Getting more out of your day

Not really a marketing piece this week, but something that I think most of us can relate to. It feels like there is a never ending pressure to produce more and more from our work time – what were stretching deadlines 5 years ago are the norm today.
We are always told to “work smarter, not harder”, but how do we do that? Some of the innovations that were meant to make us more productive seem at times to be almost the opposite – endless waves of email, voicemail, texts, tweets and web enquiries.
Well I can’t claim to have cracked this one, I still end up working late on a too regular basis, but here are three little tips I have picked up which have helped to keep me sane (ish). They are unlikely to transform your life, but could be a little victory:
Unsubscribe from one email every day (not mine of course!)
I set myself this goal over a year ago and I still haven’t run out of emails to unsubscribe from – allowing for the odd day I missed and holidays etc. I still think that means I have unsubscribed from around 150 – 200 emails in the last 12 months. I don’t want to think what my inbox would look like now.
Start at the top of the To Do list and work down
I used to look at my To Do list and pick which one to do next. One day I realised I was wasting time and my selection process was also helping me avoid the tasks I least enjoyed which in turn was making me uncomfortable and draining my mental energy. So now I start at the top and work down the list.
Process things once
It’s easy to read something and then decide to put it in the ‘pending’ or ‘do later’ box. When you get to it later, you have to read it again, wasting valuable time. I try (but don’t always succeed) to look at the first line of an email and decide if I’m going to deal with it now or later. If the answer is later, then I stop reading and move to the next task.