Six ways to save time

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Anyone serious about achievement in business needs to be obsessed about efficiency.

As a result of global commerce, the rise of the microchip and the ubiquity of the internet, business is being done at a blistering pace.

Yet most executives and entrepreneurs are using the same time management concepts they used a decade ago.

It’s not good enough. We need to study time efficiency as ardently as we study sales, marketing, leadership and management.

Because it’s at least as important.

With that in mind, I’ve prepared a list of six really effective ways to save time and help you get more done in your business day.

1. Plan your day before you start
Ambitious people love to just jump into their work as soon as they enter their office. Big mistake. According to the best selling time management author in history, Brian Tracy, one minute of planning at the start saves ten minutes of work later.

So resist the urge to get stuck into your tasks- work out which tasks even need to be done before you begin.

2. Do the most important task first
Notice I did not suggest doing the most urgent task first. They are often not the same thing. As Stephen Covey famously identified, it’s the ‘not urgent but important’ tasks that lead to business success. Tasks like planning, learning, establishing joint ventures, marketing, skills development and building relationships are paramount.

3. Delegate everything except your greatest strengths
Most people have never sat down and identified what they’re really good at. And even fewer spend most of their day doing those things. Yet in that simple technique lies the secret to extraordinary achievement. Take ten minutes now to work out your strengths and how you can delegate most of the rest. You can rarely get rid of everything you should, but i’ll bet you can delegate a lot more than you’re doing.

4. Rush the unimportant
It’s a nice concept to do everything superbly, but in today’s lightning speed world it’s just not practical. You can’t do it all well. Pick what’s not vital and rush it. if you don’t you won’t have the extra time needed to get the really valuable stuff done well.

5. Compress your time
Don’t ever have an open amount of time to get a task done. Always challenge yourself to get it completed in a certain time period – preferably shorter than you think you can do it. Trying to beat the clock makes work more fun (see Professor Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s brilliant book ‘Flow’ on why this is so). Plus you will be amazed at how much more quickly you’ll finish jobs when you put yourself under a little pressure. Leave your deadlines open and everything will be done slower.

6. Have a leaving time
Everyone has a starting time, few have a leaving time. But when you know you have to leave the office at an exact time, your productivity throughout the day will rise. Think about it – when are you most productive? The day before you are going on vacation! Ever wondered why that is? It’s the power of having a time when you know you simply must leave the office. But no need to wait for holidays, you can use this technique every work day – by having a firm leaving time.

Try this life changing experiment: For the next week do every one of these time management techniques each day and see how your efficiency improves.

Prepare to be amazed.

This article was originally written by website The Fortune Institute.

WORDS Siimon Reynolds

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