More Work in Less Time —
Do you know how much time you are wasting in a day? E-mail notifications, phone calls, blogs, IM, texts, general chitchat, and undefined meetings are taking an enormous chunk out of your plan for a productive day. Statistics show that one intrusion occurs every seven minutes and lasts an average of five minutes (including the time it takes to remember what you were doing before the interruption). That means up to 68 disruptions a day. All told, that’s 340 minutes, or 5.6 hours, gone from every day.
Are you wasting time texting, IM-ing, or chitchatting? Are you overwhelmed when a project is coming to its due date and you have barely started?
There is help to get you further with less time, as well as more efficiency. Here are some tips and apps to help you become a time saver, productive working machine.
Everyone Has 24 Hours in One Day.
As Geoffrey James put it so eloquently, “Nobody got any more than you did, so stop complaining. More important, the time you’re wasting by complaining could be spent doing something productive.” You know he is right, so do what he says. Stop complaining about your lack of time and start doing something with your time because we all have 24 hours in one day.
Track Your Time
Geoffrey James says that tracking your time is important, as it will allow you to see where you are wasting it. Once you have identified time that is being wasted, you can eliminate that distraction. Need help with finding what your distractions truly are? There’s an app for that!
Rescue Time will help you identify your time thieves by sending you weekly reports to your email. This will be a great app to use so you can start eliminating the time spent on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social network.
PocketFree is another great app for those who get easily distracted on the Internet. Using this tool saves those interesting websites where you can find them later when you have the time allowed to view them.
Prioritize! Prioritize! Prioritize!
We cannot stress enough how important it is to prioritize your day; this is something you need to discipline yourself in if you would like to get more things done in less time. Geoffrey James goes back to the 80/20 rule which states that 20% of your time will result in 80% of your work. So when making a to-do list, “prioritize each item by the amount of effort required, numbering them from one to ten, with one being the least amount of effort and ten the most. Then estimate the potential positive results, again from one to ten.” Here is a short example that he gave from his blog:
Task 1: Write report on trip meeting
Effort=10, Result=2, Priority=5 (that is, 10÷2)
Task 2: Prepare presentation for marketing
Effort=4, Result=4, Priority=1
Task 3: Call current customer about referral
Effort=1, Result=10, Priority=0.1
- Task 1: Write report on trip meeting (Priority 5)
- Task 2: Prepare presentation for marketing (Priority 1)
- Task 3: Call current customer about referral (Priority 0.1)
Maybe you have difficulty making your own to-do list. Be thanking an app for that right now, because there are more than enough To-Do List apps out there. Here are a few:
Remember the Milk is an app that manages your to-do list in a variety of devices. This is compatible with your mobile, laptop, gmail, and other forms of devices so you can manage your day (or life) in one easy place. It also helps you remember when your appointments are or when your next task is due.
According to Life Hack, “Evernote is a free productivity tool that allows you to capture all your ideas, thoughts and images in many different ways, e.g. with voice, notes or images. You can even record your meetings, interviews, speeches and ideas, create lists, add voice or text attachments and share your files with friends.” The great thing about this app? You can sync Remember the Milk with Evernote to really optimize your day!
MyLife Organize is an app to help you reach your goals by helping you focus on your objectives and target. It automatically generates to-do lists and makes certain actions a priority so you can make progress with ease.
Now you’re thinking, “You want me to be ruthless?” Both Geoffrey James and Craig Ballantyne from the blog, Early to Rise, agree on this. Ballantyne puts it this way: “Remember, it’s your time, it’s your life, and it’s your dreams you are after.” Here are just some short ideas from both authors on how to be ruthless with your time:
- Work better in email rather than voicemail? In your voicemail, give your email address so the caller can email you instead of leaving a long, explanatory voicemail.
- Don’t answer calls that you don’t know the number. If it’s important, they will send you an email.
- Check your emails at certain times and let everyone know you will do so at those times.
- Don’t chitchat when you have work to be done. On the phone? Make it a 10-minute conversation and don’t drag it out to a 30-minute social call.
- Don’t allow people to drop by your office uninvited. If need be, get rude.
- Script your day. Or get one of the handy apps mentioned in the article to script your day out.
For more information on time management and how you can get more work done with less time, check out The Productivity Experts at www.theproductivityexperts.com