Time Management author Chris Croft describes option four of the five ways to get more done: having better systems. Repeating tasks need a system. This could be computerisation but not necessarily, it might be something simple. Chris describes his travel bag and gives other examples of areas where better systems could help.
- The fourth way to get more done…by spending less time on unimportant things…is to have better systems.…I don't mean computer systems necessarily,…just the way you work,…and the way that people around you work.…I bet you waste an hour a week…looking for stuff, or doing things twice.…Putting right mistakes and doing…trivial annoying things which keep…repeating every week, and which are…basically a waste of you.…Anything that repeats is a waste of you.…
Anything that repeats is a sign that…you need a system for it, or a better system for it.…I'll give you a quick example.…I used to pack for a few days away…doing training courses around the country,…and I would go around the house…rounding up my iPhone charger…and a fleece in case it was cold,…and my toothbrush from upstairs,…and all the other things I might need,…but I quite often forgot something,…so I decided to make a checklist of what to pack.…Is that sensible or sad?…I did laminate it, but apart from that,…I think it's pretty sensible.…
Then I noticed that I was repeating…
The first—saying no—is simple in theory, but hard in practice. Chris explains how to reclaim the power of "no" to make room for true priority items. The second step, negotiation, allows you to spend less time on unimportant tasks. The third way is to delegate sometimes, and the fourth is improving systems and processes so that repetitive tasks are quickly and easily managed. Last but not least, Chris explains how to overcome perfectionism and nitpicking. He explains how to apply the five methods to all time-stealers, including meetings, interruptions, and more.
In the initial chapters, he'll help you clarify your life and work goals, prioritize to-dos using Eisenhower's matrix of tasks, and answers questions like "Does working longer hours actually get more done?" The worksheets included with the exercise files will help you apply the lessons to your own work and life, and hone your time management skills—one step at a time.
- Making the most of every day
- Separating important from urgent items
- Using Eisenhower's matrix of tasks
- Finding more time for important things
- Saying no
- Negotiating tasks
- Delegating to save time
- Improving your systems
- Letting go of perfectionism