There’s a reason people complain about needing more hours in the day: we all wish we had more time, to work and play alike. So in honor of February being National Time Management Month, we wanted to share 6 time management and organization tricks that some of our most efficient LaSallians live by:
1. Pick your outfits for the week on Sunday
We’ve all had those mornings starting blankly at the closet, clueless what to wear that day. You lose valuable time you could be using to eat breakfast, read the paper, or exercise.
Instead, take some time every Sunday to plan your wardrobe for the week. Organize these outfits in your closet, and enjoy your extra time during the week, worry-free.
2. Have walking meetings
Every meeting costs the company on average $338, and participants consider a third of the meeting unproductive. While regularly meeting with your teammates and managers is important, not every issue requires a set date and location.
Try to utilize the time you spend walking around the office or between meetings to discuss more trivial topics you may have covered in a separate meeting.
3. Have no-email days
Every quarter, LaSalle has a “no-email” day when everyone in the company – from sales to accounting – keeps their inbox closed. Instead, we walk over to someone’s desk if we want to talk, or we call clients and candidates.
Stepping out of your inbox – even for a few hours at a time – helps you fully focus on what you’re working on. It also fosters communication and builds relationships, between employees and with our clients.
If you’re not ready for a full no-email day, try only checking your email at designated times throughout the day. You’ll get more work done, and you could actually enjoy it!
4. Audit your time
Some people count calories as a dieting strategy because simply tracking what they eat prompts them to eat less or eat healthier. Many LaSallians do the same thing with their time:
For one week, track how much time you’re spending on your daily tasks, big and small. Look critically at how you’re spending your time.
How long do administrative tasks take? Do similar projects take the same amount of time on different days? Is something taking longer than it should? Are you getting distracted by Twitter or Facebook?
When you plan the next week, allot yourself the same amount of time for these tasks, and try to cut down the time spent on projects that took you a long time. Knowing you’re on a time crunch can help push you to be more efficient in your work.
5. Use your commute effectively
Whether you’re driving or traveling by train/ bus, you can get a lot done on the way to and from the office. Use the time to plan your day, clear your inbox, and study your industry. Read books, listen to podcasts, or check the paper. If you’re feeling bold and you use public transit, you can even network during your ride!
Our CRO, Maureen Hoersten, uses adjusted settings on her phone so articles and emails are read to her while she drives. You can also schedule conference calls for your ride (but make sure to go hands-free!).
6. Don’t re-invent the wheel
Before tackling a new project or responsibility, ask your manager if any of your peers have ever worked on something similar. If they have, you can save yourself a lot of time and energy by looking at what they did and asking how they approached the same task.
If they haven’t, you still don’t have to start from scratch: if possible, do research online about the topic at hand, and look at how other companies approach the issue.