Stop Wasting Time

Feeling as if there just aren’t enough hours in the day? Brace yourself. The hours are there, but your organization may not be. Here’s how to streamline your day:

Combat Clutter
Digging through piles is a major waste of time. “Schedule 30 minutes every few days on your calendar to de-clutter,” suggests Atlanta-based productivity expert Peggy Duncan. You should also consider banishing paperwork for good. Examine each paper before you file it. Can you call up a financial statement online? If so, shred it!

Keep a Tight Schedule
“You’ve got 96 15-minute segments each day. Set up systems that use them wisely,” says Jason Womack, author of the upcoming Your Best Just Got Better: Think Bigger, Work Smarter, Make More. “Make a six- to 12-week schedule for your goals. Ask yourself if every invitation, plan or desire you have moves you forward.” Schedule meetings that start 15 minutes after the hour and that end on the hour.

Manage Your Energy
When it comes to finishing a task, always stop when you’re behind. “If you reach the bottom of a page and realize you’ve no clue what you just read, put the book down. Focus dwindles when energy is low,” says Womack. If you can’t engage in a task, leave it for 10 to 60 minutes. Get a drink of water or watch a fun video. Set a timer for this break and you’ll come back with the focus needed to get the job done.