Make a time schedule or logbook of your daily activities for two weeks with minute details such as going to the rest room and texting or talking on the cell phone.
Grouping or characterizing the activities is the hard part. For a job schedule you may have categories such as supervisory duties, meetings, appointments, communications via cell phone or computer, routine tasks, infrequent or unexpected tasks, break time, customer time, cleanup time, planning time, waiting time, and even doing nothing time or killing time.
Becoming a more efficient worker is hard because you have to analyze each category and ask yourself. Should I spend less or more time on the category? How important is the category? Can the category be changed, improved, eliminated, or given to someone else? Can I take on more tasks or categories?
A parenting, managerial, technical, sales, and routine job are very different jobs and managing your time in each job category varies widely.
If you are stuck in a routine boring repetitive job then there is very frequently nothing much that you can do to improve it.
If you have a technical job then your primary means of improvement may be developing more technical skill either through learning or on the job training.
If your job is mostly managerial then you should concentrate on trying to improve on your emotional intelligence or communications skills.
If you are a parent trying to become a better one then sharing your experiences with other parents with children and getting feedback or reading parenting books may be a logical way to improve.
If you are in sales then there is a big difference in selling software or selling cars. For car sales
as speedy delivery, color, size, extras, and brand popularity are frequently more important than the actual functionality or details of the product. Salesmen have to come across as someone whom the customer can trust and establishing quick rapport or trust is a skill few humans have in abundance. Good sales humans have excellent human skills and can deal with all kinds of personality types rich or poor.
Planning ahead is very important in time management and looking over a schedule the night before or reviewing a schedule of things to do before the job starts is a very useful tool.
If you are forgetful then by all means write down your tasks or assignments and the deadline or when they are due and your approximation of about how long it will take.
Make a To Do List with things which have to be completed and update it daily and make it electronically available to your boss and coworkers so they know your workload and will hopefully not overload it.
Stay organized by clearing your work desk and computer of clutter or useless info. Organize everything so it is readily accessible when you need it.
Try to schedule important meetings or events early in the morning which is usually the time when you are working most efficiently or when you are at your best.
Try to fence humans out during your most productive hours. Do not disturb signs are the old way of doing this but you can block out times on your electronic schedule or be short and dismissive if you are interrupted.
Based on your time on the job you can come up with an approximation of the time it takes for you to handle unexpected delays or small rush tasks or communications. Set aside that extra hour or two for delays and you may not have to work overtime each time unexpected obligations arise during the day.
Cut back on your verbosity with family, coworkers, and even boss and stay on topic or subject and try not to diverge. Try to be as brief as possible and to the point in businesslike fashion.
Write down important information about a phone conversation if you are the forgetful kind and usually briefly talking over the phone is quicker than a memo to that human.
Meetings can be a big time waster if humans are not given the agenda ahead of time or if there is no agenda, if the meeting is not held in the morning but at the end of the day when most do not function efficiently, and if there is not a time limit placed on each agenda topic to encourage speedy resolution.
Protect your time from being hogged by others and simply standing up during an encounter can discourage idle conversation about irrelevant topics. Not having your desk chair face the door, having only one guest chair which needs pulling out, keeping your door shut or partially open can reduce interference times, and simply saying no I’m busy are all ways to discourage chit chat.
Learn to delegate authority if you are the manager.
You can greatly reduce procrastination or even eliminate it if you have a To Do List and actually follow it.
Don’t turn down jobs which seem to be outside your realm of expertise. It may be a test to see if you can do more and you may even get a promotion and pay raise out of it if you succeed and do it well.
If you feel insecure about an assignment because of lack of knowledge or experience then try to get that knowledge from coworkers or other sources before you attempt it.
Use free time during travel time to gain new knowledge, communicate with humans, prepare for the future, or just use the time to rewind or relax.
Take 5 or 10 minute breaks during the day to wind down or do some relaxing to avoid burnout.
At home save time by combining trips out of the house to more than one destination, organize your home, train your family to get accustomed to a normal routine which is relatively predictable, control your offspring access to the internet and TV, and try to live close to work.
Reward yourself with a tasty organic snack, herbal tea, organic fruit and/or vegetable juice, or a break after completing a task successfully. If it is not convenient then your favorite treat is acceptable.
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