this newsletter about creating more time at work to your family, friends,
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frightening economy is taking no prisoners. If you've been fortunate
enough to keep your job, you've probably been asked to pick up the
slack from colleagues who have been laid off or whose jobs haven't
been filled. That means more work, longer hours and additional frustration.
If you've read
my past newsletters, you know I'm a strong advocate of maintaining
a healthy work/life balance. In fact, in difficult times like these,
this balance is even more critical. There are already enough pressures
challenging all of us, both at home and at work.
can I have balance in my life when I have to work late and come in
on weekends?" a client recently asked me. "There are only
24 hours in a day!"
She was working
harder, but was she working smarter?
So we sat down
and explored ways to make more efficient use of her time. A few weeks
later, her life isn't totally back in balance, but her workload was
more manageable and she's spending weekends with her family, not chained
to her desk.
In the article
below, you'll find some time saving tips we discussed.
help to restore some balance to your life, too!
How much time
do you waste looking for files, phone numbers, mailing addresses,
clients' business cards, etc.? When repeated dozens of times each
day, these seemingly insignificant tasks gobble up precious minutes
and hours in a week. Spend five to 10 minutes at the start of
each day organizing your desk, files or work area. Are there ways
to automate repetitive tasks or software programs to make them less
your most important tasks.
Create a to-do
list and number your tasks in order of priority. You might set-up
categories A, B and C. If you need help identifying the most important
items on the list, ask yourself two questions: "If I could complete
just one activity/task today, what would it be?" and "Is
this activity the best use of my time?"
3. Block out
time for the things that are most important.
You can do this
at the beginning or each day or week Then focus on one task at a time,
moving from the highest priority to the lowest. This is also an effective
technique for combating procrastination.
4. Avoid interruptions.
to learn how to resist attacks on your time block. Some examples are
coworkers dropping by to talk, checking your email every few minutes
or even answering your phone. If somebody or something disrupts your
time block, move the time block and re-commit to it.
5. Learn to
Once you know
what is most important, you need to be willing to say no. Your priorities
are most important. Having to say no to things that undermine your
priorities is key to making sure you implement what is most important.
5. Is this
meeting really necessary?
Meetings and conference
calls are notorious time wasters. But if they're absolutely necessary,
make sure they're scheduled in advance to give participants time to
prepare, insist on (and stick to) an agenda and time limit, stay on
target and follow up.
can do so much in 10 minutes' time. Ten minutes, once gone, are gone
for good. Divide your life into 10-minute units and sacrifice as few
of them as possible in meaningless activity."
~ Ingvar Kamprad
"I learned that we can do anything, but we can't do everything,
at least not at the same time. So think of your priorities not in
terms of what activities you do, but when you do them. Timing is everything."
~ Dan Millman
the very best question that you can memorize and repeat, over and
over, is, 'what is the most valuable use of my time right now?'"
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