How Can I Get More Out Of My Day?

Not enough time to get things done, or to do the things we really want to do, is a common complaint in all of our lives yet the answer to this riddle is relatively easy to solve.

Try looking, and be honest with yourself!, at the following “Time Drains” and see if you can eliminate them from your activities:

  • Too many Meetings – decide which you HAVE to go to and eliminate all of those that do not give you a return for your time.
  • Meetings with no real Agenda – this situation also included meetings where the Agenda is not followed. Make the point, politely of course, that Agendas are vitally important and that not having an effective Agenda waste everyone’s time and effort.
  • Receiving too many phone calls – either get the calls screened or do not answer the phone in a specific period e.g. from 14.00 to 16.00 to allow you to get on with other things.
  • Unstructured conversations – we all like to talk but when time is precious prepare for them by writing down the points that you want to make and stick to them. No need to be rude or brusque with people but keep things brief but effective.
  • No planning systems – have a structure to your day/week by scheduling activity and tasks with a clear assessment of how much time is needed to accomplish each one. Then sticj=k to it.
  • Lack of Priorities: set up a system that clearly shows what is important and what needs to be done first. Perhaps use the ABCD method where tasks rated A are to be done first, B tasks second, and so on.
  • Not following up on tasks – we all want to get tasks done and moved from your desk to somewhere else BUT there is a danger here if some kind of follow-up activity is your responsibility. Ignoring, or worse, forgetting about this only creates more problems and stress so, again, plan this into your work allocation system.
  • Frequent interruptions – make time where you are not available and can then have some quiet time to catch up with issues and check on your priorities. A potential approach here is to blank out chunks of time when you are at your most productive to really get things done. (Remember to assess yourself here to establish if you are a Morning or an Afternoon person!).

Think seriously about what techniques and routines you can adopt to become more effective: Managers that are good at their jobs are skilled in recognising where they can consistently work towards becoming more effective.

Good Luck!

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