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1. Rule 1‑3‑5


Your working time during the day is limited, and the 1-3-5 rule allows you to spend it most wisely. Its essence is this: in a day you can only complete one large task, three medium ones and five small ones. There are nine cases in total, no more and no less. The rule will help you gradually clear away the rubble, completing it on time and without overworking.

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2. Rule of three

For those who are not comfortable with numbers or cannot do nine things a day, Chris Bailey, author of the book “My productive year", came up with rule three. It says that to achieve productivity, you only need to do the three most important things every day.

Instead of scattering your energy and attention on a couple of dozen items on the checklist, simply choose the three most important tasks for the day and focus on them. The next day, choose three more, and so on. This will help you stay focused. The same rule can be applied to setting goals for a week, month or year.

3. 10 minute method

Do you have some task that you don’t want to start? Tell yourself, “I’ll only do this for 10 minutes and then I’ll go and rest.” Most likely, during this time you will get involved in work and will no longer be able to stop.

4. Pomodoro


This system was invented by Francesco Cirillo to make it easier for himself to prepare for exams. It helps focus people who are easily distracted. It's also a good way to monitor how much time you spend on a particular job.

Here's how Pomodoro works: you take a timer and set it for 25 minutes. After that, you focus on work. When the 25 minutes are up, you rest for 5 minutes and then repeat. After four cycles, you will have a long break of half an hour.

5. Method 90/30

The 90/30 method is used by writer and blogger Tony Schwartz, co-founder of the Buffer service Leo Widrich, literary critic Benjamin Che Kai Wai and entrepreneur Thomas Oppong.

The gist of it is this: you work hard for 90 minutes, then rest for half an hour, and then repeat the cycle. In this case, you devote the first 90 minutes to the most important task that you have to do in a day, and devote the following segments to less important things.

According to research Sleep and Wakefulness by neuroscientist Nathan Kleitman.

6. Method 52/17

This is a special version of the previous method. It is no different except for the numbers: you work for 52 minutes and then rest for 17 minutes. According to the experiment The Rule of 52 and 17: It's Random, But it Ups Your Productivity, conducted by the employment service The Muse using the DeskTime app, these time periods allow you to stay productive and avoid overwork. Therefore, use the 52/17 method if you feel that you do not have the strength to work for 90 minutes straight.

7. Eating frogs

The method was invented by Eat That Frog: Brian Tracy Explains The Truth About Frogs motivational speaker and Self-help author Brian Tracy. He calls “frogs” unpleasant and difficult tasks that you must complete despite your reluctance. From the very beginning of the day, do one such thing - “eat a frog.” And then it will be easier for you: you will throw this stone off your soul and ensure yourself a good mood for the whole day.

8. Time blocks

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Task lists have one unpleasant feature: they give absolutely no idea how much time this or that task requires. “Buy bread” and “Finish the report” occupy one line on the list, but these tasks are not comparable in complexity and importance.

A calendar is much better than a to-do list: it allows you to control time visually. You see a big block and realize that the task is not easy. Therefore, try the “time blocks” technique: place them on the calendar and allocate time to each according to the complexity of the task. And while you are doing this or that task, do not be distracted by others.

9. GTD

GTD (Getting Things Done) is a productivity system invented by business coach David Allen. Its main principles are as follows:

  1. Write down all your tasks and ideas in one place, the so-called Inbox.
  2. Periodically sort the contents of your Inbox, assigning priorities and deadlines to your tasks. Place notes in folders according to their contents - “Work”, “Home”, “Shopping” and so on.
  3. Conduct audits - throw out unnecessary notes, cross out completed tasks, move materials that have lost their relevance to the archive.
  4. When everything is planned, proceed to execution. Solve tasks that can be done in a couple of minutes immediately. Others can be delegated or placed on the calendar.
You can find out all the intricacies of GTD in our guide.

10. ZTD

Leo Babauta, author of the productivity blog Zenhabits, believes that David Allen's GTD system is very complex and requires too much effort. He offers his Zen-style system - Zen to Done. To follow it, you need to develop 10 simple habits.

  1. Collect all information in Inbox.
  2. Process all records without shelving them.
  3. Plan your main goals for each day and your largest tasks for the week.
  4. Focus on only one thing each time, without scattering your attention.
  5. Create simple, short to-do lists.
  6. Organize notes into categories based on their content, just like the original GTD.
  7. Regularly review your notes and get rid of unnecessary things.
  8. Simplify. Reduce the list of your tasks and goals, write briefly and clearly.
  9. To get in the mood for work, maintain a certain daily routine constantly.
  10. Do what really interests you.