I hear so many people these days saying that there aren’t enough hours in the day to get their work done, are you one of them? If so here are six ideas that may be of benefit if you want to ‘create time’ to get your work done.
Alter Your Hours and Create 6 Weeks a Year!
How would you like an extra 6 weeks a year to spend with the family? It can be easily done! If like most people you work from 9am-5pm, you are undoubtedly commuting to work in rush hour traffic. In most large cities, the average commute spends an average of two hours a day commuting to and from their place of work. Flexi Time working is becoming more popular these days, but is sometimes resisted by employees. If you are able to, consider changing your hours from the normal 9 – 5pm to 8 – 4pm, or even 10 – 6, that small change means you would miss the rush hour traffic and save thirty minutes each way or an hour a day, which in turn equates to between 220 and 250 hours a year (depending on which country you live in)! That alone will free up the equivalent of five or six working weeks!
Turn Commuting Time into Productive Time
Many of us dread the daily commute to the office, getting caught up in traffic jams or the curse of the delayed train. Many people succumb to road rage and get stressed out by all the hustle and bustle. There must be a better way to start the day than to be stressed out before we even get to work! With a little thought you can take advantage of this time. If traveling by car, turn the radio off and start to give some thought to your upcoming day, perhaps use a Dictaphone to record your daily action list or outline that email you have been putting off. If traveling by bus or train use the time to read that report or perhaps you can clear some emails prior to arriving at the office?
Get a head start to your day by using your commuting time wisely, you will free up time and be more productive and focused when you finally do get to the office.
The Big Email Debate
What should I do? Do I answer emails as they arrive in my inbox or at set times during the day? Most people have their email notification switched on and when the machine goes ding, they are compelled to read the email that has just arrived, unfortunately this is one of the most common time stealers. It’s not just the few minutes that it takes to read the mail, it’s the 10 – 15 minutes it takes to get focused again. If you only received 10 emails a day and 10 minutes refocusing time, that’s about eight hours a week of your time that is being stolen.
Checking your emails at set times (i.e.10am, 1pm, 4pm), saves you time. Give yourself a set 15 minutes to check as many emails as you can. Let people know how you work and stick to it, they will get used to it and you will be far more productive, you may even leave the office on time!!
Spend Time To Create Time!
Spend time at the beginning of the day identifying your priorities for the day. Many people spend their days being incredibly busy doing the wrong things. Prioritize your activities to ensure you get the ‘Big Stuff’ done. It’s easy to fit the small stuff around the big stuff, but not as easy to fit the big stuff around the small stuff. As a famous quote said, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail!”
Don’t answer Your Phone!
Yes, you read it correctly, let all your calls go to your voice mail. You can then set aside a dedicated time to return your calls. By doing this you will be able to plan the call in advance and be decisive and to the point. If the other person isn’t there when you return the call either leave a message answering there query or tell them when you will call back, better still you may be able to answer their query in a quick email.
Eat a Homemade Sandwich?
Most people are given a 30 to 60 minute lunch break, which they spend queuing in the restaurant or café. Whilst you should always aim to take a break, it only takes 5-10 minutes to eat a sandwich. By taking a sandwich to work you will save 50 minutes a day, or 4 hours a week and in truth your sandwich will probably be a lot healthier and far more palatable than the one you would have brought in the shop.
What could you do to create time on a daily basis?
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Till Next Time
Mike Gardner is the Time Doctor