The time of an organization’s workforce is among its most valuable and important assets. Once you know where your time is being wasted, following the suggestions in this article will help you stay aware of, and overcome, these time wasters and make the best possible use of your time.

  1. Organize your work environment. Does the environment you work in work for you or against you? The more your environment is organized, the more productive you will be.
  2. Establish place habits. It is estimated that the average American spends six months of his or her life looking for items that are lost, misplaced, or just plain missing. Think how much time you could save if everything you needed had a specific place, just like your screwdriver or flashlight.
  3. Create a master daily “To Do” list. Each day you need to create a new “To Do” list. The tasks may take longer than you like, but if each task is on your list, it will eventually be done. (There are several apps people utilize that do an excellent job.)
  4. Prioritize your tasks. Once you have prioritized your tasks, do your highest rated, most urgent items first.
  5. Set goals. Without a specific set of goals, it really does not matter how you spend your time.
  6. Cluster common tasks. When you return to your office after a meeting, there will be several phone messages on your voice mail. You can quickly cluster the messages and return them within five minutes. Clustering common tasks saves time.
  7. Delineate time blocks. Block off a portion of time and work on only that task during the specified time frame. This technique works great when you have been procrastinating.
  8. Stop procrastinating. Make a list of all the things in your life that you have been postponing. Then set a goal with a specific plan and time frame to accomplish those procrastinated tasks.
  9. Delegate where appropriate. It is often more appropriate and efficient for someone else to accomplish the task.
  10. Take the one-minute acid test. Ask, “Is what I am doing right now the best possible and most important use of my time?” Also ask, “Five years from now, what will be the most important task to have completed, task A or task B?” These questions also help you put things in proper perspective.

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