Do you find that you are always working yet never seem to have enough time to do it all? Here are 6 time saving tips to help you get the most out of your day and ultimately increase productivity.
1. Early bird or night owl
Are you at your best first thing in the morning or later in the afternoon. Maybe you are most productive in the evening when there is no one about and the phones stop ringing.
Once you know when that is, use that time of the day, when your powers of concentration are at their highest and tackle the jobs which demand your greatest creativeness, imagination and concentration. This will save you time, because you won’t be trying to deal with things that you’re not really mentally alert enough to undertake and you will achieve much more.
2. Tame your mail
If you’re anything like I used to be, you’ll be checking your emails, messages and posts throughout the working day or responding to email as they land in your inbox.
STOP! Try and set aside 30 minutes to an hour at the start and end of your day to answer emails and phone messages (unless the messages are urgent). The same goes for your social media posts. Work on developing a more cost-effective attitude with regard to your time and how you spend it. Time is money after all.
3. When to say No!
We would all like to help out where we can, however try not to spread yourself too thin. By taking on too many things, you’re in danger of completing none of them satisfactorily and performing fewer tasks successfully is better than lots of second-rate and rush results.
If you are able to assign some of your tasks to someone else – do so, getting a virtual PA is easy, affordable and can help you focus on the work that only you can do. An experienced PA can often take fraction of the time you take to type letters and reports and you only pay hourly.
4. Eliminate time wasters
Keeping a time sheet can highlight where your time is spent. Most professional offices use detail timesheets to record every 10 or 15 minute time slot.
The information is then used to invoice clients and also serves to control staff time too. You can use this tool to asses how much time is spent by you in each area of your business and make changes where needed. Measuring creates awareness that can lead to change needed. You will be surprised how much time is wasted on 5 minute phone calls that become 45 minute chats.
5. The one touch principle
Aim to handle mail and email just once and certainly no more than twice. Try getting in the habit of dealing with mail as soon as you’ve read it. If you don’t have to keep it, put it in the bin straight away. If action is necessary or it can be dealt with in under 3 minutes deal with it. If it needs to be left to a later date – file it at once with a date to clear the matter. Keep your work space as free from clutter and unresolved issues as you can. Studies have shown that clutter can impact your effectiveness at work.
6. Getting technology working for you
Using some of the tools and gadgets on your computer can help you work more effectively. I recently started using sticky notes for to do lists and reminders etc. and downloaded a free version and sound it to be quite useful. It is very flexible and you can set its priority, change the colour, set an alarm, transparency, and even options to print. Easy to edit, cross off and change fonts and sizes. Now my sticky note alarm sounds and it pops up to remind me to make that call or post this blog.
Though simple ideas they have been tried and tested by some of my clients and their positive feed back has encouraged me to share these. So why not put one of these ideas to test each week and see if you can save time in your business? Let me know how you get on.