How often haven’t we looked at the clock, only to think to ourselves, “If only I had a little more time?” We’ve all been there. Wanting more time for a variety of tasks and reasons. And yet, time is a fixed commodity and no matter how much money or power we possess, we cannot increase our personal allotment.
Rather than focus on what time we wish we had, why not challenge ourselves to maximize the time we do have? By experimenting with small increments of time, you’ll discover several tasks that take less time than anticipated. For example, here is a list of things you could focus on in just 20 minutes:
1. Look over your appointments for the next week, making sure you have things in place for each one. If necessary, send confirmation emails to those you plan on connecting with.
2. On Friday afternoon, review your To Do Lists for next week, taking time to highlight or mark those that will get priority.
3. Delete as many emails in your Inbox as possible. If using Outlook, use the Reading Pane view to speed up this process.
4. Allow for think time. Henry Ford once said: “Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason so few engage in it.” Whether at the computer or with a pad of paper, let ideas, concepts and impressions flow. You will be surprised and pleased at the creativity and solutions that a mere 20 minutes produces.
5. Tidy up your office. Toss those things that you know are trash. File random documents just sitting around. Properly store items currently stashed under your desk or piled on a nearby surface. Toss the dead plant. Sort through bulletin boards that have multiple layers of irrelevant information on them. Sort through the sticky notes outlining your monitor.
6. Read an article in a recent trade or industry journal or catch up on recent email newsletters.
Apply this 20-minute technique at the beginning or end of your day as well as in between meetings. It’s the perfect way to get a few things crossed off your To Do List.