7 tips to use your time more effectively

We’ve all wished that there were more hours in the day at some point or another so any time that we can get back is a bonus, right!?

With an ever-mounting pile of ‘stuff to do’, there are just not enough hours, especially when you work alone. It’s therefore important that you try and create ways to become more efficient.

Here are 7 tips to help you claw some of this precious resource back from the relentless ticking of the clock.

1. Take a break - This may sound counterintuitive, but it’s easily one of the top tips for getting more done in less time.

When you’re frustrated, struggling to focus, or just flagging in the post-lunch lull, taking a short break (10–20 minutes is usually about right) can be a fantastic investment.

If you can, get away from where you’ve been trying to work and do something that will clear your mind (a cuppa and a quick game of pool works a treat!) Chances are that when you return to your desk, things will have become easier, almost as if by magic

2. Avoid the vampire meeting - Some things can really drain the time (and the life) right out of your day! Before agreeing to attend, make sure that meetings and calls have clear objectives, the right participants, and someone responsible for keeping the conversation on point and the meeting to time as a minimum.

While it can sometimes be uncomfortable to ask the organiser for this, especially if you believe that they are more ‘senior’ than yourself, so long as your request isn’t inflammatory, the chances are that it will be met with respect.

3. Turn off notifications - The constant flashing, vibrating and popping-up of assorted notifications can completely destroy your focus. Even if you don’t give in to the temptation to check what they’re about, simply acknowledging a notification can still distract you enough to lose several minutes before you’re back into what you’re trying to get done. That goes for desktop notifications too!

4. Stop the email ping-pong - There are no prizes for winning at email ping-pong. Stop sending lengthy email chains and pick up the phone or pop and speak in person. It’s far faster.

5. Ask for what you want, when you want it - Ok, so you might not get exactly what you want and exactly when, but it saves time for both parties in not beating around the bush.

Just remember that, like you, everyone else has their own agenda, priorities and motives to balance, so don’t go expecting the moon on a stick within 5 minutes.

6. Get organised - Basic systems like setting up a logical folder structure on your laptop, and using consistent systems and apps all save time and effort when searching for things. Matching your folder structure in your email to your hard drive is a great idea too.

7. Implement automation - Scheduling social media posts, setting up email rules and auto-replies and marketing campaigns all save time while improving consistency. There are plenty of guides out there to help you set these up.

Implementing one or all of these tips will be sure to help you in clawing back some of that precious time of yours so that it can be focused on the important things, like you!


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