In this blog post I'm going to tell you how to work less and get more done at the same time.
The first thing you need is a complete and accurate record of how you spend your time, yaTimer, my time tracking tool is (obviously) perfect for that, you just have to make sure you time everything, don't cheat and time tasks, not projects.
After you have those complete and accurate records – I assume you need at least a week to get started, the more information you have the more you can improve.
Now it's time to increase you're productivity.
You probably have one or two things you do really well, one of two things that are your core business – the more time you spend on those the more productive you are, time spent on other things is – to some extent – a waste.
yaTimer's task breakdown report, with a little help from the weekly timesheet report can be your best friend on your journey to productivity, those reports will show you exactly how your time is divided between tasks.
Now start with the biggest task that is not part of your core business and think about how you can shorten it – or eliminate it completely.
For example, if you are a software developer your core business is writing software, so you look for tasks that aren't writing software and you'll find things like meetings and technical support.
If you see you're spending too much time at meetings you need to find a way to reduce that time: consolidate several meetings into one, replace meetings with one-on-one conversations, simply decline some meetings, everything goes.
If you see you're spending too much time on technical support you might need a tool that let you answer e-mail faster, fix the most common problems to reduce the number of support requests or pay someone else to do "level 1" support.
That's it, this is the big secret, use time tracking to find out on which activities your time is wasted then reduce or eliminate those activities.
Just be careful not to take it too far, those "non-important" tasks do need some attention, just not much.
posted @ Monday, December 10, 2007 4:03 PM