Cutting wasted time from your day is like cutting extra
calories from your diet. First identify where the time is
going. Commit to keeping an accurate record (down to 5-minute
increments) of your schedule for the next week.
Be specific. Instead of labeling 3 hours as planned
trade show, list how long you were on the phone versus
writing memos. Dont forget to mark the 15 minutes listening
to Saras latest blind date nightmare.
At the end of the week, total the categories.
Just knowing how much time youre spending on personal
e-mail, phone calls, and cruising the Web might be enough
to break the habit. Yes, everyone deserves an occasional break,
but your goal is to spend less time at work. These elements
add to your day--and to your stress level.
You dont have to eliminate them completely; just minimize
them. Keep non-work conversations to less than one minute.
Check your e-mail hourly instead of every 5 minutes. Little
changes make a big difference.
Now look at your work tasks. Do the most time-consuming items
correlate directly to your job responsibilities? If youre
spending most of your week on tasks not within your job description,
its time for a conversation with your boss.
Next, determine what tools or training can help reduce the
time spent on job-related tasks. Do you have to share a computer?
Could a course in PowerPoint help you create presentations
more quickly? Make a list and present it to your boss.