Monday, December 13, 2010

The Art of Working Smart

Here are my favorite ways to get more done in less time:
  • Think time-effectiveness. Don't do the task the fastest way. Don't do it the most thorough way. Do it the way that will yield the most benefit per minute.
  • Choose your gear. For each task, consciously decide whether to do it in first gear (slow and careful,) 2nd gear (moderate,) or 3rd gear (fast and less careful.)
  • Default to doing the task rather than putting it on your to-do list. I do that with most of my sub-five-minute tasks.
  • Know what matters to your boss: Ask, "What's priority?" and "How can I make your life easier?"
  • Use sponge time. Most days have lots of time bits you can sponge up and get work done: when a meeting starts late, in line at the supermarket, during your commute, etc. When I'm driving, I often think about a project, taking notes on my omnipresent memo pad.
  • Telecommute? Ask for permission to telecommute if, considering the time saved in not commuting, you'll be more efficient.
  • Don't be too proud to ask for help. Where feasible, ask for help with too-hard work or when there's simply too much.
For a version of this article with some examples added, click HERE.

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