Time Saving Tips

Use these time saving tips, which you can apply to many different areas of your work and personal life, which will help you keep in control and meet deadlines.

1. Do your thinking on paper. You will make quicker and better decisions if you write down the pros and cons of a line of action. This does not take time it saves time!

2. In handling correspondence, consider answering routine letters and memos on the original, running them through the office copier for your own records and returning the original to the sender.

3. If you find it difficult to get any 'quiet time', try to arrive before anyone else to gain interrupted time for planning and other tasks.

4. Get at least ten minutes of programmed exercise every day, and throughout the day use every opportunity to walk, stand, climb stairs, bend over, etc. This not only promotes health but also increases 'prime time' by reducing fatigue.

5. Avoid clutter.   Keep everything you are not working on out of your immediate working area and out of sight, if possible.  Always tidy up your desk and work area before leaving.

6.Set up a desk file (sometimes called a pending file) to provide an automatic method of bringing papers to your attention on specific dates in the future.

7. Never do errands on impulse. Plan your route carefully, handling as many errands as possible each time.

8. 'Let your fingers do the walking'. Before running errands, telephone to compare prices, determine availability, etc.

9. Plan each night what you are going to wear the next day, and lay it out ahead of time.

10. Use window envelopes where appropriate for correspondence, saving the time of a second typing of the name and address.

11. Plan your television viewing a week ahead, so that you will be more selective in what you watch. Never turn on a TV set just to see what is on.

12. Learn to read routine material more rapidly. Do not 'backtrack', compulsively re-reading phrases before going on.

13. Write a memo to yourself for future reference whenever you have completed a difficult task which you will have to do again in the future. You will benefit more from an experience if you have made a written record of your mistakes and of the lessons learned.

14. If you are always 'putting out fires', ask yourself after each crisis:
(a) Why did it occur?
(b) What can be done to prevent its recurrence and
(c) If it does recur how can I handle it better next time?

15. Ask yourself Townsend's question a hundred times a day: "Is what I am doing, or about to do, moving me toward my objective?

16. Purchase, hire or borrow audio recordings, podcasts or DVD's on time management, self-motivation and similar subjects, as well as any which are available in your professional field, and listen to them whenever you are travelling in your car.

17. Consider moving close to your place of work. This is a big step, but if you saved only fifteen minutes on commuting time each way, you would gain an additional three weeks of working (or leisure) time per year!

18. Rewrite your goals and activities, and re-prioritise them at least every three months. The world changes, we change and so must our goals.

19. Work on only one item at a time.

20. Expect others to succeed; it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

21. Do not over control others. It is frustrating for them and time consuming for you.

22. Purge your files annually. You will be able to find needed items quicker and will save on storage costs.

23. Stand up while on the telephone. Your conversations will be shorter.

24. Except for filing cabinets and your desk, remove from your office any item on which you accumulate paperwork. It will force you to make the decisions you should make on a timely basis.

25. Establish your lowest productivity hour as interruptions hour. Encourage your subordinates to see you then.

26. At the weekend, plan and schedule your personal tasks and errands for the next week.

27. Make a worry list. These events seldom materialise, and you will not spend so much time worrying in the future.

28. Always delegate slightly more than what you feel the subordinate is capable of handling. You will enjoy the pleasant surprises and the failures will be few in number.

29. Try to avoid being placed on hold on the telephone. It takes less time to call back.

30. As often as possible provide written instructions to subordinates. This may prevent numerous interruptions by both you and your employee.

31. At least twice a year, record and analyse how you are using your time. This will differ from how you think you are using your time.

32. Never put uncompleted activities from today at the top of tomorrow's 'to do' list. You must re-prioritise them.

33. Divide seemingly overwhelming tasks into small increments, and attack them one at a time.

34. Do one task each day that you do not like to do. It is a good discipline and it will help you through difficult times.

35. Discuss time management with your co-workers, and determine what you can do as individuals and as a team to use it more effectively.

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