Do Less, Better

The past two months I have been doing a lot of reading and it's absolutely incredible the amount of great information you can find in other peoples' work. I have made a similar post in the past about how reading can make you a better leader, and I will at some point in the future make a post about how reading is an avenue to make you a happier and healthier person as well.

Until then, let's do less, better. 

photo by Bruce Klumph

photo by Bruce Klumph

One of the books I'm reading right now is Monday Morning Leadership. It has some amazing insight for those of you who are wanting to further your leadership skills and has great information even for those who have no interest in that sort of thing. After reading the chapter on time management I thought it was super useful for any of us who are looking to find ways to better use our time. 

David states several different ways to save some time during the day, but I want to talk about a few that pertain directly to me. 

  • Spend 20 uninterrupted minutes of planning for each day- I would probably spend my time much differently if I set aside a small portion of each day to look at my calendar and decide what the day and the few upcoming days would look like, and repeat that process everyday. I would have significantly less "let me look at my calendar and get back to you" moments. 
  • Clean your desk- Simple, yet I struggle to find organization amidst the bomb that seems to have gone off on my desk. It takes very little time for my desk to go from sparkling clean and organized one moment with a few "I'll find a place for this later" excuses and then BOOM! I can't see my desk anymore and it now seems very overwhelming to deal with all the things at once. If I would apply the first rule to my desk space every day I would likely never have this problem then I would know where almost EVERYTHING is and I would also horde significantly less "trash". Guess who is cleaning their desk today? Yep, me. 
  • Control your email deliveries- This seems almost strange for me because I am constantly getting emails that come through on my phone and before reading this I didn't even realize that I can change my settings so that I only get emails every set amount of hours or even at set points during the day. Doing this small little change would make me EXTREMELY more efficient at answering emails and getting to the important ones that I usually open and shrug off say, "I'll come back this when I have the time to sit down and respond to it". Funny, what would happen if I actually set aside time each day JUST to respond to emails? I would actually respond to them! 
  • Batch activities together - do like activities at the same time- The whole setting time aside each day to answer emails can and should be applied to other activities during your day too. Like answering texts, like answering voicemails, like reading books for an amount of time, like planning your day/week/month, like preparing meals for the week, like most things we break into several different parts. Keep 'em batched and see how much better you are at doing them. 
  • Go to lunch at 11 or 1- This is one that I feel like I nail already and do understand the benefits. Traffic seems to get kind of crazy when everyone is trying to get lunch at the same time and when you are rushed to find food, order and eat, and get back to work, you aren't exactly enjoying the food you are getting. Go when everything is less busy, it's easier to breathe. . . and eat. Didn't think lunch break was relevant for time management? Think again, it is a time that you have PLENTY of opportunity to do something that you actually want to do. 

Maybe you're asking yourself how managing your time better can make you happier or healthier. Try it out and when you find an extra hour of time each day to do the things you actually want to do, like spending time with family or going to the gym, ask yourself again if managing your time more efficiently made any difference. Welcome To The Road.