say you don't have enough time!
have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen
Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo daVinci, Thomas
Jefferson, Madame Currie and Albert Einstein. And
that statement is one for the books, to be thrown out the
window with rest of negative thinking.
how overwhelming the task in front of you, remember you have the same 24
hours as George Bush has today and that Thomas Edison, Leonardo daVinci
and many other big producers had before. The power of time may well be
in how well we use those same hours by using basically the same golden
rules of time management... like planning, prioritizing, delegating,
dividing big task into smaller ones, measuring progress, etc. that the
Plan, Prioritize and Pace
procrastinate. The longer you put off a task, the more time
you're wasting that could be used to do that task or something else.
This is the biggest obstacle to overcome on your path to effective time
dollar value on your time. Figure out how much your time is worth
and the rest will fall into place.
right work at the right time. If you're a morning person, you
should be busily writing the client memo at 9 a.m., not standing in line
at the post office, In
other words, do intellectual tasks when you're the most alert and save
the mundane tasks for your low-energy moments.
Automate. Find ways to do things faster by automating. The key is
to use technology to decrease the time it takes to get something done.
Sometimes automation will seem like a time saver, but practical
experience will show that it's not.
calls. There are "high-maintenance" friends and
clients. Using an answering machine or caller ID lets you know when to
take a call or when to let the machine answer it.
different location. If you have work you need to do and it's not getting
done because of constant interruptions, consider spending a day or part
of a day doing the job at home. Or, if you work out of the home,
consider turning off the phone ringer or screening calls for a couple of
hours to get the important project done.
Implement an efficient organizational system. It doesn't
matter whether you use a Franklin Day Planner, a Palm Pilot or a legal
pad and a pen. Find a system that works for you. Use a to do list! Any simple method for organizing is good. When
working on large projects that require multi-tasking use a good Project
Management Software Package. My
favorite is Microsoft Project.
Reshuffle the list as needed. Re-evaluate tasks and
priorities as your project or day proceeds; group tasks into long term
or short term. Prioritize
using simple number or alpha systems.
Always expect the unexpected. In a typical week plan for only
25 30 hours of regular work and allow 10 15 hour for the
unexpected. Not scheduling
every minute gives you that extra needed time for catch up
- should nothing unexpected come up!
Clean up as you go along. This
one is a no-brainer! Put
files or tools away immediately. Helps
to avoid clutter and just plain makes you look good.
Avoid useless filing. If you dont need it throw it away!
KISS Keep it Simple
KISS Tip #
1 . . . minimize interruptions
are a challenge for almost everyone. Consider your office or cubicle
layout. Think about repositioning your desk or your chair, use
plants as a screen and a barrier - you will be less distracted.
just making yourself unavailable for every passer-by will help to save
valuable and productive time each day!
and every time
our eyes connect with another - we give subliminal approval to be
interrupted. Some of those connections turn into minutes. A few minutes
here and there turn quickly into hours. Haven't you often heard yourself
saying: "Where has the day gone?"
Tip # 2 . . . avoid clutter
as you go along - putting off keeping a clean desk or creating piles of
paper will only come back and bite you! Our mothers had the right
ideas when they stayed after us to pick up every thing and keep our rooms
all clutter in your life in your garage in the pantry on your
desk! One sure and fast way to save time is the ability to move
around your belongings and find things quickly. Your desk and work areas
should not be cluttered. Your file system should be simple and easy
for anyone to navigate. Keep things and files that you reference or
use often - close at hand. Archive files that are not referenced but
need to be stored.
Tip # 3 . . . learn WHEN to
you just need to put things off!! WHAT you say!! A business
management specialist telling you to procrastinate! And... after all
it is the #1 "time saving tip!". Well, you know what - if
you feel overwhelmed; with just way too much to do -- put the brakes
on! Sit back, relax, put some things off and re-organize! Some
things will just go away! Of course the key here is to re-prioritize
things and attend to the most important items first. Just stepping
outside the box can help save the day!
typically is not a beneficial behavior. But
when presented with
problems or decisions that cannot be solved immediately - do not let clog
your mind. Put them away in a drawer. Once a month, (or more or less
frequently, depending on your needs), take out your 'problems' and go
through them. Over half will have solved themselves and gone away. Throw
these away. About a quarter you will still be unable to do anything about
- put them back in the drawer. The rest you will now be able to attend to.
This useful method of re-examination will actually eliminate some of the
problems or at least give some of them the time to work themselves out.
Tip # 4 . . . avoid
you just get to the point where you know too much!
This can be a real dilemma!
In this very fast Information Age information overload can be a
real hassle. The
task at hand is to convert the information into knowledge.
We just need to know how to retrieve the needed information or
intelligence when required.
you know that we receive more material in one weekend paper than the
majority of people living in the 1700's would have had access to in their
up with the news - skim, focus and discard. Be very selective with what
you read. Skim-read
and discard information that you do not need.
Keep up with the material needed for the tasks at hand.
much time do you spend on non-focused reading each week? You may well
enjoy it, but what else CAN'T you do because of the time taken in such
cerebral pursuits? It might be worth learning speed-reading.
Take an audit of the magazines that you read. Subscribing to too
many printed magazines can be both expensive and time consuming.
all costs avoid even looking through junk mail toss all printed junk
mail as fast as possible.
Delete immediately all e-mail spam!
gain time by focusing on the information sources most relevant for
ourselves, and not losing sleep about what we might miss out on. We should
be selective about what we read.
We need to make good choices about what to ignore and even
Tip # 5 . . . slow down!
key issue here it to
work carefully doing things right the first time is a critical
component to doing a quality job! When we do not have to redo things
and go over them to make repairs we definitely are saving time! It
is really that simple! But this concept is one that needs and
demands focus and concentration.
Tip # 6 . . . schedule
your phone time
aside specific times of the workday for phone calls.
the answer machine! Many worth less phone distractions can be
eliminated with this method. You can also make decisions as priority
and to which calls need to be returned or ignored. Besides being
able to hold your phone messages some machine will actually permit live
screening of calls.
FOR PHONE CALLS. Before you call someone, make a list of important things
you want to say or ask. This way, you won't forget anything, and you won't
have to waste time calling back later. Preparation will also help
you stay focused and keep things to the point.
Tip # 7 . . .
use your e-mail as a tool
e-mail tips - How to keep the Inbox empty: Use
your e-mail as a tool not a hindrance to your productivity.
your email Inbox quickly. Delete the obvious ones; send quick 'I'll get
back to you soon' responses to the important and lengthier mail; answer
the quick matters, and drag other less urgent mail into a separate folder.
Throw out all useless e-mail instantly!
- to keep the dreaded Inbox empty!
with written correspondence - SEND BACK THE ORIGINAL.
Rather than typing up a brand new letter, answer routine
correspondence right on the original you received. Keep a copy for your
records and mail the original back to the sender with your response.
Time Saving Tips
Set realistic goals and have clear and concise objectives to meet
Keep a list and PRIORITIZE IT.
Delegate; train your staff and check up on tasks you assign,
Do not over delegate.
Control interruptions (put a "do not disturb" sign
Minimize meetings, but make them worthwhile when necessary.
Agendas are a requirement.
Keep notes or a journal and keep it on your desk
Concentrate on only one thing at a time.
Handle correspondence quickly and efficiently. Dont let
it pile up.
Communicate clearly. Be specific.
Bullet points are quick, efficient and to the point.
Always have lunch. Avoid discussing business, eat slowly and
take your full lunch period.
Ask for help know where to look things up and keep
reference books nearby.
Visit people that make you feel good. This will keep your
energy level high.
Keep things positive!
Keep track of your down moods on a calendar. If cycles can
be traced, prepare for them.
Pay attention to your health, diet and sleep.
Exercise work out!
Keep the work you have to do right in front of you.
Set specific time limits on tasks.
Break the task down into segments.
Keep a positive disposition toward staff & co-workers.
Be assertive - say no when you need to.
time is our most important commodity.
your time is to waste your life.
Dont spend your life . . .live it.
Time Wasters... And
how to avoid them:
time by scheduling a conference call or a video conference. Saves time
and Money. Technology is the ultimate time saver if used
CALLERS: State upfront that you have just a few minutes
available. Stay on the point, answer precisely or ask your
questions immediately. If someone starts rambling remind them you
need to go and if important that you will call back. Screening calls
also saves time.
Looking for lost
items: Organization is key. "A place for
everything and everything in it's place"! Set up a good filing system
and have a good material reference area. Quickly retrieving
information is valuable to saving time. Information is power.
Keep supplies handy. Use the circle system where things that you
use most often stay closest to you and lesser important things move
further away from you in a circular prioritizing fashion.
LACK of Focus:
Don't be a bouncing ball, you don't need to
accomplish everything... just the important things! Keep it
simple. Use just one TO-DO list. Note the word USE!!
Close the office door, let the voice-mail take
your messages. If working on an important project - share the
information with your team that you need an un-interrupted few hours.
If it helps arrive early to work or leave later.
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