Find Out How You Spend Your Time
Eliminate, Outsource, Streamline
It is a good idea to keep a personal timesheet every so often – it can be very revealing. I would suggest you keep a record for one month broken down into hour slots (you don’t need to be too pedantic on time spent). You can use whatever categories you like but I would include travel, administration, development and delivery as a minimum. At the end of the period, ask yourself what you would do with 50% of your travel time if you could have it back.
Learn To Use Your Office Software
Once you have worked out where you spend your time, consider elimination, outsourcing and streamlining – and in that order. You find this is common advice for improving processes and increasing personal productivity.
Get More from Microsoft Outlook
Almost daily I see people struggling with the common Office software packages (e.g. MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint). There are plenty of tips I could publish but you are much better off investing a small amount of time learning to use them properly. You would not believe the increase in productivity and the decrease in frustration that a short inexpensive course would deliver.
Make the Most of Mobile Technology
I find I am continually using the features of Outlook (and Lotus Notes a few years ago) to stay organised. For me, the email, calendar, contacts and task functions are invaluable and allow me to stay paper free. A combination of tasks and ‘flags’ means that I never have to rely on my dodgy memory!
There are plenty of opinions about modern mobile technology, e.g. the ‘crackberry’ and how it affects your life. In my view, the merging of the phone and the PDA into a device that fits in your pocket is great. But it really makes sense when it synchronises the email, calendar, contacts and tasks. For me, a great time saver.
It would be great if we can develop a positive outlook to the economy and talk us into recovery rather than a double dip.