There are lots of ways to save time in your day. Practice at least one of these ideas this week and you will find you will be more effective and can achieve even more amazing things in your day.
Create a “to do” list and take satisfaction in ticking off each task daily. Be realistic when making this list – you are not a superhuman!
Prioritise your daily tasks
Allocate an A,B or C priority to everything on your list. A – means do it today, B – means it could wait and C means … don’t do it at all.
Schedule you day
Every morning review your diary and block out meeting times, travel time between appointments and a lunch break (yes that is right you need to eat and take a break!). Now look at how much time is left to “do work” and schedule tasks realistically.
Clear your desk! Get rid of all paper
It is a distraction – set up a system, file it, action it or throw it away! For the action items, estimate time needed to complete the task then allocate it in your diary.
Control junk mail
Action each piece of junk mail only once – don’t procrastinate. Decide if you want to continue receiving it, if not, send a fax, note or return to sender. It may take you a few extra minutes initially but will save you time in the long run.
Create a “Reading” file
Each week allocate time in your diary to catch up on your weekly reading. As information comes for your to read eg. journals, FYI articles etc – just place them in the reading file. You may find it useful to carry this reading file with you so if you are waiting for a train, waiting in a queue or have a few minutes spare – you can catch up on your reading.
Cut phone calls short.
You will be surprised how much time is wasted on the phone. Get straight to the point e.g. “Hi Bob, what can I do for you today?”.
Check emails only at scheduled times during the day.
Each time you stop to check your emails you are wasting a few minutes that add up during the day. This is a hard habit to break, but once mastered will save you time.
Consider alternatives for meetings
Can you email the information, use voicemail, circulate reading information for comment. Think about the time you spend in meeting rooms and then travelling to and from – use an alternative where appropriate.
Always have an agenda
If you have to meet, create an agenda and circulate in advance. This will increase the productivity of your meeting time and assist people prepare in advance.