We all have days where the time slips by and before we know it, the work day is over, but we aren’t even close to accomplishing the things we wanted to get done. How does it happen? Where does the time go?
Why is it that if we all have the same number of hours in a day, some people are able to finish so much more than others do?
I am convinced it isn’t the big time wasters we read about that cause us to fall so utterly behind during our workday. It’s a million little things that add up.
I cannot begin to tell you how many hours I have lost over the years, just looking for my keys. Every day, I swear I am going to find a solution, but as soon as I find them, I am right back where I started. The answer is so simple. I simply need to put a hook right next to the door, one that I cannot miss seeing when I walk in, so I stop and hang my keys there.
Thankfully, I learned quickly that if I did not organize my email into folders (as they come in) that I would lose time every day, looking for that one email I needed. Or, even more important, missing an important email all together because it was buried somewhere in my inbox.
Another huge time saver for me has been the signature option within Outlook. If you run an online business, you know that often you find yourself typing the same responses to similar email inquiries. Type that response just once into a new signature file with a title you recognize, and next time it will be a matter of just 2 clicks to respond.
Better yet, if you find yourself getting the same questions far too often, it is a good indication that you need to prevent this issue by adding information to your site or page for frequently asked questions.
Silly stuff can drive you crazy. How many times a day do you find yourself looking for the last place you left your cell phone? The cordless house phone? The remote?
How long are we going to put off giving these things a place to go every time, so we always know where they are?
I cannot count how many times I tore the house apart looking for a pen to sign something for my daughter. It doesn’t seem to matter how many packs of pens I put inside my desk, there is never one there when I need it. Perhaps it is time to buy one of those kinds you chain to the desk like they do at the banks?
My biggest time waster always comes back to looking for things. It can be as simple as a password for an account that I don’t use very often, or a phone number for the cable company when my internet suddenly decides to take a vacation without me.
I am finally learning to keep a file for these things, not just on my computer (if it crashes you may lose the information) but in a little book that I keep for these moments when I am totally brain dead, or the information I need is online somewhere but I can’t get there.
How many little things do you find stealing your time, minute by minute during the day? What time saving methods have you found to be effective for you?
J. Cricket Walker of CricketWalker.com