4 Smart Ways to Speed Ahead on the Job
By Sandy Schroeder
As we move into the New Year, most of us are getting back to business and wondering how we can get more done faster without sacrificing quality. What are your favorite time-saving tricks?
Forbes suggests some different ways to maintain quality and pick up speed as we attack new projects.
Shake Things Up With a Shorter Day
Imagine you will be finishing your day at noon, or mid-afternoon. Then line up all of the crucial tasks that have to be done before you leave and start doing them. If you actually finish all of your tasks before that cut-off time, you will still have time to do extra work, or leave early. Creating an artificial early deadline can be a great motivator to get the work done. Without that shortened day incentive, it is way too easy to start slowly, consuming the first hour or more in the morning with emails, coffee, and chatter.
Pin Down Task Times
If tasks do not have times attached, it is easy to let them float and balloon up in size. Parkinson's Law says, "Work expands to fill the time allotted for it." If you set an amount of time for a task, it will push the effort along to make the assigned deadline. Efficiency experts claim setting time limits also helps people get into a work flow without letting diversions sidetrack them.
Set Your Day Up at Home
Give yourself an hour to do some in-depth work at home, focusing on key projects, or projecting a schedule for the whole week. Use the time to dig into important subjects, and lay the groundwork for new projects. If this works well, you may get as much done in an hour that would take at least two hours to achieve at work. Try this approach for a week or two and see if it improves your productivity.
Knock Out Routine Stuff at the End of the Day
Knock off all of those time-consuming but less crucial tasks that often take more time than they deserve. Review bills, answer emails, and order supplies, as you clear out any clutter and line up tasks for the following day.
If these approaches seem like they will work for you, give them a try and then look for more ways to customize your work to make it run fast and lean.
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