September 08, 2008

Get More Done, Find Time for Yourself

Eight out of ten people say they wish they had more hours in the day. If you had more time, would you spend it at work or would you be out having fun?

I have been working with several clients in their offices recently and each of them feels that they are trying to do more in less time. If you want to have a life outside of work, however, you have to find a way to get your work done in the time you have assigned it. While it may be necessary to stay at work late sometimes, making a habit of it causes you to miss other opportunities.

Of course, clearing out clutter and setting up a system for your paperwork will help cut down on the amount of time you spend looking for things. Moving paper around wastes time, so handle each paper with intent. Although I don’t believe it is possible to successfully touch each paper only once, minimize paper shuffling by deciding what you are doing with each thing as you touch it.

If you have the ability to delegate, keep records of what you assigned so that you can follow up. Make sure you are clear when you give directions and set the expectation for what you want done and when.

Maybe the most important thing I tell clients in offices is that they need to protect their time from other people’s interruptions. Be cautious about giving out your cell phone number, if it is not your primary means of contact. When you make yourself available at all hours, people will expect you to resolve their concerns immediately.

When someone asks you if you have a minute, and you don’t, say so. Ask if it can wait and suggest a specific time for getting back to the person. People will appreciate knowing they can count on your complete attention at another time instead of having to rush or only having you half-listening while you do something else.

At the end of each day, make a list of five high-priority things you need to do the next day. Start working on the items on your list early in the day, so you can leave the office at a decent hour and feel like you accomplished your goals.

Organized by Marcie: Getting you organized so you have time to do what you love to do!

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