Do you sometimes contemplate a day gone by wondering where the time went and feeling as though little, if any got accomplished? So what can you do to create more time for yourself each day? Here are some useful tips â€“
- Figure out at the beginning of each day what are the two most important activities of the day, plan how they will be achieved and then plan the rest of your day around that.
- Arrive early at work. This could mean getting up a little earlier in the morning or giving yourself less time for your morning activities, but try and get to work a half hour earlier than anyone else. If you manage to get your work started early you are still fresh and clear minded; also there is no interruption from colleagues, and you may be amazed at how much you managed to get done.
- Get a grip on your email. Donâ€™t check it any more frequently than once in two hours; and then be systematic about reading, replying to and deleting or otherwise organizing mails. If an email requires a detailed response, phone up and speak instead â€“ this will save a lot of back and forth writing.
- Figure out when your mind is at its keenest and do demanding things then â€“ the ideating for aÂ new project you have to do, do that first thing in the morning when your brain is working best. Paying bills, filing, routine chores and all can be left for the afternoon when you are likely to be feeling some lassitude.
- Cut out meeting when possible; they can be a waste of time. See if the work can be get done by making a couple of phone calls or writing an email or two. You may be amazed at how much time gets saved by cutting out meetings.
- Be precise and to the point when making work related calls. Line up a task to start on as soon as the call is over so you know that there is something waiting for your attention. If you find that phone conversations or even face to face chats are dragging on, learn to truncate them with phrases such as â€œSo in conclusionâ€ or â€œletâ€™s get started with thisâ€ or â€œwill get back to you for more informationâ€ and so on.
- Cut out distractions and disruptions â€“ put your phone on voice mail, put on headphones to cut out workplace chatter and noise and to let colleagues know you are busy and will appreciate not being interrupted.
- Make effective use of the Three Ds â€“ Drop, Decrease and Delegate. If it is unnecessary, donâ€™t do it, if there is a simpler way to complete a task then use that rather than going about it in a circuitous fashion. If it doesnâ€™t require your personal attention, then try and delegate the task, just supervising to the extent that is really required.
- Concentrate on one task at a time. You may fancy yourself to be a multi-tasker and you may indeed have the ability to juggle more than one thing at a time. But ask yourself if multitasking is really the most effective and efficient way to work; or whether you get better results from concentrating on and completing one task at a time.