Paul Wherly

How to get more done in less time

There never seems to be enough hours in the day for getting every task done. In fact, most of our time at work is spent wasted on irrelevant activity. If you feel overloaded by your work and you want to improve the way you manage your day, then it’s time to step back and analyse where you’re going wrong.

Organise yourself

Sometimes stopping what we do and spending a little bit of time to plan our day really helps to clear the mind. Start by making a small list of your most important tasks or deadlines, then prioritise them by importance. If you do this at the start of each day you will never feel overloaded, because psychologically you will only be dealing with a few tasks at a time.

Organise your desk or workspace

It is often said that a tidy desk is a tidy mind, and this is certainly true in the workplace. You can cut down on the time it takes to find an important document or printout if you have a clutter free desk and an organised workspace.

Avoid meetings

It’s amazing how much time is wasted by meetings. You can spend hours discussing topics to the core, only to find that follow up meetings cover the same topics you have already discussed. People believe that meetings are important for moving a project forward, and this is true, but meetings are also overly long and repetitive time wasters. If possible, decline meetings invitations, so that you can focus on more pressing tasks.

Use the phone

Sending emails can be an enormous time waster. By the time you have typed your message and waited for the other person to respond, half a day could have passed and you still haven’t resolved the issue. In fact, the situation can be exasperated by long email conversations that become increasingly impossible to follow. Break the habit, and simply pick up the phone to your work colleagues. This not only cuts down on email trails, but forces a discussion and hopefully a decision in much less time.

Avoid distractions

Finally, avoid any social or other distractions, which hinder your progress. This could be anything from an unexpected chat with a colleague in the corridor, to unscheduled chats with your boss. Stay in control of your time management and you are more likely to meet those important deadlines.

Do you have any tips to share on how to get more done in less time? I would love to hear from you!

Shelley Fishel

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