Some people talk about the notion that they don’t have enough time. They talk and talk and talk… but they don’t take any action and change what they’ve got. They hope their circumstances change so they can benefit more from what they do.

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Smart people take charge. They change their lives by doing things differently. They understand that the only change they can count on is the change they create. For those people, this is the article that can make them save 2 hours per work day. Of course everybody else is invited to read along as well. Just make sure you don’t just read. You have to read, implement, and benefit. Reading alone won’t make you save time.

This Is The Basis Of 2 Hours Saved Per Day

Since you have time to save and not time to waste, I won’t go into all the tiny details. I know you are a professional, highly educated person who can think for yourself. So here are the 4 rules you can use to start saving time.

1. Know what you want and do everything possible at any moment to get there.
2. Make a clear plan and start working consciously.
3. Learn smart working techniques (more on that later).
4. Analyze your working day and remove all that is not helping you (outsource, eliminate, etc.).

That’s basically it. When you do that, there is no way you cannot save time when working.

Smart Working Techniques

Plan Your Time

One of the most important things you can do is learn to plan your time ahead. I’m not just talking about the current day or week, but also this month and probably even this year! Many people let others dictate their schedule. This could be co-workers, your boss, customers, etc. Find out your own productive times and do what you do best during those hours.

Interruptions

Make sure you don’t just outline your day with the things you can plan, also schedule time for interruptions. That’s right, you must schedule your interruptions: all of the people who have questions, those who want to chat with you and just try to put their problems on your plate. You need to schedule this into your planning.

You could say that from 12:00 until 12:30 everybody can ask questions on whatever they want. Outside these hours, people should not do any kind of small talk. I know this may sound harsh and cold, but think about it… what is your biggest goal at work?

Are you paid to get results or be a person who talks with others about nothing all day? Small talk is great, but not all day. And of course, you can make it 1 hour in the morning and 1 hour in the afternoon, or 4 times for 30 minutes, whatever you want. Just schedule this so you can get things done!

Educate People

One reason why you will get more done using the ‘schedule interruptions’ method is because you educate people that you want to work during your non-interruption moments. Of course, the way you deliver that message also has a big impact on the way people look at you. :) Educate people with clarity and a good heart; be firm and let them know why you do this.

You also educate people by the way you work with them. You can schedule interruptions and still have this fail. Why? Because if you start to make small talk with everybody else during your normal working time then you will not set a good example.

Be the change, live the change, and change will occur! If you can’t change, how can you expect other people to change for you?

Meetings

One of my rules about meetings is this: I don’t take part if it is not really, really necessary for me to be there.

Even if my presence is needed, I make sure that I influence or change the agenda in such a way that my sections are at the beginning. I enter the meeting when it starts. I leave when the meeting has discussed my points.

Also, when a meeting is really unstructured and seems to go nowhere, I tell people I have to leave. My time is really valuable and I don’t want to waste it. Doing what I do best has more impact than sitting with a group of people who are sitting there to kill time.

Does this work? You bet! Do I get to see strange faces when I leave? In the beginning, people thought this was strange. When I explained to them why I do this, they usually understand.

Email

Oh boy… the big one. The one thing that most people start at the beginning of the day and close when they go home is their email client.

When you need distractions, and you have lots of time, you must keep your email client open. If not, close it. Don’t open it until the end of the morning. Process all your emails and close the tool again. Then, at the end of the day, you open up the email tool and process your emails again.

When this is working out for you, only go through your emails once a day. Just imagine, before you had a look at each email coming in — all the time you were losing, a minute reading that email and responding to it (another 1 to 2 minutes). That means 2 to 3 minutes per email.

Just say you receive 40 emails each day (that few??? Yes, because this is an example). 40 emails mean 40 distractions and 80 to 120 minutes of email time.

Now you do this only once and you see immediately that things are solved via email by others, things are no longer relevant, etc. You can email back faster because you see all of them. Perhaps you include a couple of people in one response. You can easily save 60 minutes alone on your email time!

Reading Materials

Yes… you can save time when reading. You probably heard about speed reading techniques.

Now don’t go wild and imagine that you need to read with 1000 or perhaps 2000 words per minute to make a real difference.

Imagine you read 2 hours each day. When you double your reading speed, you save one hour each day. Simple stuff, yet you are able to save lots of time. And that is done by just doubling your reading speed! The beauty is that you can do that easily in a couple of short sessions. Then, from that moment on, you can read twice as fast as you did before.

The Result

What do you think will happen when you start applying these ideas? Do you think 2 hours per work day is a lot or just the beginning? I am sure that the moment you do what you learned here, you will be on your way to wonderful working days again.

You will be home on time, have lots of free time, accomplish more, and have less stress. The biggest pitfall is this: you look at what you just read and think “I know this stuff and it works,” but you don’t actually use it on a consistent basis. When you don’t use this every day and you just think about the article… you just wasted a couple of minutes of your own time.

Sorry to be this direct, but you know in your heart this is the truth.

Action Points

People who want more time take one of the items above and use it for at least a week. People who want to change their lives, have a lot more free time, accomplish a lot more in the time they have… they start using all of this right now! These are the people who will benefit the most.

Action point: use what you read

Action point: if you don’t use what you read, stop talking about the fact that you don’t have enough time. You now have a way to do and be more in the time you have each day.

Action point: Make a list of things you want to accomplish with the 2+ hours you get each working day from now on. You need this :)

How well do you manage your time? If you are like many of us, your answer may be “Not too well.” 10 Proven Time Management Skills You Should Learn Today

Featured photo credit: North Charleston via Flickrclock via Flickr

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