The Top 10 Time-Saving Tips

Practically every business leader can increase their personal productivity by managing their time better. Today I will be leading a seminar entitled "How to Shave 10 Hours Off Your Work Week." In this seminar I will wrap up with these top 10 time saving tips. Put these to work and you too will be able to increase your personal productivity.
  1. Get control of email by reducing email volume. Recent reports suggest that the typical business owner gets 100-200 emails per day. If you spend just 2 minutes per email that represents a big chunk of your day. Start saving time by reducing the volume of email you receive. Unsubscribe to lists that clutter your inbox. Mark other unwanted emails as "spam" or "junk" and have them filtered out of your inbox. Use your phone more.  Chances are that you can reduce your email volume by as much as 50%. And most important, touch email only once!
  2. Improve the quality of your emails. Start using shorter, more efficient messages in your email. When you send an email to multiple people at once, if possible, tell them to NOT "reply all." This will help others reduce their email volume too. If there are subscriptions that you want to receive but typically don't have time to get to them right away, use filters so they will go directly into designated folders to look at later. When possible, simply put your message in the subject line and leave the body blank. This practice alone will help improve the efficiency of email significantly.
  3. Set up and practice an efficient filing system for email information. Most inbox programs offer you the capability to create folders. Use this. Put important emails that you want to keep in a folder where it will be easily retrievable.
  4. Limit the time you spend online, especially on social media. Enough said.
  5. Process your "stuff" immediately. Everyday we get bombarded with "stuff." It just comes our way and we often don't know what to do with it. Use the 2-minute rule which says, if you can execute on this item in 2 minutes or less, do it NOW! If it is going to take longer to accomplish the task or respond to the issue (providing it is not a real emergency), schedule a time later to address it.
  6. Stop attending (or creating) low-impact meetings. Learn how to run more effective meetings and stop wasting time in those meetings that produce very little.
  7. Close your door. An "open-door" policy can severely reduce productivity.
  8. Batch tasks. Don't check email constantly throughout the day (unless that of course is your sales desk.) Instead "batch" your emails into 2 or 3 time slots a day. Those will become the only times you will check email during the course of the day. Then do that with other things that you can batch together for efficiency.
  9. Beat procrastination by eating the frog first. Brian Tracy tells the story of "eating the frog." The frog represents that item or task that you are most inclined to procrastinate doing. Decide to address that task before you do anything else. In other words, eat the frog first. Your day will only look up after that!
  10. Take time once a day and once a week to plan. Get your day organized and stay organized. Use the Daily Process that I've talked about. By investing a little time in planning and organization, you will save a ton of time down the road.

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