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How to do More Work in Less Time

By Charles Hopkins Published 05/26/2007 | Self Improvement

If you're like most people, your day is a hectic blur where the amount of things that you need to accomplish each day only grows larger and larger. With this increased workload comes the sense that you're just not getting as much done as you used to. Tasks that should've been completed today are being putt off for tomorrow. When tomorrow comes, they are put off again for yet another day. It's a vicious cycle, and you know you need to break it, but how?

While it may seem like the days are getting shorter, they are not. You still have the same amount of time to get things done as you always have. You have just forgotten how to manage your time efficiently.

To learn how to squeeze more time out of your day, you first need to look at your daily "to do" list. Is it too large or overly ambitious? Trim away the excess and keep only those activities that you absolutely have to finish. List these in order from the most important to the least important. At the end of your list, throw in one or two activities that you would like to get done by don't really need to necessarily finish today. As your day progresses, refer to your list often to stay motivated to complete the tasks at hand. If other tasks come along that are not on your list, nix them and put them on the next day's list.

In addition to having a clear map of what needs to be accomplished for the day, you can save time by not spending more time than is needed on any one task and by not wasting time on less important ones. Here are a couple of common time zappers:

Email, texts, and IMs - While it's true that technology has allowed us the freedom to do so many things, many of today's most popular forms of communication waste more time than they save. It is so much quicker to just pick up the phone and rattle off a few things than it is to type out messages to people. Granted, text messages and emails are a great way to send out a single message to multiple recipients, but if you only need to communicate with one person, the old-fashioned phone call might be your best bet.

Socializing - Excess socializing can put any project behind schedule no matter whether it is work-related or a home project. Taking too many breaks and not sticking to task can also leave you without enough time to finish your project. To avoid this, save socialization for scheduled breaks and down times. Strive to finish your project as soon as possible with the hope of finishing early.

Remember, what we put off for tomorrow will still be there tomorrow, but if you finish your work ahead of time, tomorrow could be a day of rest and relaxation. And we all could use more days like that.