“Focus on being productive instead of busy.”
“Inbox Zero” is a new approach to e-mail management that helps you keep your inbox empty at all times. To help yourself do this, set up a rule for yourself that you’ll only deal with e-mail once or twice during the day at a maximum. It’s also a good idea to develop a habit of limiting all e-mails to five or so sentences; unless you’re a professional editor, the majority of people tend to write verbose messages in an effort to get their ideas across. Try trimming yours down and see how much time you save.
SaneBox is a simple e-mail tool that defines which messages are important to you and which are not by clearing your inbox from clutter and prioritizing the messages that really matter.
4) Keep Meetings Short
If you work in an office, then you’ve probably been to more meetings in one month than a non-office worker has been to in a year. According to Inc., 45 percent of all meetings are staff meetings and most of them last between 31 and 60 minutes. For some reason, managers love to call employee meetings (maybe it’s the coffee and donuts?), but the truth is that half the meetings that last half the time would do just fine.
“The least productive people are usually the ones who are most in favor of holding meetings.”
And if you’re having one-on-one meetings, give people just half the time they want to meet with you. It forces them to be brief, clear, and to the point and allows you to save more of your valuable time for your high-priority tasks.
“Even when I’m meeting with prospective clients, I’ll limit almost every conversation to no more than 20 minutes. If it takes longer than that to address a concern or talk through a proposal, then nine times out of ten we’re either not a good fit for working together or I haven’t done a good enough job communicating our value propositions. Time boxing all of my meetings forces me to be more effective with my time both in and out of meetings.”