Boost Your Productivity With a 60-30-10 Rule: Time Management


We, as human beings, have the unconventional habit of juggling many things during the day, jumping from one assignment to another, one task to another, and eventually wondering – what did I really achieve today?

Well, it is not solely your fault. After all, that is how our brains operate. Research has shown that as we grow older, we tend to think that time ‘speeds up’ due to changes in the size and complexity of the networks of neurons in our brains.

But fortunately, there is a way to tactically take advantage of this imperfection and improve our productivity by integrating a time optimization technique into our lives known as 60-30-10 rule: time management.

The notion of time management is simple but requires practice. If you don’t prepare, you can’t do it correctly and will not accomplish optimal productivity.

In most expositions of time management techniques, one thing is constantly repeated: spend more time on important and vital tasks while ignoring or spending less time on everything that deviates your performance from achieving your goals.

But with the help of the ‘60-30-10 rule’ of time management, the whole 24 hours of our day can be segregated and proportionally divide into high-value and low-utility tasks following the ‘industry trends’ manner.

What Is the 60-30-10 Rule?

The 60-30-10 rule of time management represents ultimately represents your work day. This rule establishes a setup that gives you a more reasonable idea of which tasks are worth doing at what time of the day. It is as solid a base as any other rule in this realm.

60% is the top tier, 30% is the mid-tier, and 10% is the lower tier.

The 60–30–10 rule of time management means allocating 60% of your workday to high-value activities; 30% to low-value tasks that still contribute to your goals; and 10% to other activities that can help you better prepare for tomorrow.

The 60-30-10 technique is rooted in fine arts like painting, photography, and design. But it also applies to corporate management and team time management. The rule says: Put the preponderance of 60% of your energy into the pre-work, where it will yield the most impactful results. Use 30% of time and energy on constructing a solid foundation, and spend the balance, 10%, on coaching and orienting other co-workers or team members who can contribute to the impactful effectiveness of the entity. The team leader can employ this rule during survey sessions to diagnose team effectiveness and assess customer satisfaction.

Many global brands and companies encourage their employees to adopt this rule to improve their individual and teamwork skills.

For making the most of your time, it’s important to create a thorough task list by knowing and analyzing your time consumption scenario. TimeSheets can be your game-changer as it will help you in recording your time via a timer.


TimeSheets overview: TimeTrack


Manage Time at Work More Effectively Using the 60-30-10 Rule

The 60-30-10 rule (time management) proves to be worthy, as it allows to organize time in accordance with your tasks. Prioritizing and optimizing your time using the 60-30-10 rule can offer you additional time to concentrate on what counts— getting more accomplished in a shorter time. The idea is to set yourself up for optimal success by categorizing your tasks according to the finest use of your time.

Valuable Tasks – 60%

“The ability to focus attention on important things is a defining characteristic of intelligence.” – Robert J. Shiller

As said in the beginning, humans tend to try and complete all assignments on the same day. But research has shown that multitasking decreases productivity by shifting and dispersing your concentration.

Thus, it’s important to separate ‘significant’ tasks of the day from all others and complete them using 60% of your workday, which gives room for accelerated growth periods.

However, some people may have trouble picking the most important jobs from a pile of assignments, which is completely normal. First, try to gather every assignment from all directions and create a master list. Extract the high-priority and urgent tasks from that list using several frameworks like the Eisenhower Decision Matrix or the Ivy Lee method. Rank those extracted tasks and arrange them in an order creating a to-do list. Evaluate the time taken for each task and ensure that those estimates fit your workday requirements perfectly. Eventually, you will end up with a list of ‘valuable tasks’ that contribute to your long-term mission, values, and goals. Spending 60% of your workday here will lead you to a promising future.

Less Valuable but Fairly Urgent Tasks – 30%

These mid-tier tasks have low chances of aligning with the bigger picture (ultimate goals) and all their friends (periodical goals). These tasks tend to be urgent but won’t yield as much result. Identifying these tasks is easy, as well.

From the master task list, you can pull out these tasks by applying the urgent-important or Eisenhower decision matrix. Examples of tasks in this tier include writing a report, reviewing employee timesheets, returning phone calls, creating the best business presentations for raising brand awareness, organizing files, marketing products, writing emails, and other maintenance tasks.

The striking difference between these less-valuable tasks and the high-priority tasks is consistency.

Important tasks may go hand in hand with a consistent workflow without hurdles and interruptions. This rule allows 30% of your workday to be spent on these tasks ONLY AFTER FULFILLING THE TOP-TIER OF VALUABLE TASKS.

Ignoring these tasks may not affect you at the moment but will drastically cost you in the near future. That is why the rule allocates 30% of the workday for these tasks. The brighter side is that some of these tasks can be automated thanks to advancements in modern information and computational technology.

Planning for the Next Mission – 10%

This category of tasks is ignored by most people – and a waste of potential that is! This tier is crucial for, literally, a better tomorrow (not for a better future).

Activities in this category do not contribute to your progress toward your long-term goals in any way. But, they can have a huge effect on the progress during your next day. Allocate 10% (or less) of your workday to getting ready for the next working day.

This includes creating a brand-new to-do list, evaluating results, finding room for improvements, reviewing your schedule, organizing and cleaning your desk and workspace, etc.

This tier may also accommodate items that don’t fall into either of the above-stated categories. Accomplishing the tasks in this tier will offer you a fresh and fruitful start for the next day, ensuring that you are motivated to work efficiently right from the beginning.

Why Do You Need a 60-30-10 Rule for Time Management?

Integrating the 60-30-10 rule into your professional life can be an enticing choice of experimentation in creative ways, like using a time tracking app for the first time.

The 60-30-10 rule can be used by any person who needs to balance their time more wisely in a stricter manner.  If you can’t derive satisfaction from this proportional expression of worktime management, try other proportions like the 40-30-20-10 rules or conduct your own time management technique experiments to find what works for you.

Advantages and Disadvantages of the 60-30-10 Rule in Time Management


Advantages and disadvantages

The 60-30-10 rule is ultimately a goal-driven strategy. It is very beneficial as the sole purpose of this rule is to progress towards the pre-set goals in a structured and sophisticated manner.

Not only that, but this rule can inculcate a habit or discipline among the users that remind them to spend more time on what matters.

However, there is a slight chance of this rule seeming monotonous and unexciting to a few people due to its rigid structure. Adjustments in adherence to industry trends may be less possible when this rule is in motion. But the motivation arising from following the 60-30-10 rule (time management) offers significant benefits to those who wish to achieve their personal and professional goals.


The 60-30-10 rule (time management) is an essential technique that can assess you in reaching objectives. It will contribute to the achievement of your long-term and secondary goals by illustrating the importance of every minute spent.

TimeTrack is a tool that aids in time management. It offers a timer, calendar, and widget that display how much time you have left to complete your tasks. For individuals who wish to estimate how much time they’ll need for projects, Time Clock is a great tool that offers customization according to your needs and helps track your time in an efficient manner.