So here are 10 tips to make you better at managing your work:
1. Don’t leave email sitting in your in box.
to quickly process and synthesize information and turn it into actions is one of
the most emergent skills of the professional world today,” says Mann. Organize
email in file folders. If the message needs more thought, move it to your to-do
list. If it’s for reference, print it out. If it’s a meeting, move it to your
2. Admit multitasking is bad.For people who
didn’t grow up watching TV, typing out instant messages and doing homework all
at the same time, multitasking is deadly. But it decreases everyone’s
productivity, no matter who they are. “A 20-year-old is less likely to feel
overwhelmed by demands to multitask, but young people still have a loss of
productivity from multitasking,” says Trapani.
3. Do the most important thing first.
4. Check your email on a schedule.
effective to read and answer every email as it arrives. Just because someone can
contact you immediately does not mean that you have to respond to them
immediately,” says Dan Markovitz, president of the productivity consulting
firm TimeBack Management, “People want a predictable response, not an immediate
response.” So as long as people know how long to expect an answer to take, and
they know how to reach you in an emergency, you can answer most types of email
just a few times a day.
5. Keep web site addresses organized.
Use book marking
services like del.icio.us to keep track of web sites. Instead of having random
notes about places you want to check out, places you want to keep as a
reference, etc., you can save them all in one place, and you can search and
share your list easily.
6. Know when you work best.
Industrial designer Jeff
Beene does consulting work, so he can do it any time of day. But, he says, “I
try to schedule things so that I work in the morning, when I am the most
productive.” Each person has a best time. You can discover yours by monitoring
your productivity over a period of time. Then you need to manage your schedule
to keep your best time free for your most important work.
7. Think about keystrokes.If you’re on a computer
all day, keystrokes matter because efficiency matters. “On any given day, an
information worker will do a dozen Google searchers,” says Trapani. “How many
keystrokes does it take? Can you reduce it to three? You might save 10 seconds,
but over time, that builds up.”
8. Make it easy to get started.We don’t have
problems finishing projects, we have problems starting them,” says Mann. He
recommends you “make a shallow on-ramp.”
9. Organize your to-do list every day.
If you don’t know
what you should be doing, how can you manage your time to do it?
10. Dare to be slow.
Remember that a good time manager
actually responds to some things more slowly than a bad time manager would. For
example, someone who is doing the highest priority task is probably not
answering incoming email while they’re doing it. As Markovitz writes: “Obviously
there are more important tasks than processing email. Intuitively, we all know
this. What we need to do now is recognize that processing one’s work (evaluating
what’s come in and how to handle it) and planning one’s work are also
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