If you can recapture a wasted hour here and there and redirect it to a more productive use, you can make great increases in your daily productivity and the quality of your life.
Here are five of the many techniques I share in our Time Management seminars, each one of which will help you to leverage your time and get at least one more hour out of your day for additional productive time to do the things you really want to do.
Systematize. Stop reinventing the wheel and recreating the same things over and again. Create systems to handle repetitive tasks. For example, I have standard letters all created and saved in my computer along with standard documents such as directions to my office and various articles I share with others. Be sure to have adequate supplies you can readily access. Use one calendar to keep track of appointments. Work with a clean desk and have most frequently used items within arm's reach. Schedule maintenance for your equipment and yourself.
Plan adequate sleep. You can have a great to do list for the next day. But if you are tired, your productivity will be adversely impacted. Schedule a sufficient amount of sleep. The amount is different for each of us. Some need eight hours, some more and some less. Your body knows the answer.
Attend a speed-reading class. The average person reads at about 200 words per minute and spends a couple of hours each day reading. What if you could double your reading speed? What used to take two hours can now be done in one hour or you can continue to spend the same amount of time reading, but read twice as much. Sign up for a speed-reading class. I teach one. It's a six-hour seminar and at the end of the day everyone in the class will at least double their reading speed and significantly increase their comprehension.
Develop your communication skills. A lot of your personal success in the future will be in direct relationship to your ability to effectively and confidently communicate what you know both orally and in writing. Make it an ongoing commitment to improve your speaking and writing skills. You'll save time and have a more successful career.
Develop your people network. Personal productivity in large amounts has to do with the good cooperation of other people. Someone who does not enjoy the good cooperation of others can surely be productive but not as productive as one who enjoys that cooperation. On an on-going basis, develop your list of personal contacts, your networking list. Always offer to help everyone on your list whenever you can. ("To have a friend, first be a friend.") Do it right and your network will be there for you when you need it.
Dr. Donald E. Wetmore, a full-time Professional Speaker, is one of the foremost experts on Time Management and the author of Beat the Clock and Organizing Your Life. If you would like to receive a free copy of his article, "Getting Out of Balance", which outlines seven pitfalls to avoid, email your request now for "balance" to: email@example.com
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