Get Back 20% of Your Time Lost At Work! (Part 2 of 2)

This is part 2/2 of the continuation in “Get Back 20% of Your Time Lost At Work!”

4. Reduce Meeting Time And Set Clear Objectives For It

Long meetings with no clear objectives are often another potential time waster. It is always essential to have a clear agenda with a specific outcome you want to achieve. Eg, decide on our marketing direction by the end of this meeting or set out a timeline of programs for 2009. If you are clear on the objectives, you tend to stay focused on the topic and avoid wandering off to other issues. It is also wise to set an end time to the meeting. Instead of the usual 1 hr blocks for meeting, decide that its going to be no long than 45 minutes. Then slowly reduce future meetings to just 30min blocks. Reducing meeting durations also trains people to get straight to the point and not wander from topic to topic.

5. Kaizen Approach To The Way You Do Things

How many times do we fall into this trap of busyness and we do not spend enough time to plan and evaluate how to improve things? The Japanese have this “Kaizen” principle, which means Continuous Improvement. This slow, incremental improvement is always observed at all levels of work. If we are too busy, how can we set aside time to evaluate and improve our work processes? In my previous experience working with a manufacturing company, I’ve learnt that if you could improve an operation by just 2 seconds, you literally save thousands of dollars in man hours and machinery cost.

6. Do Not Multi-Task

I know this statement will offend probably many people; however I stand by this rule. Multi-tasking actually makes us feel very rushed and we tend to shorten our attention span on things. This makes us feel rather frustrated and unsettled. Intense multitasking can induce a stress response, an adrenaline rush that when prolonged, can damage cells that form new memory, according to a research study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology by Dr. David Meyer. He mentions that multitasking actually makes a person inefficient. There is time lost between switching among tasks increases with the complexity of the tasks.

The best way approach to doing things is just doing things one thing at a time.

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