Executive Coaching Articles

Efficient Use of Your Time

Are you experiencing the treadmill effect? That’s when you’re trying your best to keep up, getting farther behind, and the ground under you is moving so fast you’re afraid to jump off. Our jobs and our world feel that way a lot these days. Multitasking is a must, they tell us, but it’s really counterproductive because it causes you to make mistakes and it intensifies internal stress.

So how do you cope? Take a close look at how you’re spending your time. Consider balance and productivity. How are you doing? Here are seven simple suggestions that will slow down the treadmill and enable you to get through your day with minimum stress and maximum satisfaction.

  1. Save Time In Your Daily Schedule Use time waiting in line or waiting for appointments to catch up on material you need to read. Use the technology of today to increase your productivity. Consolidate errands so that you make only one trip. Look at activities that fill your day and determine ways they could be done more efficiently or eliminated. By shaving minutes off of several tasks throughout the day, you can free up a larger block of time later.
  2. Underpromise Throughout The Day As you plan your day, allow yourself to lower your expectations and how many commitments you make for yourself. This will create less pressure and increase your energy throughout the day.
  3. Underschedule Yourself Daily As you plan your time, schedule half the time you have in a day. For example, during a 40 hour work week, only schedule 30 hours per week. This gives you 10 “extra” hours to handle unplanned contingencies. This will also allow for spontaneous events and for thinking, planning and other creative activities.
  4. Outsource Outsource activities that will limit your efforts and energy so that you can leverage your time.
  5. Schedule Daily Appointments With Yourself This will help you to work on the projects that are most important to you. Consult with yourself on where you want to direct your energy and time.
  6. Set Time Limits Realize how valuable your time is and quantify what you are going to accomplish with a time deadline or budget. When speaking on the phone, tell the person you are speaking with up front how much time you have for the conversation. Do not go over your time limit. Make phone calls right before lunch or at the end of the day so that the other person is motivated to end them more quickly. Schedule appointments with start and end times.
  7. Learn To Say No Learning to say no to nonessential tasks (and sometimes even essential tasks) is important for you to learn to do. Saying “no” becomes especially valuable with people who monopolize your time at the office. Set your boundaries and standards and stick to them.