We live in a world where more is expected of us every day.
First there were fax machines, now email and cell phones.
Our number of communications daily from various sources is
How can we get to all of it in a timely fashion and still
get 8 hours of sleep?
Here are three time reducing strategies that are easy to
1. Schedule. Like it or not in today's world if you want to
achieve greater levels of success you must learn to use a
schedule. You can use a Palm Pilot, a journal or a
Daytimer. I use the Franklin-Covey Planning software for
windows. It pops up when I turn on my computer and it is
compatible with my Palm Pilot so that I can sync at night
when I leave my office.
Now, having a schedule isn't half as important as using a
schedule. It doesn't work if you don't use it? everyday.
I keep track of appointments, make a To Do list and then as
I work on projects I enter them in so that I can make a
journal of my day. Later, this will help me remember how
much time I spent on tasks for billing purposes. I schedule
in exercise time and I schedule in personal development time
for reading and writing.
Once you get started, you'll find it easier and easier to
use. The amount of time saved by spending the time to keep
your schedule can be enormous. It helps to eliminate the
clutter we create on our desks and in our minds when trying
to remember all the things we need to do.
It can also help to eliminate unnecessary tasks. Many times
we say 'yes' when something is not really in alignment with
our goals. The act of making time for it and getting on the
schedule will cause you to evaluate its importance. This
can be a tremendous time saver.
2. Systems. Systems are a key component in time management.
I have a system for everything! Systems do not have to be
complicated but they help to keep you on track and save
For instance, I use a 'system' for my after-work time. When
I leave the office my evening everyday is pre-planned. I
drive home, I change, I make dinner, I watch one hour of TV,
I work two hours, and I go to bed? A system.
I follow the same system every single day. It removes
wasted time trying to decide what I'm going to do with my
time. Setting up systems for checking email or taking calls
can be a real time saver. If you have tasks that you do
regularly, think about ways to systemize them. Sometimes
setting up forms or check lists, creating schedules or flow
charts, delegating, just about anything can be turned into a
time saving system.
3. Lists. Keep lists. You can keep the lists in your
schedule but you need to get into the habit of making a list
for tasks and systems. Checklists save time because you
don't have to think about what comes next. The amount of
time I save by using a calculator instead of figuring in my
head is enormous?. Using lists is very much the same.
By removing the "think" time you streamline processes and
save brain energy for more important things. I have a
grocery list prepared in Excel, I print it off before I head
to the store and buy only what I need. No time wasted
wandering the aisles.
I have a checklist for updating my weblog and writing my
newsletter. I have templates for the newsletter and I have
time scheduled to do both.
Many times a little time spent upfront can be a huge savings
later. When I find myself doing a task that I've done
before and feel like its taking too long, I sit down
systemize and make a checklist and suddenly I've found 15 or
? Yolanda A. Facio for Strategy-3.com All Rights Reserved
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