Free up an Hour or More per Day at Your Job by Implelenting Some Simple Strategies

A survey done by Salary.Com a couple of years ago reported that the average employee wastes an average of 1.7 hours during a normal 8 hour workday.  This survey was done of 2,00o workers across all job levels. 

Sounds like a great opportunity for increased personal productivity.

Why not recapture this time and get your work done faster?  For those in incentive laden jobs, you will certainly increase your income in the same amount of time.  For those in non incentive laden jobs, why not get your work done faster and use the extra time on " getting things done "that you would normally have to do after work.

Below are some simple, easy to implement time management techniques which will increase your personal productivity and have you getting things done at a record pace.

  • At the start of each day, do each item on your to do list that can be completed in 5 minutes or less.  This will allow you to work on more important, time consuming projects throughout the day with less "things" on your mind. Do the same about 2/3rds of the way through your day.  This will keep things from piling up on you.
  • Don't allow people to waste your time with mindless conversation.  Every office has these invaders.  They saunter by, coffee cup in hand and start up a conversation.  If you don't nip it in the bud in the first minute with some sort of pre thought up excuse, they will quickly seize the opportunity to sit down and before you know it, 30 minutes of time has elapsed and you want to jump off a bridge.  Be ready, look busy and cut them off in the most no nonsense, polite way possible.  Several failed attempts later and  their heat seeking radar will seek out another unlucky co-worker.
  • Check Email at predermined times.  I check email 3 times per day, at 9am, 1pm and 4pm.  Turn off the automatic setting  on your email so you won't be tempted to open it up an email everytime your computer "dings".  If you receive email on your phone, change your email alert to silent so you aren't tempted to pull out your phone everytime you here the alert.
  • Check Voicemail at predetermed times.  Turn off (or put black) tape over indicators that show you have a message waiting.
  • Don't waste your time surfing the  internet off and on all day.  Allow yourself a couple of times a day to check headlines or do a little bit of surfing for a couple of minutes, perhaps after checking Voicemail or Email. 
  • Bring your lunch everyday or at least 4 days a week.  This alone can be a huge time saver.  If you can, take as little time for lunch as comfortable in order to leave early each day.  If you are stuck with a mandatory hour lunch break, use the extra time to personal errands or tasks that you would normally do on your after work time.
  • Don't do repeated, routine tasks at the moment they turn up.  Batch routine tasks and do them at scheduled times and intervals. 
  • Meetings - Avoid them when you can and escape from them when you can't.  There is no bigger drain on your personal productivity than the dreaded meeting.  Getting things done during a day with one or more meetings will be next to impossible.  If you have to attend, try one of the following.  Ask for an agenda in advance.  This may force the meeting originator to come up with an agenda when there was intially no intent to create one.  Even though you are not the originator, try to keep the meeting on point and with the agenda.  You can only do this every so often but if you think it is going to be long meeting that you only have a small part in, ask to cover  your section first and then be excused because you have "a pressing project" to work on.

Everyone's job and situation is different.  Your situation will probably not allow you to do some of the above items and you probably have thought of at least one other time waster specific to your situation that is not  listed above.  You will need to tailor your specific plan to your situation at work.

Get started right away and review your progress and re-commit yourself at the end of each week.  It may take awhile to gain consistency with implementing these tips but the results will greater personal productivity and a greater sense of being in control of your time.

Personal Productivity