Week 6 – Time Management: Tips – 5 Ways to Use Time More Efficiently (Originally Published on GetConnected.com)


Clare Kumar Writes About Setting Priorities – Photo Courtesy of GetConnected.com

Clare Kumar - October 5, 2010

By Clare Kumar

Since time management is the most common challenge to being organized, here are five more time management tips to boost your productivity:

1. Group similar tasks

Batch tasks of a similar type and you’ll accomplish more in less overall time. If moving from location to location, cluster appointments in one geographic area for the most efficient travel time.

2. Double up

Find two things to get done at once. Take a walk with a colleague or friend to marry physical activity with a work conversation or social time. Be careful not to combine tasks which compete for your focus – this could actually take you more time.

3. Protect your time

Create boundaries and communicate them to allow for undisturbed periods of work. A closed door or sign outside your office can work wonders.

4. Avoid distractions

Turn off alarms such as email notifications and position yourself in an environment which allows focus. Having specific objectives for each time period can help you stay on track. Use the internet purposefully to avoid being easily sidetracked.

5. Define your peak periods.

Most people have a particular period during the day when they feel most productive. Do your most challenging work when you feel most energized and alert. Avoid carbohydrate heavy meals at lunchtime which can induce drowsiness.

Coming up next in the series: More Time Management Tips

ACCO BRANDS CANADA is proud to sponsor this 10 week series on organizing your workspace leading up to ORGANIZE YOUR DESK DAY on October 21, 2010. Get the tools you need to get organized from world-class brands such as Swingline, Quartet, Day-Timer, GBC, Kensington, and Wilson Jones. Clare Kumar, founder and Chief Organizer at Streamlife, an organizing company, will take you on a practical and inspiring journey from chaos and clutter to productivity and peace of mind.

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Week 5 – Time Management: Strategies – Setting Priorities (Originally Published on GetConnected.com)


Clare Kumar Writes About Setting Priorities – Photo Courtesy of GetConnected.com

Clare Kumar - October 2, 2010

By Clare Kumar

Just like space, time is a limited resource. In fact, most of us would say this is a resource under constant pressure. With so many demands on our time, it is easy to feel pulled in several directions and be unsure of what to focus on. Here are three strategies to help you invest your time wisely.

1. Know your priorities

Goal and objectives, whether personal or professional, are often defined annually. These, in turn, must be broken down into specific implementable activities.

When a new opportunity or commitment presents itself, use your objectives as a measuring stick to help you determine what to say yes to and what to decline. Incorporate those that further your goals – these are your priorities. Defer or decline those that don’t.

If you’ve got competing priorities, sometimes you simply have to say no to something worthwhile.

Write down your priorities to create a visual reminder that you and others can refer to often. Use a whiteboard or jot them at the front of a paper planner. Remember, out of sight is out of mind.

2. Plan your time around your priorities

To ensure you achieve your goals you must devote time to working on them. Not doing so leaves you open to sabotage by daily incoming obligations which may be urgent but less important.

Since there will always be unexpected and pressing issues, plan gaps in your schedule to accommodate them.

A week is an ideal amount of time to consider and make time for each of your personal and professional goals. Colour-code your calendar – one for each type of activity for a quick visual check on how you are spending your time. You may, for example, choose one colour for lead generation, one for client meetings, one for administration and others for social or exercise time. If you see one colour dominate, you may need to make a shift.

3. Review priorities regularly

You’ve often heard “the only thing constant in life is change”. Stop and review your goals, objectives, priorities, and performance at least once per quarter to make sure you’re indeed working on the things that move you towards your personal and professional goals. If not, adjust.

Coming up next in the series: Time Management: Strategies – 5 Ways to Master Your To Do List

ACCO BRANDS CANADA is proud to sponsor this 10 week series on organizing your workspace leading up to ORGANIZE YOUR DESK DAY on October 21, 2010. Get the tools you need to get organized from world-class brands such as Swingline, Quartet, Day-Timer, GBC, Kensington, and Wilson Jones. Clare Kumar, founder and Chief Organizer at Streamlife, an organizing company, will take you on a practical and inspiring journey from chaos and clutter to productivity and peace of mind.