HUMAN NETWORK: Tips to Gain One More Hour in Your Day

Jan. 1, 2018
Employees everywhere are looking at how to increase and boost productivity so that when annual revues come they get those raises. However, people often overlook an important principle when it […]

Employees everywhere are looking at how to increase and boost productivity so that when annual revues come they get those raises. However, people often overlook an important principle when it comes to effectiveness and efficiency, which is you can’t be efficient until you learn how to be effective. In other words, working faster doesn’t often mean success in the workplace.

Here are 7 tips on how to be more productive and gain an extra hour in your workday.

TIP #1: Get Up
One easy way to get a bonus hour in the day is to beat everyone else out of bed. For example, getting up at 5:00am and working uninterrupted until 7:00am can be so effective that you end up doing the amount of work that might be done in a typical 8-hour day. With electronic devices off and no one up to interrupt work flow, tasks can be completed quickly and easily. If you are not a morning person, stay up later than everyone else for the same benefit.

TIP #2: Plan It
Another easy way to get a bonus hour every day is to plan your work sequence the night before. By moving from confusion to clarity on your next-day priorities, you waste little time in getting the workday started. Every minute spent planning saves 3 minutes of execution time. Planning takes no longer than 30 minutes, but it saves a minimum of 90 minutes.

TIP #3: One Bite at a Time
Break every project into bite-size chucks. One of the major causes of procrastination is that projects are too big to do quickly. Turn each project into a series of steps.

For example, if you have a presentation on Friday, you may want to prepare the presentation in 1 sitting. A better approach is to do the presentation in several sittings of 15 minutes each.

In the first sitting, write an outline of the presentation.

In the second sitting, decide on the main message of the presentation.

In the third sitting, decide on an opening of the presentation that gets the audience’s attention immediately.

Each of these sittings can be schedule throughout Day 1, and you are well on your way to completing the presentation. Schedule the following days similarly.

Conversely, doing all 3 of those things in 1 sitting can be paralyzing.

TIP #4: Walk Them to the Door
If you work in an office setting, people who walk into your office or up to your cubicle to chat are time robbers. Perhaps they are on a break and you are their entertainment.

When they come into your workspace, give them 30 seconds, then get up to walk somewhere, perhaps to the restroom — say goodbye to them and go back to work.

Learning to do this can give you 2 bonus hours a day.

Be aware of not interrupting others when you are on a break as well.

TIP #5: If You’re Doing It, Schedule It; If You Don’t Schedule It, Don’t Do It
People underestimate the power of a schedule. For example, if you want to work out every day, schedule it. Then follow the schedule. 90% of working out is just getting to the gym!

When your schedule is full, it leaves little room for time wasters. It’s a good idea to not schedule more than half your time so you leave room for unexpected eventualities. Scheduling is both effective and efficient.

TIP #6: Set Up a Work Environment Free From Interruptions
By some odd coincidence, my family and friends always seem to send a text message, send an e-mail, or call, when I am busiest. I have learned to schedule my responses to these interruptions. Taking 30 minutes twice a day to do a block of responses to texts, voicemails, and e-mails, saves at least 2 hours a day.

In addition, turning the phone off and keeping the computer from making noises while you work teaches you to focus and helps you resist the temptation to be distracted.

Few things are vital (life sustaining), but many things are urgent (calling for immediate attention). Know the difference. Do the vital and protect yourself against the urgent, especially non-vital urgencies that are complete time wasters.

TIP #7: Getting Organized
One of the big lies we tell ourselves is Before I get to work, I have to get organized. My desk is usually in some state of disarray. I pay no attention to it. If I want to be a janitor, then I’ll get a job doing it. As an executive, I have to remember what tasks I am really being paid for, and "getting organized" typically isn’t one of these tasks.

The Completion Complex
Many of us feel the need to respond to everything. We feel incomplete if we don’t respond to everything. A quick assessment can dictate our response. Ask yourself Is what I am about to do contributing to the completion of my most vital priority? If the answer is No, consider leaving it alone.

About the Author: Rory J. Clark, creator and innovator of Focus Selling, is a sought-after speaker and a thought leadership resource, and was quoted in the New York Times for his leadership process. For over 30 years, executives in over 200 organizations, on 5 continents, and in over 30 countries, have learned from him. Clark’s experience includes leadership positions in marketing, sales, recruiting, and training in organizations such as CBS and ABC Radio, Wilson Learning Corporation, and the Dale Carnegie Institute. He is an expert in selling, in instruction, and in curriculum design. To learn more, please visit http://www.getfocusselling.com/Meet-Rory.aspx or call 888-404-2928.

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