It isn’t how much time you have in any given day that matters. It’s what you do with it that counts.
#1: Focus FIRST – It’s tempting to start your day with distractions like checking in with social media or peeking at your inbox to see if any urgent messages are waiting for you. DON’T!
Start your day by tackling a task – big or small…it doesn’t matter. Starting with purpose and focus builds momentum, which makes you less inclined to get off track when you finally do check in with the outside world.
You owe it to yourself to start your day with you (even if it’s just the first 30 minutes)!
#2: Single task – Does your workday feel more like a ring-three circus with kids tugging on your sleeve, clients and colleagues ringing and pinging, and all the other alerts, beeps and chimes going off every second of the day?
Create boundaries during your official office hours, turn off the communication tools, and mute all the alerts and FOCUS on one task. You will be far more effective with 30 minutes of focus time than 2 hours of juggling.
The rule: one time block, one task. Learn it, love it, live it.
#3: Make the minutes count – So what do you do when you are waiting for a conference call to start or a meeting to show up? It’s that ‘in-between’ time where you can really get stuff done.
Not big stuff, but the little stuff that sucks your time during your focus time. Keep a running list of quick to-do’s in your task list. It can be anything from a quick phone call or writing a follow-up email.
The rule: as long as it’s something you can accomplish in less than 5 minutes.
#4: Simplify, automate and delegate – Look for opportunities to eliminate steps, find shortcuts, and remove unnecessary complication. Take your brain out of it by using technology and templates to automate.
Then you are ready to delegate because you won’t be overpaying for steps that could be simplified or automated.
#5: Use a timer – We all know that we work better (and faster) under a pressure. Set a timer (and stick to it) to create that sense of urgency to complete the task in less time.
The tendency is when we have more time, we fuss over details, redo and rethink.
Set the timer and go – get it done.
#6: Learn your tools – The majority of end-users only ever use about 10% of the functionality and yet the other 90% is where you will find all the cool time-saving stuff.
Invest a bit of time in learning the in’s and out’s of the tools you use on a daily basis. Watch a quick video tutorial, buy a “For Dummies” book or ask your power user colleagues for their best tips.
You will thank me later. I promise.
#7: Read Momentum Monday – Consider it your weekly reminder to pay attention to your daily habits and build momentum. Sometimes we even kick it up a notch and give you that kick in the ass you need to get back on track.