1 Jun 2016

Get More Work Done In Less Time

work less do more
Work Less Do More


Batch tasks.

 Instead of interspersing your work day with small tasks all mixed together, try to group similar tasks and do them at once. For example, instead of responding to emails throughout the day, batch them and do all your emails once (or twice) a day. Do all your paperwork at once. Make all phone calls in one batch. Do all errands at once. This grouping of tasks saves a lot of time and allows you to focus better on the important tasks.

Focus on one project and get it done.

Instead of juggling a large number of projects, set aside a block of time to do one project until completion. For me, this often means setting aside half a day or a day (I try to break my projects down into manageable chunks) to work on a project, and I try to complete it if at all possible. Often this means getting all the resources and information you need beforehand, so you don’t have to look for it or wait on it when you’re ready to actually work on the project. This also means clearing my schedule, so I’ll get other tasks done beforehand and I won’t schedule anything else for that block of time. Then work on that project exclusively and try very hard to get it done. This, I’ve found, is often the most effective way to work on projects.

Avoid meetings.

Not all meetings are a waste of time, but many are. If you spend a lot of time in meetings, but would rather be doing your actual work instead of listening to other people talk about things they could have sent you in an email, see if you can get out of some of those meetings. You’ll get a lot more done. Read more.

Avoid long conversations at work.

We’ve all had long conversations with co-workers that were very unproductive — often not related to work or anything important. Sometimes they’re long phone conversations. And while I like conversing with other human beings as much as the next guy — it’s important to maintain good relationships and friendships — at the same time you could be spending that time doing other things. I personally would rather get all my work done and go home and spend time with my family. So I try to stay focused on work rather than having lots of long conversations, although I’ll make an exception now and then.

Learn to say no.

This is crucial if you want to have a simplified schedule. We all receive numerous requests each day, and all of them are demands on our time. If we say “yes” to those requests, we are giving up our time and committing to doing something for someone else. But if those requests aren’t in line with our priorities, then we are usually biting off more than we want to chew. So learn to say “no” instead. Often this is uncomfortable, because we fear it means disappointing others. But learn to tell people that you just don’t have the time to commit to this right now, and often they’ll understand.

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