Heather Gibson, Director of Finer Details Concierge and Organiser Services, discusses how busy people can efficiently manage their time to get more out of their day. Heather recently gave a seminar presentation on this topic for Legalwise Seminars.
Where did the week go? All your good intentions on a Monday to tackle your “To Do” List have been unsuccessful, as distractions and procrastination took over. Putting some simple strategies in place can save you time and minimise stress, as well as help you to attain a feeling of satisfaction in achieving your tasks.
- Statistics show we spend approximately two weeks per person per year looking for items lost, either physically or in the digital space.
- 80% of information kept either online or paper format is rarely, if ever, referred to
- Multitasking has proven to reduce productivity by up to 40%
- Research shows the average person now checks their phone 85 times per day, 55% of those times is for 30 seconds or less
- Over your lifetime you will have wasted approx. 5 years on social media
Just on these statistics alone there is a mountain of time to be saved, although the real secret to regaining some lost time is organisation and consistency.
Paper and digital filing
- Create a naming convention – staying consistent with online and physical files enables information to be easily located
- Generate folders in a logical format and don’t use abbreviations that you will forget in time. Always include a date format so you can sort and refer to quickly
- Use vertical in-trays with actionable files – schedule in when you will action folders
- After meetings plan a time to update notes, action paperwork etc. try not to have back to back meetings otherwise information not recorded may be forgotten
- Know your work flow – are you a morning person – do the tasks that take the most amount of concentration early. Make your phone calls, check emails when your concentration is dipping (after lunch, mid-afternoon) or when you want a break
- Identify your procrastination triggers – some need big tasks broken down into smaller chunks, others need a specific deadline to work to or perhaps you need detailed lists. Discover your style and work with it.
- Regular breaks – the human brain isn’t designed to work continuously on the same task without a break. A 5-minute rest keeps your mind sharp and wards off fatigue
- Instead of wasting time checking emails/social media, if you are early for an appointment use that time to catch up with your network. Premise the call with “I only have 10 minutes but wanted to check in, make a date to catchup etc….”
- Email ping pong – make a rule that after 3 emails you make a phone call. This eliminates misunderstandings and can clarify issues quickly.
Clutter and multitasking:
- Physical clutter overloads your senses, it impairs your ability to think creatively. Clutter can rob you of mental energy, leaving you feeling anxious, tired and overwhelmed.
- Humans can do two things at a time especially when one of those activities is so ingrained that it can be done on autopilot – talk & drink coffee but we can’t concentrate on 2 things at once effectively
- Limit distractions – log out of social media accounts, close email if not required
- Using online software like Trello to list tasks frees up head space. Easy to delegate segments of projects and set deadlinesMake paper lists – write it down to get it out of your head and to action later
Heather Gibson, Director of Finer Details, is a Personal Concierge and Professional Organiser. She runs Finer Details with Sara Hall. Heather is naturally an organised person but fully understands the struggles of trying to keep all the balls in the air and has experienced life events that disrupt that delicate balance. She believes we can have it all, but we just can’t do it all by ourselves. Heather is very fortunate to have a hands-on husband and to outsource services which makes life easier and manageable. She says no-one has a perfect life, but finding what works for you and the areas you are prepared to compromise is the key. Contact Heather at firstname.lastname@example.org or connect via LinkedIn .