Part of our commitment to growing (see value 2) is refining the ways we work to ensure we’re making the most of our time and maximising our output. And as any entrepreneur/manager will tell you, this requires sometimes making tough choices (see value 4 – go the values!)
Here is a great article (with some good links to further articles) which might help and here are my additional thoughts:
1) Taming emails
Increasingly, I am unable to respond to all the emails I receive, resulting in some tough ‘delete’ decisions for emails I’d like to respond to. If you receive 150 emails a day, and can only write 100, you have to get a PA, or learn to delete, cut back and write shorter replies. Sorry to those of you who don’t get replies from me, but it’s not physically possible to reply to everyone! This article is a great starting point for solving your email-blues.
2) Eliminate unnecessary meetings
It makes sense, but is difficult to do. I always try to call people first as opposed to meet with them, saving time and carbon! Yes, a meeting is very valuable and 10 mins in a meeting is worth 30 on the phone, but you need to work out which meetings to attend.
A couple of extras from me:
3) Let people leave you a message
Don’t pick up your mobile if you don’t recognise the number. Ring them back when you’re ready for the call!
4) Plan your day
15 mins spent planning at the beginning of the day will be worth at least that by the time you finish. It also helps you compartmentalise your mind so you’re not juggling 15 thins at once.
5) Taking time with important things
Alongside all of this time-saving, there must be the understanding and commitment to spending time with the things that are important, whether exercising, talking to colleagues or getting some R&R. A hero of mine (Leonard Cheshire) said ‘When you have a pile of work to get through, pick up each piece as if it’s the only thing you’re doing to do that day’. Which I translate to mean, do 5 things well, not 10 things badly, because in the end, it’ll be worth it.
Oh and 6) Enjoy the extra time you create!