10 Additional Time Saving Tips

imagesca83x7i0If you implement even just a few of the time saving tips listed below, you will begin to notice a difference in your workday and your productivity. Even better, you may notice that you have a little more free time.

1. Keep an Organized Workspace
Don’t spend hours rifling through your desk looking for a particular document when you could just implement a filing system and find it in seconds.

2. Back Up Your Files
Create backups of all your important files in case of a computer meltdown. Consider an online service for this purpose.

3. Utilize Shortcuts
Use keyboard and browser shortcuts and keep all your commonly used programs in an easily accessible location.

4. Automate Expenses
Make use of automatic bill pay services whenever possible to avoid late payments and time spent actually paying bills each month.

5. Just Say “No”
Don’t take on tasks just because someone asks you to. If you don’t have the time and it won’t help your business, don’t do it.

6. Make the Most of Down Time
Time spent in waiting rooms, on the subway or even on long elevator rides could be used to update your calendar, write notes or accomplish other simple tasks.

7. Clean Up Old Files
Ridding your computer of old files can not only keep you from having to wade through them while looking for more relevant files, but it can also speed up your computer and save you from a fate of endless loading pages.

8. Use Mobile Apps
There are mobile productivity apps, mobile calendar apps, mobile list apps – all of which can help you accomplish tasks and save time while not in front of a computer.

9. Know Your Habits
If you’re an early bird, get your most important tasks out of the way early. If you’re a night owl, don’t force yourself to turn in big projects in the morning. Play to your strengths.

10. Don’t Over-Schedule
You might be overly optimistic in the morning about how much you can get done that day. But creating a too-full list is only going to overwhelm you later in the day.


What’s in Your Junk Drawer?

messy-drawer-copyRecently I was in the office of a colleague to help her re-position several certificates and awards she’d earned when she asked me to get a measuring tape from her desk. With a mighty tug on what I thought was a jammed drawer, it released and with it, the contents, including magazines, old newspapers, and more. To say I was shocked is an understatement and it reminded me of cranking an old time “jack-in-the-box” to have the toy spring out with a pop. She, on the other hand was nonplussed and simply wanted to get the documents hung and thought the tape measure might be mixed in with the other stuff. It was her office junk drawer.

Now, this woman is a professional, always well groomed and every surface in her office is immaculate, so how could she be so uncharacteristically messy? In my rush to judgment, based on experiencing one tiny piece of her world, I started to think about what my junk drawer looked like and whether it was even a single space or a place.

No doubt, professional organizers have stories to tell. People may be highly structured in their workplace and not so elsewhere. We’ve all seen people whose wallets are crammed with receipts and so full they can’t be closed. Accountants talk of clients who come to them with shoeboxes of paperwork, invoices and notes, yet the rest of their lives are relatively together and successful. Do you take pride in the cleanliness of your car but the glove compartment is a twin to my colleague’s office drawer?

• Is it OK or perhaps healthy to have a free area where you can just dump things?
• Does it provide some relief not to control every square inch of your world when so much of it must be more aligned?
• What would it feel like to pull out the mess and organize the space so that it’s functional?
• What would you gain or lose by eliminating your junk drawer?


10 Things You Can Do Better Today


how-to-time-management-300x225I am a list maker. It helps me to synthesize my thoughts and organize my activities rather than to operate free-form, without a plan. It is too easy to be in action for the sake of feeling like there is accomplishment. Yes, at the end of the day it is better to have cleaned closets, gone to the gym and emerged from the darkness with the purchase of proper wattage light-bulbs. However, task driven busyness is not a substitute for long term measurable results, improved relationships and clarity. Thinking in broader terms may be useful in creating your own list. Below is a sample of a place to start and #10 is a reward in and of itself.

1. Increase your response time to requests.
2. Improve the brevity and simplicity of your electronic correspondence.
3. Connect with 5 new people and 7 existing colleagues or friends each day.
4. Inspect your business process cycle from start to finish for improvement.
5. Rethink your approach to helping others succeed.
6. Increase the number of times you connect others to build new relationships.
7. Resolve 3 pieces of unfinished business, no matter how painful.
8. Live closer to your goals and your main points of focus, and less by reaction.
9. Take time to thank the people who make your life possible.
10. Rest and unplug!

Your list may be quite different and it must be one that makes sense for you. Who wouldn’t want to be better at understanding the value of designing a process, an internal plan that is uniquely yours? How effective will you be when the questions you ask, the calls you make and the level of engagement you choose are consistently in alignment with your list!

• What are your most fundamental guiding principles?
• Too big? Begin with 3 or even 1 and add as you choose
• Notice the shift in your focus – what’s different?
• Notice the response of others to you – what’s different?


A Peek in Your Wallet

StockCardsI recently attended a workshop where we were asked to turn to the person to our right and exchange wallets, temporarily. Participation was optional and the wallet would never be out of sight. We were instructed to open them flat on the table in front of us, not remove anything but take notice of the overall appearance. Was it a true reflection of the owner? For the most part, we were strangers and yet we were sharing a very personal item. Our wallets may mean many things from security to being strictly utilitarian to holding intimate details of our lives.

Glancing around the room I couldn’t help but notice the discomfort level rising. This was not intended to be a public shaming, rather an opportunity to see how we often make our wallets the unintended home for everything. For some it’s morphed into a catch-all and a traveling junk drawer that wastes time when looking for something, and isn’t a true representation of the professional woman you want to present to the world.

Was my wallet unique in its size or color or contents? While I think it is organized and meets my needs, I soon realized that there were some things that could be removed. Are you the woman pulling out a banged up, over-stuffed wallet that could double as a purse with receipts falling out and too thick to close? Is that the impression you want to leave a client or colleague with? What else does it say about you as a professional? Do I want to do business with you? Perhaps not!

Hope is not lost and the following tips may be of help:

• Invest in a quality leather wallet- people notice this
• $100 cash is a reasonable amount to carry and not a horror if lost or stolen
• Generally 2-3 credit cards and your debit card are sufficient for primary and back-up/worst case scenario
• Keep gift cards at home unless you know you will be shopping at the store on that day. Remember, they have the same value as CASH!
• Your driver’s license for ID purposes
• A family or pet photo to remind you of your other, real connections

©2014 MWeisner