5 Tips to Trim Your Schedule and Leave, At Worst, Right On Time!
In Gothenburg, Sweden, officials recently proposed an experiment where a group of government workers would cut their schedules to six hours, and asked, would they be just as productive as their colleagues working seven hour shifts? The experiment raises interesting questions and possible insights.
Many of us work past the point of being productive. If you are one of these people, here are 5 tips to help cut an hour off your schedule, while getting just as much done:
- Use bits of time.
Sure, we like to give ourselves enough time to do tasks so we don’t find ourselves rushing around and stressing out. However, there always seems to be a million little things to do that don’t get done because “it will only take a few minutes” and so it gets pushed behind the big projects.
- When you get 5 or 10 minutes here and there, don’t waste it. Identify the small important tasks that you can start, and finish in that short burst and utilize that.
- Schedule for uneven blocks of time
We tend to schedule things in 30 minute increments, but by straying away from this, you can create gaps here and there – and maybe give yourself that 5 or 10 minutes to tie up little tasks.
- If you can’t altogether destroy a meeting, try to compress it. Turn 60-minute meetings (that normally drag out) into 45-minute meetings to give yourself back that wasted time.
- Get the hard stuff out of the way first
Mornings are a great time to take on difficult work, as most people feel more focused. Plan harder tasks for earlier in the day to potentially save yourself a lot of time that would otherwise be spent trying to focus.
- Be picky about meetings
Probably the quickest and easiest way to save yourself an hour in a day is to figure out if a meeting is really worth your time, and if not, remove yourself.
If you need more time, take a look at your meetings/appointments and ask yourself:
- Do I have something to add or offer here?
- Is this meeting just about updates, not decisions?
- Could this be done informally?
- Take the end of the day to end your day
Sounds simple, right?
Give yourself half an hour to an hour before you intend to leave work, and make yourself unavailable for appointments after this time. Take your newly found free time to look over your days to-do list.
- Keep in mind that you will be back tomorrow, and a lot of the stuff on your to-do list can probably wait. Decide what is most important and spend your final hour tying things up.
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