6 Everyday Time-Savers
Make a Daily List
Every night, write a to-do list for the following day to help you focus on what has to be accomplished. Identify the priority errands or projects so those get tackled first. Anything after that is gravy.
Yes, it’s hard to let things go, but it’s necessary. Run down the items on your daily list and ask yourself, “Is this something I have to handle personally?” If not, hand off the task to someone else.
Put Off Procrastinating
It’s human to try to put off until tomorrow what you need to do today, especially if a task seems daunting. You’ll be less likely to delay if you break it down into smaller, more manageable pieces—and save time in the long run.
The average person is interrupted 50 times a day, and the average interruption takes 5 minutes. Many interruptions are crucial; some are anything but. For one week, log every interruption, noting who perpetrated it, how much time it took, and a rating of importance: A=crucial, B=important, C=little value, and D=no value. Evaluate the results, then take action to eliminate some of the C and D interruptions.
Manage Meeting Time
Before attending a meeting, ask “Is it crucial that I’m there?” Before calling one, ask “Is it necessary?” If the answer is “yes,” then set a time limit for the meeting, and hand out an agenda—and stick to it.
Between e-mail, phone calls, and snail mail, the average person receives around 150 communications daily. If you receive something that can be handled in a minute or two, do it immediately: Sifting through old voicemails and e-mails isn’t efficient. If you don’t need to deal with a communication personally, delegate it. If you should handle but need time, schedule it into your calendar, and put the communication away until then.