Despite our best intentions, the more time we have the more we seem to need, use up or waste.
Enter Hugh Culver, author of Give Me a Break – The Art of Making Time Work for You. Hugh and I had a chance to chat on Your Life, Unlimited radio recently and between our talk and reading his book, I took away some really valuable insights that will help put time back on my side.
Hugh`s book is brimming with useful tidbits to help us use our time more effectively, but first he says we need to be intentional about what we are going to use our new found time for, otherwise we will waste that too. Quality family time, big project time and me-time are some things that may top your list.
In random order, here are some ideas that I am going to implement as my new year unfolds – see if any of them resonate with you.
- Add NRN (no reply needed) to emails as appropriate. Hopefully this will eliminate all those countless `thanks` and `reply to all`s` = more time for you!
- Check email strategically – Hugh suggests 4 times a day. This way you stay focused on your top priorities, not someone else’s = getting more of what you need to get done,done!
- Create a banker`s box – put all those sticky notes, scraps of paper, unread magazines and other stuff cluttering up your desk into a box and date it for one month from now, if you haven`t needed the contents of the box in a months time, chuck it out (breath, breath, I know it`s hard) = de-cluttering makes you more effective, allowing you to have more time for what matters most!
- Set outlook to start with calendar and tasks, instead of email = focusing on the most important things first.
- Schedule meetings for 15 minutes past the hour – studies show that these meetings get better on-time attendance = saving time!
- If e-mails involve emotions or are complex in nature, pick up the phone. This wlll eliminate countless emails going back and forth trying to fix, guess or understand what`s in between the lines = you guessed it, more time!
- E-mails – keep your content brief and your responses even briefer = more time for you and the other person!
- Clean your workspace at least weekly. An orderly work environment decreases stress, blood pressure and increased productivity and even IQ scores = success in work and health!
- 5 minute purge at the end of day to get rid of distraction, so the weekly clean isn`t such a task, get anything distracting out of site = more focus, more time, more structure.
Saving just 10 minutes a day adds up to a whole week in the space of a year. Imagine what could you do with an extra week! What is the one thing you know you need to do to create more time, space, freedom in you life, fill in numbers 10 and 11 with your items and then DO IT = happier you.
For more time saving advice and loads of interesting and complimentary resources visit www.HughCulver.com.