Eliminate Wasted Time
Would you like
to gain more than two hours of productivity each day without working
It's simple. Stop
wasting your time.
According to a
survey by AOL and Salary.com, the average American admits to wasting
more than two hours a day while at work.
Think about how
you manage your time and the things that distract you from doing your
job. Are you guilty of any of the following?
- Personal Internet
- Running errands
Those were the
major time-wasters listed by the survey's 10,000 respondents.
with your colleagues is important and getting away from your desk
or computer can help you refresh, clear your thoughts and make you
even more productive.
When my clients
ask me for ways to make the best use of their time at work, I suggest
they (1) look for ways to reduce interruptions and (2) do a better
job of managing their email.
Steal Precious Time
Did you know the
average worker experiences fifty interruptions a day? These are phone
calls, people stopping by your office, and so on. Some are these interruptions
are work-related, of course, but many are time-wasters.
The first step
to reducing interruptions is to recognize them. I tell my clients
to keep a journal on their desks to record them. Jot down things like
"Jim called to schedule Saturday's golf game, 5 minutes"
or "Tamara stopped by talk about Ken's retirement party, 10 minutes."
Then, after a
few days, take a look at your list. How many of these interruptions
involve your work priorities? How can you reduce or eliminate those
One approach may
be not answering your phone or keeping your door shut from nine until
11 a.m. each morning. I had a client change the position of his desk
so it didn't face the doorway. If a colleague is a chronic interrupter,
you might say, "I've up against a deadline, Ed. Let's talk about
the football game over lunch, okay?"
Instead of letting
your email/blackberry control you, you need to control it. Marissa
Peterson, executive vice president of worldwide operations, Sun Microsystems
overseas more than 2,000-person staff and receives 300 emails a day
and she deals with every single message. Her inbox is completely empty
every day. She gets in control of it by only checking it twice a day
(morning and at night).
Here the key tips
on managing email:
- Reply to, file
or discard every email.
yourself to keep your email inbox empty.
Dump as much as you can.
- Address immediately
any action that will take less than two minutes.
- Group actions
that will take more than two minutes into an "Action"
- Select certain
times during the day to check all your messages at once.
If you're an email
"addict," consider going "cold turkey" at least
one day a month. Set your auto-responder to inform people you are
in the office, but are taking a day off email. If it's urgent, ask
them to call or stop by.