Last week we looked at how much time you spend working every week. We looked at how Christine managed her time and tried to find ways to improve her productivity. The key here is to step back, see where you’re spending/wasting time and then find practical ways to address this. What works for Christine may not work for you – but making a start will make a difference.
7 Ways to Save Time At Work
Here are some ways she created more time during the week.
- Attended team meetings but left after giving her presentation – unless it was critical to stay for the next presentation. Usually not.
- Stopped attending meetings where her input was not required, e.g. general FYIs and progress reports. She asked for the Status Reports from the PMs, accepted/rejected her tasks, and got back to work. See Project Management by video here.
- Worked from home every Tuesday (and later every Wed). This let her work – without interruption – for 10 hours.
- Booked conf rooms – just for herself – locked herself in and worked away in peace. When she worked at the desk, people kept interrupting.
- Ignored emails – except high priorities – for 24 hours. Why? Many small things resolved themselves. People found the document they were after. People didn’t need something anymore.
- Ignored low priorities emails for 72 hours. Why? Many emails were just total time-wasters. Spending time on this robbed her of time in other areas.
- Turned off her Blackberry, IM and email when working. She checked these on the dot at 11 am and 3pm. Between then, she was ‘working’.
What Christine did was prioritize her work.
Providing she met her deliverables – or exceeded them as was now the case – her managers were fine. Co-workers had to change their expectations, i.e. she was not available for idle chatter, “How do I move a pig in Farmville?”, or activities that removed her from her goal.
See How to Get Your Email Answered.
What makes here different is that she has a definite goal. Her aim was to be more productive and get the recognition. Many people do the donkey work but don’t get the credit for it.
By using her time well, she showed senior mgt that she was a cut above the rest. When I left the project, she became the Team Lead.
See 4 Hour Week Cheat Sheet.
How about you?
How much time do you spend actually doing what you want to do? How do you stop others from wasting your time and pulling you away from your goals?