We’ve all heard that time is money. However, since there is no way to create more time, we all need to learn how to make better use of the time we have. Here then are 7 secrets and tips that can help you stop wasting time, and begin doubling your efficiency.
1) What gets measured gets managed. Until you track how productive you are, you’ll never know where your time is going. How much time is spent on projects? How much time is spent on emails? There are many excellent time and billing programs available that can help you track your time.
2) Turn off your computer monitor when you’re not using it. Often just having it on can be enough of a distraction to play solitaire or check your Facebook updates.
3) Know yourself and your limits. If you push yourself too hard, for too long, your productivity will actually diminish. So take a break every 45 minutes or so and do a few stretches. Taking a few minutes to decompress will actually increase your productivity and you’ll feel better too.
4) Stop randomly checking email and social media sites. It’s far too easy to talk ourselves into believing that it only takes a few seconds here and there. The truth of the matter is that starting and stopping the flow of your day will drill holes in your efficiency, resulting in a massive draw on your time and continual damage to your focus. Schedule a few specific slots of time during the day to read and answer emails or check your Twitter and Facebook accounts.
5) Without a map, you’ll never arrive where you want go. Starting into your day intending to simply “wing-it” and you’ll actually wind up wandering aimlessly through your day, losing time. Set goals, make a schedule, and have a plan for your day the night before. The small amount of time that it takes to organize your day the evening before will be more than paid for in the time you’ll save. If you wait for the right “mood” to strike before tackling a project, you may be waiting a long time. Ray Bradbury once said, “You can’t try to do things, you must simply do them.” Harness the power of habit by designing an effective daily routine and schedule.
6) Limit interruptions. There seems to be no end to those who are more than happy to interrupt you, so don’t give them the chance. Identify the tasks in your day that require focused attention. Inform others that you’re off limits by hanging a sign or sending an email. And, silence your cell phone, that’s what voicemail is for.
7) Silent procrastination is a killer. Anybody can spot the obvious forms of procrastination, like playing solitaire or checking your Facebook or LinkedIn updates. What we’re talking about here is taking up time with “busy-work”, those basically non-essential tasks, and put off doing the higher priority projects on your list. Use a task reminder or alarm function on your phone or email. Enlist someone who can hold you responsible, someone you can check in with and help keep you on track.
By treating time as the valuable resource that it is, you can be more effective throughout your day, and you will also ensure that you achieve your goals. There may still only be 24 hours in every day, but keep in mind that it is possible to get more done and double your effectiveness!
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This article is published by Will Sherwood | The Sherwood Group |Website Design | Graphic Design | Marketing Communications: The Sherwood Group has over 30 years of experience working with all sorts of companies, small and large. Our clients range from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 firms, in nearly every business sector, from across the street to around the world (and yes, even Europe, China, and South America). Our goal is to create advertising, graphic design, website design, and marketing communication that still looks fresh and relevant 10-15 years later. Our mission is to stir your imagination and leave your competition shaken and wondering, Now what do we do?” We are located in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
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By Kick Speed 05 Aug 2013
Great tips. Another good efficiency tip I just finished reading was about managing energy, not time. Being energetic enough to perform and deliver is just as important as doing the right things. This is swinging the pendulum a bit, because we have shifted from doing things right to doing the right things – but as we get better at managing & prioritizing, we are slipping back into old habits of being tired and unfit to perform when it comes time to.