There are just so many things that you have to do during the day, it is easy to get behind and wonder how you will ever catch up. This is a dilemma that many Americans face as they try to fit a week’s worth of work into just a few hours. If you feel like you are always behind without a way to get caught up, follow some of the suggestions in this chapter to get back on track.
You will be amazed at how much time you have been wasting on finding things that are needed just to get started. You might have misplaced your notes or set the pen down in the wrong spot. Finding keys is difficult and your coat seems to have disappeared. These are all things that are cutting into your productivity and will waste a lot of time. Rather than spending so much of your life trying to find things, you need to learn how to be organized. Find a place for all of your things and then take care that you put them there every time you are done using them. This can help you get to work faster and saves a ton of time.
Most people feel that multitasking is the way to get more done, but this is a huge time waster. It has been shown that multitasking is going to reduce your productivity by about 40%. This is thought to be due to the fact that going from one task to another is going to make it difficult to get rid of distractions as well as this skipping around will cause blocks in your mental capacity. This combines to slow down the process that you need.
Have a Calendar
It is easy to forget about the things that you need to get done during the day and soon you might find that more than one thing is at the same time or you have more work than you can handle because you forgot about another task. To avoid this and to keep yourself on track, get a calendar and write everything down. Write down projects, due dates, appointments, meetings, nights out, vacations, and anything else that is important to your schedule. Make sure that you only have one calendar though. Some people will have multiple ones and this is bound to lead to trouble. Having all the information in one place makes it easier ot know what you need to do and to plan ahead.
Plan Trips and Chores
You can waste a lot of time going back and forth to the store or going around town to do chores. Before going out to run errands, take a few minutes to plan your route and to write a list. Pick the route that makes the most sense and know exactly how to get there without distractions. With the list, you are sure to grab everything that you need and you will not have to waste your time going back out and getting the stuff again.
Having a routine is the best way to save time. With a routine, you will know when something is going to happen and how much time you have to get it done. The routine might not make you work more productively, but it can help you to know what is coming, where things are, and how to get things done. Another benefit is that a routine is able to free up your brain to do other things, something that is important when you have projects and other work to get done.
Plan out meals
The time that you spend on meals can be enormous. If you are waiting until the last minute to figure out what is for supper, you are putting a lot of work on yourself. You might have to spend a lot of time trying to figure it out, going to the store to get the ingredients, and then still having to spend time getting it all done. Planning out the meals for a week can make things simpler. You can go out once and get all of the ingredients and then make it that night. It is even possible to make several meals at once to save even more time.
Learn personal time wasters
Everyone has something that they do that is going to waste time. This can include checking email, walking around the office, social media, or something else. Take a few minutes to determine what you do that waste time and then try as hard as possible to avoid doing it. Even avoiding it for an afternoon is going to save you a ton of time and you will be amazed at how much you can get done.