Have you ever caught yourself wishing there were more hours in the day? Have you ever wondered where the time went? How it already September? Here are a few of our favorite time saving tips!
Finish simple tasks.
Always complete easy tasks without switching between tasks. Switching between simple tasks wastes time because the information gets jumbled, and we have to start the process all over again. Bottom line: Don't try to do two simple tasks at once.
Break up complex tasks.
Complex tasks like building a budget differ from simple ones: You can complete them more quickly and efficiently by breaking them up. Studies show that people who had to complete challenging tasks did so more effectively when they took a two-minute break and worked on something completely different -- for example, doing a crossword when trying to finish your taxes.
Willpower is key to efficiency -- and just like the muscles in your body, if you exercise it more frequently, you can improve it. Hone your willpower by breaking a routine like driving the same way to work or by giving up a bad habit like junk food for a week. Willpower gets depleted when you use it too much -- which is why judges and surgeons, who make decisions all day, begin to make generic or underinformed ones later on. Avoid making major decisions after a series of hard choices. When possible, make the toughest decisions when your willpower is strongest -- in the morning for most.
Develop Google discipline.
Gorging on all the data available today has made us a nation of distracted thinkers. How many times have you searched for an answer online only to find yourself wandering through a hyperlink forest, gobbling up factoids, switching from LinkedIn to Facebook to email? Limit your searching to what you need for a project. Whenever possible, turn off all other technology, like email and your phone, when completing a project on your computer.
Keep a calendar, not a to-do list.
To-do lists are ineffective because they lack context: Research shows people leave the most difficult tasks undone at the end of the day. Blocking out time provides structure and gives you micro-deadlines to complete tasks. Leave a few empty spaces for inevitable crises and interruptions, and to make room for tasks that may take longer.
Pull, don't push.
Most of us are bombarded with emails, calls, and requests that don't necessarily need our attention that moment -- or even that day. Pull information when needed rather than passively receiving it anytime. If a project is complicated and involves multiple people, talk about it instead of emailing. Don't constantly check and respond to emails – process messages in batches, like once every three hours.
Limit your choices.
While you can't change the number of decisions you make for your job, you can limit daily choices at home. For instance, President Obama wears only blue or gray suits to curb unnecessary decisions. He also uses "decision" memos with three check boxes: agree, disagree and discuss.
Prep the night before.
While it's important to get a good night's sleep, the time just before bed is ideal for getting your thoughts together for the next day -- and not just because it lessens what you have to do tomorrow. But avoid overly stressful projects before bed, which may cause you to toss and turn with worry. And don't work on anything with a screen within an hour of bed: Studies show the blue light in screens can lead to fitful sleep.
Idea from Huffington Post