Twelve Time-Saving Techniques for Routine Tasks
Daily routines at work are usually overlooked as potential sources for saving time. For one thing, it's a natural habit to keep doing things the way they have been done in the past. In addition, individual matters of a routine nature don't always consume a big block of time. Yet, many perfunctory tasks can be simplified, combined, or eliminated, to give you additional time for higher priority projects. To some extent, your particular job will dictate where the most effective changes can be made. The following suggestions are common to most any supervisory position.
• Discipline yourself to stay on top of routine matters, since letting things drag makes them more difficult to deal with later.
• Relay general information in group meetings, rather than repeating something one-by-one several times.
• Delegate routine tasks, such as ordering supplies, to subordinates.
• Don't fill in for absent subordinates. Instead cross-train workers to handle other jobs.
• Assign periodic responsibilities—such as training new employees—to subordinates.
• Avoid clutter so time isn't wasted searching for things.
• Don't write memos if you can call someone, unless there is an imperative reason to have a permanent record.
• Look for repetitive reports that can be eliminated.
• Shorten, eliminate, or combine meetings.
• Learn to recognize what never has to be done, and forget about it. A good example are standard memos and reports which receive widespread circulation, but are irrelevant to most recipients.
• Use personal downtime, such as waiting for meetings to start and coffee breaks, to do "minimal thought" chores such as going through routine reading matter.
• Have people from other departments come to see you rather than you going to see them.