“It seems there aren’t enough hours in the day anymore. Everything gets on top of me and I end up staying late every night, just to keep up with my work load” – Does this sound like you? If so then you’ll benefit from a few time saving tips and techniques that are easy to implement and WILL save you time, everyday.
1) Give your undivided attention
Trying to listen to someone giving instructions, replying to your question or explaining what they need done is not easily done while working on something else simultaneously. If what someone has to say helps you get something done during your day then afford them the courtesy of your undivided attention. By listening and actually hearing what it is they have to say will save you the time of having to ask them to repeat themselves or getting what they’ve asked wrong.
Schedule a time to have a quick talk or meeting, ad hoc chats at a desk often end in one party not getting the full story or misconstruing what it is that’s required.
2) Get in early
Arriving early not only gives you a bit of extra time in the office, but with little or no distractions from colleagues you’ll be seriously productive. As it’s more common for people to stay late rather than arrive early, it’s more advantageous to be early rather than stay late with the majority of ‘overtimers’ and still risk an level of distraction.
3) Use tools to automate
There are numerous online tools that can make your life easier and more efficient. Tools that link online networks and resources together, in order to create a workflow triggered by one task are a serious time saver. IFTTT (if this then that) is one such example. Calendar entries can be automatically added based on a follow up date in an email or you could receive a text message when a particular event is due to happen.
4) Music’s not only the food of love…..
If you’re in the middle of a busy office and can’t help but be distracted by the various conversations and noises around you, grab a pair of headphones and listen to some music. By cutting out the distractions around you, but not resorting to complete silence, you’ll be much more productive and finish your task quickly, allowing that time saved to be used elsewhere. Music can draw your attention away from the immediate stresses of everyday work life and this, in turn, reduces the heart rate and relaxes the body.
5) Learn to say no
Get into the habit of not agreeing to do everything and everything as a ‘favour’. Colleagues tasks and duties are not your responsibility and saying no will free up your time to concentrate on those responsibilities that will benefit you, and your department. It’s great to carry out the occasional favour or two for colleagues, but you should establish that you also have responsibilities and priorities that come first.
6) Eat well
Eating well in the morning and at lunch will mean that you get the nourishment you need to work through the day at 100%. Lack of nourishment is known not only to lead to a reduction in energy, but also thought to contribute to a reduction of will power. As a result, without a proper lunch you’ll struggle during the afternoon and not perform as well as you could. Another side effect is the extra time required to complete tasks that would otherwise have been finished earlier.
7) Stand during meetings
Standing in meetings is a great way to limit the time spent in such discussions. By standing up during a meeting, you won’t get as comfortable and start to discuss those topics not on the agenda. Setting out what will be discussed, and sticking to those points will also reduce the time required for a meeting. It’s even been suggested that charging for the time spend in meetings, per minute, is a great way of reducing the time spent in such discussions.
8) Collaborate as well as delegate
By working as a team you’ll be able to complete tasks efficiently and in less time than an individual might take. Not all tasks are suited for a team to work on, but if you require assistance and the use of a colleagues particular skills then ask them if they can book some time to assist.
9) Tidy mind…….
Keeping your desk tidy, and knowing where everything is will save time as you won’t waste minutes searching for files, pens etc. It’s also important to ensure that important, potentially sensitive documents are placed away and out of view. Many businesses operate a green policy and having piles of paper cluttering up your desktop is not in line with the values of such an initiative and being able to use your desk for what it was designed to do will eliminate distraction and allow you to concentrate on the tasks and duties of the day.
10) Plan your day and what you’ll need
Know what you have to do, and set a time period to complete it in. That way you know if your taking too long or if you’ve saved time that can be used for another task.