Finding more time in your life and work
Are you finding that there are items and processes that seem to eat away at your time bit by bit until you wonder where all your time went? These little items are like adding small amounts of weight into your pockets slowing you down and not in that “slow down and smell the roses” kind of way.
Well I want to share with you a few quick tips that if implemented will help you be more efficient in your life and at work.
1 – Audit your time:
Just like creating a financial budget, create time constraints to complete tasks. This time budget of course can be modified if you need to but you will then have to purposely take time from another activity to increase time in the one that has gone “over budget”.
In your work life, keep your time allotment for tasks as small as you can. I know that conference calls, strategy meetings, email etc. are all part of the daily life for the modern workforce. However, have you ever noticed that most of the meetings you schedule for an hour take an hour and the ones that you schedule for a half hour take a half hour? Your meetings and conference calls will fill the time that you budget for them and rarely end early. Look for little ways to put time constraints on your daily tasks so that you are intentional about the time you spend getting the right things accomplished at work.
For your personal life, again be intentional about how much time you are going to budget for watching TV, cleaning the living room, surfing the web and doing all of those important and non-important tasks that make up our personal time.
2 – Trim the fat:
After you have created a time budget and examined how you are spending that time, look for where you need to trim the fat from your day. Have you accumulated tasks that are not yours or tasks that should be delegated? If so, make sure you get those tasks back where they belong or you delegate them to the right people on your team.
Look for the items that take up large amounts of time and ask yourself, “Can someone else do this task and even perform it better than me?” If the answer to that question is yes, it is time to hire someone or look for technology that can perform that task. This could mean going out and finding a virtual assistant, a house painter or a piece of software to help organize your receipts.
3 – Get organized:
Are you drowning in an ocean of saved emails, bits of hand written notes, stacks of magazines or other items that have just accumulated over time? Don’t think that you are the only one who does this kind of activity. Take the time to go through your files, bits of paper, etc. and get rid of the old. If you wrote an important note three months ago but now can’t remember what that note now means, you probably don’t need it any longer.
4 – Take it digital:
Wall and desk calendars are great to have for a quick visual reference, but there are great tools out there that can keep you organized on your computer, tablet, smart-phone and just about any other electronic device. (See #3)
Going digital is a whole lot easier now and thanks to programs like Evernote (http://www.appladdin.com/evernote/) that allow you to not only organize your schedule, but also organize your team. These new internet or local programs allow you to upload video, audio, written docs or images and organize them so that you can become more productive in your work and personal life.
5 – Learn the shortcuts:
Learn some or all of the Windows, Apple, Google, or any other applications you use. Create templates for your presentations, customer communications, reports or other documents that you use frequently. You can also use different RSS feed to read news articles, blogs, etc from hundreds of sources without ever leaving your homepage. Explore consolidating your emails to one account. The list of how to create short cuts is nearly endless but the point is that all of these little things add efficiencies to your professional and personal life.
By going through these steps, you will find ways to become more proficient in how you use the time you budget for activities. You’ll be able to maximize your time and be more efficient in how quickly you can tackle not only the tasks in your day but also the right tasks. Before you know it, you will start to realize that you have become more efficient and have a little more time for the activities you enjoy.
Drop us a note and let us know some of your efficiency tips and tricks, now get out there and Get2it.
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