Exactly which time optimisation strategies will work best for you will vary from person-by-person. But using one or more of these four strategies can save you hours each week.
Start by clarifying your expectations. When you take on a significant task, discuss with key stakeholders what they expect from you. Not all situations need a thorough in-depth analysis, but some will. By clarifying what’s needed and to what level, you can save hours of time deciding what to do and getting tasks done.
Don’t reinvent the wheel. Re-use existing material whenever you can. Your ability to reduce time by reusing and recycling work will vary depending on your responsibilities. But where you can, copy, paste, and edit. That could happen with emails, presentations, trainings, proposals, and almost any other type of activity where you’re communicating something very similar.
Along the same lines, develop templates and checklists. I am often asked the same thing on a regular basis (for example, I am probably asked four times a week how to deal with the termination of employment of an employee on probation),so I have developed hundreds of HR advice templates and they increase the speed of response enormously. My templates are mostly HR related, but you might want templates for activities like putting together weekly reports, presentations, or meeting agendas. You may find checklists valuable for weekly planning, one-to-one meetings, or other repeated activities. Both templates and checklists allow you to do a good job in less time because you don’t need to spend any time remembering what to do or deciding on the next step.
Time box your work. Decide in advance how much time you will spend on a task or part of a task, and then stick to it. Deciding in advance on the time investment helps avoid falling victim to Parkinson’s Law, that work expands to fill the time allotted for it, to work to your advantage. While time boxing doesn’t guarantee that you’ll finish the work in the allotted time, it helps you focus.
We all have our limits so I can’t promise that everything will get done by using the above strategies. But when you do employ these techniques, you can get more done in less time.
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Although every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this blog, nothing herein should be construed as giving advice and no responsibility will be taken for inaccuracies or errors.
Copyright © 2019 all rights reserved. You may copy or distribute this blog as long as this copyright notice and full information about contacting the author are attached. The author is Kate Russell of Russell HR Consulting Ltd.
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