Here’s another really easy way to get more out of your day. Simply use a schedule broken down in to half hour slots from the time you come in and fill it in. It should look something like this.
9:30-10.00 Morning meeting preparation
10.00-10.30 Morning meeting
10.30-11.00 Coffee break/Begin XYZ project
11.00-11.30 XYZ project
Don’t spend more than 10 minutes completing your schedule and do it the night before the day in question. When it’s done print it out or hand write it and leave it on your desk to refer to for the morning time. This can be done in conjunction with exercise one.
Try to be realistic about how long a task is going to take you. Don’t schedule a half an hour for a task that always takes over an hour because you want it take a shorter amount of time! You can allow for multi tasking items also.
It will take about a week to get the schedule right as often you can underestimate the amount of time spent on particular tasks but thats really the point of this exercise.
Once you have isolated the parts of your day that take up the most amount of time you can then look at ways to reduce time wasted for one reason or another.
This exercise also helps to help you work out if your work load is too heavy or if it’s not being managed correctly. If it’s the case that your work load is too heavy – having several days schedules is helpful to produce to your manager if you need to demonstrate how your time has been spent.
Best of luck!