It all adds up – minute by minute, second by second IF you know how to effectively use what I call “in between time”. It’s the sand and the water that fills in the gaps between the rocks and the pebbles in the famous rock, pebble, sand allegory for time and priority management.
5 Ways to Get More Done One Minute at a Time
#1: On Hold – Waiting for a call to pick up or for a conference call to start is when multitasking makes sense. It’s not enough time to tackle any of your priority tasks, but it’s perfect for getting the little stuff done.
What to do: Scan your email for junk that you can immediately dump, monitor social media feeds and reply to comments, tidy up your desk or brainstorm ideas for an upcoming project.
#2: Transition Time – Give yourself a 15- minute mental recharge break in-between project tasks throughout the day. That’s the perfect time to catch up on short administrative tasks.
What to do: File daily project paperwork, handle quick batch tasks like paying bills or replying to emails or organize your project calendar identifying crunch times or adding in extra time to meetings for research, preparation and follow-up.
#3: Manage Mobile Minutes – Often we find ourselves in waiting rooms….waiting. It’s not enough time to pull out a computer and work, and unless you are a veteran Smartphone stenographer, typing tasks are out.
What to do: If the situation permits, dictate a memo into your Smartphone or return phone calls from your “To call” list. If not, pull out a pen and paper and mindmap a task list for upcoming projects.
#4: Stuck Time – Using stuck time for in-between tasks serves two purposes: #1: It maximizes time that may otherwise be frittered away staring blankly at your screen and #2 Accomplishing something concrete is the best way to kick-start your creativity.
What to do: Anything that guarantees you success because success begets more success and that’s exactly what stuckness needs!
#5: Solo Travel Time – The time spent in planes, trains and automobiles can be some of your most productive time if you use it correctly and look for every opportunity to get stuff done.
What to do: Catch up on business reading, listen to motivational or learning podcasts in those annoying line-ups, and use any “No electronic device allowed” time to write a few personal Thank You cards to VIP clients.