks as 'Do' for important and urgent, 'Decide' for important but not urgent, 'Delegate' for not important but urgent, and 'Delete' for neither important nor urgent

3. Pomodoro Technique

The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method that involves working in focused intervals, typically 25 minutes long, followed by a short break of 5 minutes. After completing four of these intervals, a longer break of 15-30 minutes is taken.

This technique helps maintain high levels of focus and productivity while preventing burnout by balancing work and rest periods.

The Pomodoro is easily one of my favourites as well because when I'm having ‘one of those days'. I can tell myself. “Ok Lindsay, all you need to do is focus for 25 minutes. That's it.” I can usually pull it off. If not, it typically means I need to abandon ship and try again later.

If you like the Pomodoro Technique, Sunama also has that option within their focus mode (see, told you I loved Sunsama), but you also create your own with this post I made about creating your own Notion Pomodoro Timer or grab this free one below.

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4. Ivy Lee Method

The Ivy Lee Method is a productivity strategy that involves writing down the six most important tasks to accomplish the next day and prioritizing them by importance.

At the start of each day, you focus on the first task until it's completed before moving on to the next one.

This method helps improve focus, reduce decision fatigue, and ensure that the most critical tasks are addressed efficiently.

An advertisement for a 'Free Notion Goal Planner & Task Tracker Template', which includes a visual of a tablet displaying the template with sections for SMART goals and task organization. The image also features a prominent 'Free' starburst icon and text that encourages users to easily record and align their tasks with their SMART goals. The 'Made for Notion' badge at the bottom signals compatibility with the Notion ecosystem, against a stylish background with a blend of neutral and green tones.

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5. ABCDE Method

The ABCDE Method is a task prioritization technique where tasks are categorized by their importance and urgency.

Tasks are labelled A (most important), B (important but not urgent), C (nice to do but not important), D (delegate if possible), and E (eliminate if unnecessary). You then work on A tasks first before moving onto B tasks and so forth.

This method helps individuals focus on high-priority tasks, manage their time effectively, and ensure that critical tasks are completed first.

6. The 3-3-3 Method

The 3-3-3 Method is a productivity technique designed to help you organize and focus your workday. It involves spending three hours on your most important project, handling three urgent but shorter tasks, and completing three maintenance activities to keep your life running smoothly.

This approach ensures that you make significant progress on key projects, address urgent tasks promptly, and maintain balance in your daily routine​

Infographic illustrating the "3-3-3 Method" divided into three sections: "Important Tasks" with a growth chart, "Important" stamp, and money, "Tasks you avoid" with an image of a person running away, a stressed person, and a sad face, and "Tasks to organize life" with a toolbox, folders, and a person organizing. Each section is separated by a plus sign.
Visual representation of the 3-3-3 Method for time management

7. The MoSCoW Prioritization Method

The MoSCoW Prioritization Method is a prioritization technique used to manage tasks or project requirements by categorizing them into four groups: Must have, Should have, Could have, and Won't have.

  • “Must have” tasks are critical and non-negotiable
  • “Should have” tasks are important but not essential
  • “Could have” tasks are desirable but not necessary
  • “Won't have” tasks are the least priority and can be omitted or included later

This method helps teams focus on what is most important and ensures that essential requirements are met first. It's also very similar to the Eisenhower Matrix.

8. The “Eat the Frog” Method

“Eat the Frog” is a technique that involves tackling the most challenging and important task first thing in the morning.

By completing this difficult task early, you set a positive tone for the day and create momentum for handling other tasks.

This method helps overcome procrastination and ensures that high-priority tasks are addressed promptly.

A figurine of a frog wearing a chef's hat and holding a silver cloche, symbolizing the "Eat the Frog" productivity method
A funny depiction symbolizing the “Eat The Frog” Method of Time Management

9. RICE Method

The RICE method is a technique used to evaluate tasks or projects based on four factors: Reach, Impact, Confidence, and Effort. This is the only method that I'm aware of that uses an actual mathematical equation to determine priority.

  • “Reach” estimates how many people will be affected,
  • “Impact” measures the potential benefit,
  • “Confidence” assesses the certainty of success, and
  • “Effort” calculates the time and resources required.

By scoring tasks on these criteria, the RICE method helps prioritize tasks that offer the highest value with the least effort.

10. Pareto Principle

The Pareto Principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, suggests that roughly 80% of results come from 20% of efforts.

In business and productivity, this means focusing on the few tasks (20%) that generate the most significant outcomes (80%).

By identifying and prioritizing these high-impact tasks, individuals and organizations can achieve greater efficiency and effectiveness.

Illustration of the Pareto Principle on a piece of torn paper, with a pie chart showing the 80/20 rule: 20% efforts lead to 80% results, against an orange fabric background

11. Relative Prioritization

The Relative Prioritization Method involves ranking tasks in order of their importance relative to each other.

Instead of categorizing tasks into broad groups, each task is compared directly to others to determine its priority.

This approach ensures that the most critical tasks are identified and addressed first, enhancing productivity and focus on high-impact activities.

12. The ABC’s Method

The ABC's method is a prioritization technique where tasks are categorized into three groups based on their importance.

  • “A” tasks are the highest priority and must be completed first,
  • “B” tasks are important but not as urgent, and
  • “C” tasks are the least critical and can be addressed later.

This method helps individuals focus on the most important activities, ensuring that essential tasks are completed efficiently and on time.

A diagram illustrating the ABC method for task prioritization. Column A lists high-priority tasks that must be completed first, column B includes important tasks that are not as urgent, and column C contains tasks that are the least important and can be done later.

13. The Time Chunking Method

The Time Chunking Method is a time management method that involves breaking your day into larger chunks, usually 1 – 3 hours in length to work on specific tasks without interruption.

This technique helps improve focus and productivity by making complex tasks feel less overwhelming and more achievable.

By addressing your day in larger chunks you can tick off those bigger items that need to be completed.

14. Kanban Method

Kanban is a visual project management method that uses boards, typically divided into columns, to represent different stages of a workflow.

Tasks are represented by cards that move across the columns as they progress from start to completion.

This method helps teams visualize their work, limit work in progress, and improve efficiency by clearly showing the status and flow of tasks.

A person using a laptop with a Kanban board displayed on the screen, showing tasks in columns labeled "To Do," "In Progress," "Testing," and "Done." The user is typing on the keyboard, while a pair of glasses, a notebook, and a mouse are placed on the desk.

15. Rapid Planning Method (RPM)

The Rapid Planning Method (RPM) is a productivity strategy developed by Tony Robbins.

It focuses on shifting from a task-oriented approach to an outcome-oriented one by identifying the desired results, the reasons behind them, and the specific actions required to achieve them.

This method helps increase motivation and clarity by ensuring that each task aligns with a larger purpose and goal.

If you want to learn more you can grab a free RPM workbook (no email required) from the Tony Robbins website.

Which One Is Best For You?

An age-old question, but unfortunately, I can't answer this one for you. I've given you 15 different techniques for you to try and I suggest starting with the first one and trying it for a week or more.

After each day, document what went well with that day in terms of time management and prioritizing your tasks. Also, document what wasn't the best or what could be improved.

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If it is just not working for you, that's ok. Move on to another one. There's nothing to say you have to stick to one method. There's also a chance that you might like a hybrid of two or three methods.

For example, let's say you love time blocking for the visual but also want to use the Pomodoro method because 25 minutes is perfect for focus (note you can change this to whatever time works for you. I prefer longer periods of an hour or more before a break). Then you might also decide that the Eisenhower Matrix is perfect for prioritizing your tasks.

So in this example, I've used 3 methods. These work well for me – this is why I use this example. I love time blocking (for the visual), I also like having a timed focus mode, and the Eisenhower Matrix helps me focus on what is moving the needle of my business.

It's time for homework!! Pick one method (or combination of 2) and try it out for one week. Then pop over to the Facebook Group and let everyone know what method (or combo) works best for you! See you there!


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Creator and CEO of Organize Your Online Biz, Lindsay Trca

Hi, I'm Lindsay!

A blogger dedicated to empowering women entrepreneurs in the online business world. With over 15 years of experience in process documentation and SOP creation, I specialize in streamlining workflows, organizing workspaces, and optimizing digital tools for maximum efficiency. Join me as we transform your business operations with practical insights and budget-friendly solutions.

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