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3 Ways To Do More With Less Time


We live in a world where more is expected of us every day.

First there were fax machines, now email and cell phones.Our number of communications daily from various sources isextreme.

How can we get to all of it in a timely fashion and stillget 8 hours of sleep?

Here are three time reducing strategies that are easy toimplement:

1. Schedule. Like it or not in today's world if you want toachieve greater levels of success you must learn to use aschedule. You can use a Palm Pilot, a journal or aDaytimer. I use the Franklin-Covey Planning software forwindows. It pops up when I turn on my computer and it iscompatible with my Palm Pilot so that I can sync at nightwhen I leave my office.

Now, having a schedule isn't half as important as using aschedule. It doesn't work if you don't use it? everyday.

I keep track of appointments, make a To Do list and then asI work on projects I enter them in so that I can make ajournal of my day. Later, this will help me remember howmuch time I spent on tasks for billing purposes. I schedulein exercise time and I schedule in personal development timefor reading and writing.

Once you get started, you'll find it easier and easier touse. The amount of time saved by spending the time to keepyour schedule can be enormous. It helps to eliminate theclutter we create on our desks and in our minds when tryingto remember all the things we need to do.

It can also help to eliminate unnecessary tasks. Many timeswe say 'yes' when something is not really in alignment withour goals. The act of making time for it and getting on theschedule will cause you to evaluate its importance. Thiscan be a tremendous time saver.

2. Systems. Systems are a key component in time management.I have a system for everything! Systems do not have to becomplicated but they help to keep you on track and savetime. For instance, I use a 'system' for my after-work time. WhenI leave the office my evening everyday is pre-planned. Idrive home, I change, I make dinner, I watch one hour of TV,I work two hours, and I go to bed? A system.

I follow the same system every single day. It removeswasted time trying to decide what I'm going to do with mytime. Setting up systems for checking email or taking callscan be a real time saver. If you have tasks that you doregularly, think about ways to systemize them. Sometimessetting up forms or check lists, creating schedules or flowcharts, delegating, just about anything can be turned into atime saving system.

3. Lists. Keep lists. You can keep the lists in yourschedule but you need to get into the habit of making a listfor tasks and systems. Checklists save time because youdon't have to think about what comes next. The amount oftime I save by using a calculator instead of figuring in myhead is enormous?. Using lists is very much the same.

By removing the "think" time you streamline processes andsave brain energy for more important things. I have agrocery list prepared in Excel, I print it off before I headto the store and buy only what I need. No time wastedwandering the aisles.

I have a checklist for updating my weblog and writing mynewsletter. I have templates for the newsletter and I havetime scheduled to do both.

Many times a little time spent upfront can be a huge savingslater. When I find myself doing a task that I've donebefore and feel like its taking too long, I sit downsystemize and make a checklist and suddenly I've found 15 or20 minutes.

Yolanda A. Facio for Strategy-3.com All Rights Reserved

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