We’re spending more time working — at the office, at home, at night, and on weekends. According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, that means we’re putting in about forty-nine hours a week on the job — three hundred fifty hours a year more than most Europeans, and seventy hours more than the Japanese. Since the 1970s, leisure time has declined by 37 percent. Our workweek has increased a full day.

What’s going on here? Seems like we’re running twice as fast, just to stay in place. If working longer isn’t the answer, what is? Let’s get organized with these tips to work smarter so that the time you spend on the job counts for more. Work smarter so that you can check out of the office on time and go home to the life you deserve.

  1. Check in with yourself each morning: Print out your daily schedule each day first thing in the morning. Quickly respond to any emails that came in overnight, schedule time for those that will take more than just a couple of minutes. And review your to do list.
  2. Do the most important task(s) before 11:00 a.m: Complete your most important task of the day. Get it off your mind and off your desk.
  3. Immediately do tasks that take two minutes or less: Create the habit of completing a task or thought when it occurs to you. Otherwise, you have to remember to come back and when you do come back to it, it’ll take you another minute or so to reorient yourself, wasting time. Plus, how often do you forget to return to it or recall your thought process.
  4. Follow the 10 percent rule: An adequate job takes 10 percent of the time it takes to do something perfectly. Keep moving forward. Do not try to be perfect at everything. Striving for perfection only when a task or a product is crucial to your goal.
  5. RSVP: As you are going through your mail, voice mail, or email and you get an invitation with a specific date, or if you have a deadline for a conference you wish to attend and you must RSVP––Do it now. Right now. Get it out of your head and off your plate. Get it into your Outlook, scheduler, or tickler file—now. If you cannot make the decision to RSVP, put it in your tickler file on a date when you can make the decision.

These tips are excepts from Anne’s book. Click here to order for more great tips!

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