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Eight Ways to Save Time

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Do you ever wonder how you are going to have enough time to complete everything you need to complete? Create more time each week with these eight tips and ideas:

1.  Clutter can slow you down by distracting you from what you want to do. To take control, begin in one corner of one room and straighten up. (No cheating! Don’t just move the clutter to another corner!) Afterward, give yourself a reward for your good work. If you continue this pattern over time, you’ll get the job done.

2.  Do you arrive at your office most mornings frazzled from too much rushing around before leaving the house? Prepare for your departure the night before: put your coat, car keys, and briefcase by the door, ready to grab, and set your alarm fifteen minutes earlier. You’ll start the day feeling more in command.

3.  The next time you pass a card store, stock up on a supply of “thank you,” “congratulations,” and “great job” cards. Keep a supply at the office and some at home. Remember how you feel when a good word is sent your way and be generous in your compliments to others.

4.  Do you keep “to do” lists that run on for pages? If you often feel discouraged by what’s not crossed off your lists, make them shorter. The most effective managers identify only three top priorities each day. And their self-esteem is stroked repeatedly when they cross off all three tasks, day after day.

5.  In today’s world of so-called advanced telecommunications, more people identify “telephone tag” as their biggest time waster. When you leave a phone message on someone’s voice mail or answering machine, remember to cover the four W’s: who called, why you called, what you’d like the receiver to do, and when you’re available to receive a return call. A specific request with detailed information increases your chances of a reply. Furthermore, on the incoming message of your answering machine, direct callers to leave you answers to the four W’s.

6.  It has been said that the two-letter word no is the single most effective time management tool there is. Saying no to yourself and others is a great way to keep from becoming overloaded with things to do. Much of what we do on a daily basis is nonessential.  Limiting the things we allow ourselves to become committed to will free up our time to do the more important things.

7.  Are you a “morning person,” or a “night person”? Each of us has a biological clock; that is, there are certain times of day when we are most alert and at peak energy and other times when we’re not. You will save time if you do your most difficult or demanding work during your high-energy hours. Postpone your routine chores and low-priority tasks until your “down time.”

8.  Think of ways you can cut down on repeated errands. Unless it’s an emergency, don’t take only one item to the dry cleaners. Wait until you have two or more. Likewise, accumulate several reasons to visit the pharmacy, the shoe repair, or the hardware store.