24 Ways to Save an Hour
Last fall when Daylight Savings Time went away, I gave you 24 things to do with an extra hour. Now that the Daylight Savings Time bandits stole your hour once again, you'll need to make up the time somewhere.
Since you need to economize your time until November 3rd, who better than best selling author of Managing For Dummies Peter Economy (his real name) to help make your life more efficient and productive. Below are Economy's best tips, mixed with some of my own. Share some of yours in the comments if you like.
1. Batch your errands--hit the post office, bank, and market in one trip, not three.
2. Turn off email and text alerts on your smartphone so you're not interrupted.
3. Set aside one specific hour each day for returning client calls and emails.
4. Budget limited time for Farmville, Angry Birds, and Mafia Wars.
5. Practice the 3 D's of management--delegate, delegate, delegate.
6. Take a speed-reading class.
7. Use a timer to set task deadline alarms. (You'll work faster with deadlines.)
8. Only work on activities that get you to your preferred future.
9. Step away from those cute YouTube cat videos.
10. Do more of your shopping online.
11. Don't try to be 100% perfect when 95% will do.
12. Set specific agendas and time limits for phone calls and meetings.
13. Spend less time whining and making excuses--just do it.
14. Schedule specific social media time and limit it to 30 minutes per day.
15. Don't travel when you can Skype or simply make a phone call.
16. Combine meetings with breakfast, lunch or dinner.
17. Be a schedule master. Limit walk-in meetings to 15 minutes. Use a loud timer.
18. Track your time and put a dollar in a jar for every minute you wasted in a day. Use the money to hire a maid, baby sitter, or dog walker. Either way you win.
19. Think ahead to your next task while wrapping up your current task so you start right away.
20. Record all of your favorite TV shows so you can skip commercials (15 minutes savings per 1 hour show.)
21. Practice time chunking--focus on a project for 30 minutes without interruption, then take a 5 minute break; repeat as necessary.
22. Get a good night's sleep so you're well rested and efficient, instead of bleary eyed and dragging.
23. Create tomorrow's to-do list as your last work task each day--if it's not on your list, don't do it.
24. Check traffic on Google maps before hitting the road--if you see red, pick a different route. Adjust your commute time to off hours so you avoid sitting in traffic. (Not good for Yahoo employees.)
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