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​Creating More Hours In The Day

8th May 2017

We often hear cries of despair "Where does the time go?", or "There's never enough time in the day!" so we know how hard it is for busy people across Aberdeen to fit everything in to their working day.

It can be a vicious cycle, the more effective you are, the more work can come your way but, depending on your personality type, the more cluttered your work space becomes the more anxious you can feel, making you less productive.

If you are in a position where you are having to do more work with less resources, or you've taken on extra responsibility and want to excel, you can create extra time for yourself every working day. Here's how:

1. Create A Priority List

We love a list and we're sure you do too, but this is a little different from a To Do list. Instead of a long list of all the things you have to do, put the most urgent items at the top of your list, followed by the next most important and the least important at the end. This way you won't be distracted by the "quick and easy" tasks that might not always be that essential. Revise which are the most urgent each day based on task complexity, how much time you need to complete them and the deadlines you are working towards.

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2. Diary Management

You are great at managing other people's diaries but how well do you manage your own? We're guessing you don't use your diary to allocate time for your work, which means people can invite you to meetings right in the middle of time you had mentally allocated to get a certain task done. If you are planning to spend 2 hours preparing a presentation on Tuesday afternoon put it in your diary. Not only will it prompt you, it makes everyone aware in your shared diary system that you are busy at that time. Putting time in your diary is also a great way to break up big tasks (which can appear initially overwhelming) into manageable chunks.

3. Don't Be A Technology Slave

OK, we accept that email is a brilliant communication tool and probably how your line manager contacts you most frequently, but how often do you get distracted by emails that are non-urgent? If managing the company's social media is your responsibility, are you brought out in hives if you don't respond to every tweet immediately? By constantly being distracted in this way it takes so much longer to get your work done. Try to stay focused on the task in hand rather than being diverted by every "pinging" electronic notification. It takes practice but is well worth it!

4. Identify Training Needs

You're a pretty resourceful person which means you've probably taught yourself how to do many things at work, but maybe not in the most efficient way. If there are things you just don't know how to do or you get the feeling there must be a quicker way to get certain things done don't be afraid to ask for help.

5. Meeting Mania

Meetings can be the biggest waste of time! To make the most of the meetings you attend suggest an agenda format or allocate a set time for each agenda item to prevent people from talking "off topic" or just shooting the breeze.

6. Take 5

Before leaving the office at the end of the day take five minutes to collect your thoughts and group the tasks to be completed tomorrow in your priority list. This is a great way of clearing your head, illustrating to yourself how much you've actually achieved and starting the next day in a productive way.

7. Take A Break

Finally, if you are working longer hours you need more breaks. You are simply more productive after a short break which means you'll get more done after you return from getting a drink, stretching your legs or talking to a colleague.

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