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10 ways to get more done in less time

Wednesday, 12 September 2012 | By Amanda Jesnoewski

As a busy mumpreneur, time is my most precious and limited resource. With so much to fit into each day, I'm always on the lookout for ways to get more work done in less time – without losing my mind or health in the process.

 

Thankfully there are a number of easy ways you can increase your effectiveness and efficiency to get more done in less time.

 

So here are 10 time saving tips to help boost your productivity:

 

1. Prioritise and focus

 

Prioritise your tasks based on urgency, importance and return on investment and then work through them one by one giving each task your full focus.

 

Many of us fall into the trap of thinking multitasking will help us get through tasks faster but it rarely does, we just end up with more unfinished projects.

 

By giving each task your full attention you will get through it faster and do a better job.

 

2. Automate and simplify

 

Find ways to automate and simplify your regular tasks to get through them quicker.

 

Develop scripts, create templates of frequently used documents and emails, and write a series of social media updates and blog posts at once and schedule them to cut back your time spent in these areas.

 

3. Qualify meetings and phone calls

 

A lot of your time can get wasted in unqualified meetings and phone calls, so develop a series of questions that will help you qualify each person you talk to, early on.

 

If you are still unsure, organise a phone briefing first to further qualify. This way, if it turns out they are not ready or interested, you have saved time in travelling to the meeting and saved money by avoiding petrol, parking and meal costs.

 

4. Qualify opportunities

 

In the same way you qualify new contacts, you also need to qualify opportunities to ensure you only invest your time and energy in those that will generate you the most return.

 

Will it help you achieve your goals faster? Will it expose you to your target market? Will it generate more sales? Will it connect you with someone you want to connect with? If the answer is no to all of these, then your answer should also be no.

 

5. Make the most of inspiration

 

Save yourself time by getting into the habit of recording ideas when inspiration comes. Keep a notebook handy (or your smartphone) to write down ideas for projects and tasks so you have notes to draw on when it comes to work on them.

 

6. Work when you are most effective

 

You can get more done in less time simply by identifying when you are more productive and scheduling your hard and easy tasks around it.

 

Personally I am more focused and efficient in the early mornings and have a drop in concentration during the early afternoon. To cater for this I schedule hard and high concentration tasks in the morning and easier tasks like answering emails and updating social media in the early afternoon.

 

7. Ask for help

 

You will get far more done if you can spend less time trying to figure out and do everything yourself. Look to build relationships with other experts and industry specialists who you can go to for advice, and get help.

 

8. Take regular breaks

 

As strange as it sounds, taking regular 10-15 minute breaks every two hours can make you work more effectively and efficiently. Use the time to get up and stretch, go for a walk or do something you enjoy.

 

9. Learn to speed read

 

You can cut down a lot of time by learning to speed read. The ability to quickly identify points of interest in emails, social networking posts, documents and books to determine where you need to focus your efforts immediately is extremely valuable and will help you to be more productive.

 

10. Cull and sort

 

Save more time by culling back the amount of information you have to deal with. Unsubscribe from newsletters, e-zines and mailouts you don’t read, and unsubscribe, unlike or unfollow social media contacts who spam your newsfeed and make it harder for you to find posts that are relevant or add value to you.

 

Also look to sort the information you do want to access more effectively. Tools like email filters can help you process and sort incoming emails and social media lists or groups (i.e. Facebook subscription list) can help you easily view the posts you want to see regularly – without all of the other updates.

 

Do you have any time saving tips that help you get more done in less time?