You may think you’re saving time when you’re hard at work on the computer while talking to a client on the phone all the while having the television or radio on in the background…but chances are, all that multi-tasking is actually wasting your time. In fact, 52% of Americans waste up to 3 hours a day because of distractions and inefficient behaviors.
Meanwhile, the work you’re producing suffers because nothing is getting your full and complete attention.
Motivational speaker Helene Segura recognizes that as time and technology progress, we think we can handle more and more work by multi-tasking.
While the idea is fair (after all, who doesn’t want to be more productive in less time?), Segura believes as professionals we need to re-evaluate our strategies for completing tasks. As one of the top women keynote speakers in the country, we’re inclined to take Helene Segura’s advice.
Check out these great ideas on how to make your days more efficient and tell us about your time-saving strategies in the comments.
- Let Technology Work for You
Yes, the invention of smart phones and high-speed internet can definitely be linked to our evolving multi-tasking behaviors, but that doesn’t mean technology needs to be your enemy. Instead of loathing your laptop, tap into its full potential.
If you find that you can’t go more than 20 minutes without checking the Wall Street Journal or you feel compelled to look at your Twitter feed every time you get stuck for a second, consider downloading an app like StayFocusd that is designed to block distracting websites for you. If you need to block off the Net completely in order to focus on work in the real world, the Freedom app cuts your access to the Internet for up to 8 hours.
- Eat the Frog
“If the first thing you do when you wake up each morning is eat a live frog, nothing worse can happen for the rest of the day.”
Whether you’ve heard that little quip before or this is the first time you’ve even thought about what it means to “eat the frog,” incorporating this philosophy into your daily work routine can actually save you time. Think about it: how much of your “multi-tasking” is simply you breaking away from a task you hate in order to complete a few smaller, less troublesome tasks? Get that frog out of the way first and then focus on accomplishing those other tasks one at a time and you’ll be amazed at how smoothly your day goes. Speaking of which…
- To-do: Start Making To-do Lists
And no, your email inbox doesn’t count as a to-do list. Physical to-do lists are great visual tools for your workday. There’s nothing quite like seeing your necessary tasks laid out before you and watching as that list shrinks as the clock creeps closer to 5 o’clock. Plus, there’s always a little rush you get when you cross off a task you particularly loath.
The best part of creating to-do lists is you start to have a better idea of how long individual tasks actually take. You’ll learn how to organize your time better and will more than likely find there is some open space in your schedule after all.