Save Time…Simplify Your Day

ignore-listenNot all tips may apply to you and no doubt you already employ ways to simplify your days, however, if you can pull out even one idea that eases your workday, enjoy!

1. Limit Meetings
Meetings can be essential, but they can also turn into time wasters if they go on too long or happen too frequently. Accept and schedule only important meetings.

2. Use Email Filters and Archives
Use email filters and archives so that you don’t spend hours looking for a particular message. Easy tools can keep your communications organized.

3. Hire a Virtual Assistant
A virtual assistant can help you with mundane daily tasks like email and bookkeeping.

4. Keep Projects in One Place
For both completed projects and those still in progress, have one folder or area where you know you can find them.

5. Avoid Travel Rush Hour
If you commute or have to travel for meetings, take traffic and construction into account. WAZE is an excellent GPS navigational tool and a quick app to download.

6. Have Virtual Meetings
Whenever possible opt out of on-site meetings and instead consider the use of programs like Skype or GoToMeeting.

7. Take and Organize Notes
Keep a notebook with you at all times to jot down notes and ideas or use an app like Evernote to store ideas, images and more so you don’t waste time trying to think of them later.

8. Take Advantage of Technology
There are many time saving and organizational apps and services available such as Dropbox, which lets you bring your photos, docs and videos anywhere. Experiment and find the ones that work for you.

9. Don’t Get Carried Away
Attempting to master and utilize too many productivity applications and services at once can be a time waster. Don’t use so many of them that you spend more time on them than you save.

10. Delegate
Ask your team to take on tasks that you don’t have time for or those with which you know they’d do a good job. Outsource and ask for support before you are overwhelmed.


Do, Dump, Delegate or Defer

1e750f2The 4Ds typically refer to time management techniques. How can you be more effective, more efficient and hopefully, more satisfied with your work environment. Since we spend at least 1/3 of our waking hours working, better functioning by eliminating some stressors may also have a spillover impact on our personal lives. And with the ever increased blurring of lines between work/home, why not use the same tools to improve the way we approach our lives as a whole?

I hate clutter, a messy desk, or a disorganized closet. I find it hard to concentrate or relax when the environment feels chaotic. My preference is to maintain a level of neatness that’s livable vs. neurotic and there’s always room for improvement.

The approach that I have found most workable is to prioritize tasks and the strategies to best approach them.

• Dump/Delete/Drop: This is a topic unto itself. Whether it’s e-mails, meetings, bad relationships or outdated clothing, think of each new day as January 1st and an opportunity to “clean-house” and move on. With practice, you will become better at identifying this category more quickly like scanning for unwanted e-mails or not responding to other interruptions.

• Delegate: If someone else can do the task 2/3 as well as you, pass it along. From holiday dinners to other tasks that are time consuming, and not in a good way, think of other options to engage more people in creating positive outcomes.

• Defer: The timing may be better done later. Determine if that is the case and while a given task must be done, if there is no urgency, assign it a low priority and revisit at a later time.

• DO: Work on one thing at a time. Stay focused, buckle down and get it done. Once you have eliminated the previous “tests” and identified what YOU need to do, prepare the space and concentrate. Notice how much easier it is to do so now that you have removed distractions and other time wasters.