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10 Easy Ways to Work Less & Get More Done

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10 Easy Ways to Work Less & Get More Done

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by on August 27, 2018 at 11:13 am

You might be saying to yourself, how can that be? Two hours less per day? Recently, I saw a consultant write that it was energy not time management that was most important as it pertained to productivity or increasing effectiveness. Actually it hasn’t been about time management since I wrote my first book in 2005, when I proposed it was more about organizing, planning, and managing the events within a day than time management. Energy and time are considerations but only a small part of the answer. Below are my Top Ten (Easy) Ways to work far less with far better results at the end of every day, week, month, and year.

Top Ten Ways to Work Two Hours Less Each Day and Get More Done (of What Matters Most)

1. Improve Your Communication – Slow down and plan your communication before you write or speak. When you get going fast your communication will become more vague which will cause the need for additional communication (especially more emails), misunderstandings, assumptions, unnecessary questions, and poor tone.

2. Batch Like Tasks – Instead of jumping from task to task (i.e. email, phone call, visitor), look on your list and instead of only answering one email, answer five. Same with phone calls. This is the 2nd fastest way to improve productivity and get more done daily.

3. Think More Strategically –  thinking involves developing your creativity, problem-solving, flexibility, and critical thinking, as constantly be determining the best use of your time as your day is changing. At the end of each day, do you have a good reason for everything you checked off and everything you didn’t?

4. Question the Way Things Have Always Been Done. Question your “typical” routine and habits. Evaluate your routine; maybe it’s time for a new routine. 

5. Slow Down and Ask Better Questions, Listen Better, Pause, Evaluate, then Decide. Going fast often produces mistakes and poorly thought out decisions.

6. Use Your Energy Cycles to Your Advantage. Monitor yourself for a week to determine your daily energy cycles. The average person has three per day; one in the morning, one in the afternoon, and one in the early evening. When your energy is high – work on difficult or unpleasant tasks. When your energy is low – work on easier tasks (low hanging fruit.) This match-up is very strategic. Procrastinators often time do the opposite. Note: 90% of all productivity gains occur during period of time when you have the most energy.

7. Every Time You Get Interrupted Ask Yourself, “Do I really need to do this right away?” Just because someone says their request is urgent doesn’t make it urgent until you validate his or her request. Be sure to ask, “When do you really need it do by and how they came up with that deadline.” Immediacy is the most counter-productive event each day!

8. Question All the Meetings You’re Scheduling and/or Accepting. Why did you schedule a meeting with no agenda? Why did you accept a meeting invite without an agenda? Be sure to tell people why they’ve been invited. Cut your meetings down to 50 minutes (from one hour) and 20 minutes (from 30 minutes.) Be sure you clearly know the purpose of the meeting.

9. Start Your Day with the Most Important Task on Your List. Block your calendar, quickly scan email, and don’t “relationship build” until you get something important done. This is the “Veggie Principle.”  There’s a high correlation between what you get done in the first hour and when you can leave each night!

10. At the End of Every Day Organize for Tomorrow. At the end of every day, come back under control before you leave. Finish some final details, delete emails, and plan for tomorrow. This will help create mental separation between work and home. Go home and enjoy your family (without thinking about work.) Increase the quality of your personal life and recharge for tomorrow. Remember, families are more aware of those who get home late than those who leave for work early.

Pick three and try them for a week. Then let me know what the results were! Remember, nothing improves if you’re not willing to take ACTION!

These strategies are from the course, The Path to Becoming Highly Effective.

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