- Schedule large projects into a series of short segments. You can accomplish much of the project in this way, and you may be motivated to keep going past the allotted time.
- Set a time limit on involvement in a task. It will seem less boring or overwhelming if you know you will stop at a certain time.
- Don’t spend a lot time deciding the best way to accomplish a complex task. Get started, and you will soon find the best route.
- Place a colored page to flag re-ordering stationery. You’ll never have to hold off completing a job because your stationery supplies ran out.
- Tape record your correspondence while commuting, to save time and diffuse the stress of commuting.
- Schedule “high brain” tasks, such as working on a major proposal, during peak energy and mechanical tasks such as filing during lower energy time.
- Schedule regular time for reading a few times a week when the day is winding down and the office is quiet.
- Eliminate “drop-in” visits by using a visual barrier at your work space, such as a tall plant in the direct line of vision of a door or window.
- Use a lightweight phone headset to free your hands while on the phone.
- We are better at giving advice to others than to ourselves. Conquer your own procrastination by thinking of what you might advise someone else to do in your situation.
- Estimate the time for a task and double it to accommodate interruptions. If you finish earlier than you estimated, it will feel like a bonus and a breather.
- Use another office, conference room, library or somewhere other than your office to work uninterrupted. Or work earlier or later than others in your business to minimize interruptions.
- Write yourself a note about where you left off for easier re-entry when you come back to something. The time you take writing the note will often be less than figuring out where you were when you return to the task.
- Inform a caller you would like to talk to them and ask “when would be a better time than now?” You will be both gracious and in control of your time in this way.
- When asking someone to call you, leave the best time to reach you. This can reduce Telephone Ping-Pong, cut down delays and save time and stress.
- Ask if you have called at a convenient time. If not, find out when would be better. You want to have the full attention of the person you called when you talk.
- Reply to short memos and correspondence in the margin of the same page whenever possible. This saves paper, time and brain power.
- Be as direct and complete as you can when issuing requests and directions. Indirect communication can cost dearly in time and stress.