Having unlimited flexibility to plan our day requires us to have an added level of discipline in order to organize our work.
Ever since adopting work from home, the desire to multitask has been even greater.
We think we can do the housework while answering our e-mail or watching the children while we are in an online meeting.
There is another story in the office. According to HumanResources, the average employee spends 2 hours 11 minutes procrastinating every day.
When you notice that you are losing focus and postponing all your obligations you may find time management charts to be helpful tools.
What is a time management chart?
A time management chart is an excellent tool and one of the most effective ways of planning your time.
Looking at effective time management charts can help you see things from a different perspective which might help you see any problems with your scheduling.
While many people use planners and to-do lists and these are all great tools, only a time management chart can help you allocate time to all areas of your life.
The right chart will help you allocate time to specific activity types in your day like work, study, family, exercise, etc.
Benefits of using a time management chart
It has been scientifically proven that human brains react better to text and images than text and lists.
That’s why visual methods are some of the best ways to manage time.
Using a time chart allows your brain to think divergently. You will be able to plan more for your week than a simple to-do list for this reason.
Time management charts also eliminate the need to check multiple planners and meeting makers. They also allow you to color activity areas to make it easier for you to look at the information.
Visual time management tools to boost productivity
The size and complexity of charts range from small scheduling charts used to plan daily tasks to very complicated charts used for large projects.
There are many types of time and activity charts, but the following chart types are best suited to user needs.
1. Bar Chart
Time management charts usually have the form of a bar chart.
The main purpose of such a chart is to represent the relationship of events, activities, or actions to time using combinations of words and numbers.
The bar chart is ideal for visualizing recorded hours over time, and you can adjust the chart scale by day, week, month, or year and add a median line to visualize the average. The time is shown on the horizontal axis. Activities are displayed on the vertical axis.
2. Gantt Chart
A Gantt chart is a type of bar chart and it’s the most common time graphical format for visualizing project timing. These Timetables give a visual presentation of the relative timing of the separate tasks that make up a unified project.
With just a look at the schedule, a reader can ascertain the variety of tasks involved in a project and how the tasks are related chronologically.
They are also useful for managing dependencies between tasks.
In a Gantt chart, each major activity involved in completing an entire project or program is represented by a horizontal bar.
You can download here free template chart.
3. Pie Chart
Pie Charts are widely used in statistics and business to explain data and work results, in mass media for comparison (i.e. to visualize the percentage for the parts of one total), and in many other areas.
Also, it is a useful visual tool for personal time management. You can see how you use your time in general throughout the day or week for getting things done.
4. Line Chart
A line chart is a type of chart that shows how data changes over time.
You can use this chart for any timeframe, but they are most commonly used in finance, to display day-to-day price changes.
As a manager, you will find line charts extremely helpful to measure the progress of tasks and make adjustments to your project for an effective result.
5. Burn-up chart
A burn-up chart is a graph that shows project progress over time.
The chart shows two main lines: one for the overall planned work on the project, and the other for monitoring the work completed so far.
By comparing the work your team has done so far with the total amount of work planned, you can understand how efficiently they are working and better estimate how long it will take to complete the remaining work.
It also helps everyone keep track of how much work is left and investigate if a bottleneck is slowing your team.
Flowcharts are a type of diagram that describe the process to manage your time and tasks visually. It is a picture of the separate steps of a process in sequential order.
Creating a flow chart diagram of your workday can increase your efficiency and help make your self-directed workday more productive.
This gives you a clear starting point, so you waste less time trying to decide what you should work on.
A PERT chart, sometimes called a PERT diagram, is a project management tool used to schedule, organize and coordinate tasks within a project.
The PERT chart template uses nodes drawn as rectangles or circles to represent events and milestones throughout the project. The nodes are connected by vectors, drawn as lines, which represent different tasks to be completed.
It is a great tool when you need to understand the expected time frame during the initial phase of project planning.
8. The Eisenhower Matrix
The Eisenhower Matrix is productivity, prioritization, and a time-management tool designed to help you prioritize a list of tasks by first categorizing those items according to their urgency and importance.
Using the tool, you’ll divide your tasks into four boxes based on the tasks you will perform first the tasks you will schedule later, the tasks you will delegate, and the tasks you will delete.
Making a to-do list is the first step toward getting work done. Then you go through these tasks one by one and separate them by quadrant.
These tasks are urgent, so they should command your immediate attention.
When you see a task on your to-do list that you need to do now that has clear consequences and affects your long-term goals, put it in this quadrant.
It contains everything that’s important but isn’t as time-sensitive. Since these tasks affect your long-term goals but do not have to be done immediately, you can schedule these tasks for later.
This quadrant covers all tasks that are urgent but not important and that can be delegated to others. These tasks need to be completed now, but they do not affect your long-term goals.
The remaining tasks are tasks that were not urgent or important. Quadrant 4 covers unnecessary tasks, but also the unrewarding time-wasters contributing to your time crunch in the first place.
9. Pyramid Diagram
The Project Management Triangle Diagram depicts three main constraints of any project: scope, time, and cost.
These charts are best used when your data is organized in some kind of hierarchical way. The levels indicate some kind of progressive order, like: More “important” to least important.
Projects have to comply with the specified scope, projects should be finished in time and projects need to consume the budget
Each of the constraints represents one side of the triangle, and any change in budget or timing, or scope affects the entire diagram.
10. Pareto chart
It is used to analyze problems or causes by time, cost, or frequency of occurrence.
Pareto charts are widely used in the areas of quality improvement and time management.
For a Pareto chart, the bars are ordered by frequency counts from highest to lowest. The length of the bars is shown in units at the left vertical axis,
The right vertical axis can represent the cumulative percentage of the grand total number of occurrences or other totals with a maximum of 100%. The line graph shows the running total as it adds the value of each bar and compares it to the cumulative percentage at the right vertical axis.
The Pareto principle (or 80-20 rule) is a generalization and does not distribute at an exact 80:20 ratio. However, it provides an accurate direction or trend that can be quickly shown in a Pareto chart.
Excellent time management starts by having and writing down a clear plan.
But after that necessarily follows the formation of effective time management charts that can help you see things from a different perspective which might help you see any problems with your scheduling.
Time management applications are always a good idea if you don’t know how to deal with the situation differently. Try Time Analytics to view your completed tasks and track how you’re progressing against your bigger goals.
With a Productivity view, you diagnose the gap between planned and actual results and which projects you’re spending most of your time on.