1. Organise your files/papers into a filing cabinet
2. Organise all files on your computer into relevant folders
3. Have only one piece of paper on your desk
4. Get a another monitor
5. Get adequate sleep
6. Plan everything
7. Plan all meetings/events in a diary
8. Have a notice board to remind you of the most important/pending issues
9. Write a to-do list
10. Assess every item on the to-do list and see if it helps you succeed
11. Break down the steps in your to-do list
12. Do the hardest tasks on your to-do list first
13. Actually carry out the tasks on the to-do list swiftly and reward yourself
14. Use Steven Covey’s four quadrant to-do list
15. David Allen GTD-training is also available
16. Do the important things and avoid (if possible) the non-important things
17. Try to clump similar things together, e.g. call people in a “calling people hour”
18. Kill procrastination as soon as it is born – it is the thief of time
19. Identify why you are not motivated and fight that
20. Don’t leave anything to the last minute, it will cost you time
21. Make a fake deadline and stick to that
22. Put papers in a paper-recycling bin, so you don’t throw anything important away and spend time making amends
23. Always have a real phonebook
24. Make full use of post-it-notes
25. Back up all files on external hard-drive
26. Get a notepad which you should carry with you at all times
27. For three days monitor your time every three minutes
28. When assessing your time, get rid of the things you waste most time on
29. Ask yourself how you can do more in the day
30. Plan to do tasks at their appropriate time (where you are most likely to enjoy them)
31. Constantly ask yourself how you can be more efficient
32. Write a list 100 things you want to do in life
33. Look back every day at this ‘100 things’ list and ask yourself what you did today to achieve them
34. 80:20 rule – concentrate on the 20% of your clients who provide 80% of your income
35. Don’t get down at a bad judgement – it gives experience
36. If you dream something, do it
37. Delegate any task which you can to someone else
38. Pay people to do things which would cost you time (e.g. gardening)
39. Treat the person you delegated to with respect
40. Don’t dump tasks on a person
41. Do the hardest things yourself
42. Let the person use their own imagination and initiative or else they will take too long trying to fit your criteria
43. Give the person a specific date, time, penalty and reward for the task
44. Write things down, even if it is in an email to the person you delegated to – saves future disputes which cost time
45. Don’t sign up to newsletters which you will never read
46. Don’t use/purchase any software which will never benefit you
47. Don’t sign into any IM while working
48. Leave no unread emails in your inbox
49. Keep no emails in your inbox – file them
50. Don’t delete any important emails
51. At the beginning of a phone conversation stating the goals of the conversation
52. Always have phone conversations whilst standing up– they will last less time
53. Call people before lunch so that they want to get off the phone
54. Have something you WANT to do after the conversation, so you push the conversation along
55. Get time management courses for collegues
56. Use hands free/Bluetooth so you can do more than be on the phone or call while walking
57. Switch the speaker on when waiting in a phone call and do something productive while waiting
58. Work in such a place where there will not be distractions
59. Put a lock on your office door to prevent distractions
60. Ensure there is no noise when you receive an email – a big distraction
61. Switch your mobile off or put it on silent and away from yourself when working
62. In one-to-one meetings explain to your client or whoever that you only have 5 minutes; this gives you an excuse to leave or extend as you please
63. When someone is not leaving your office stand up and walk with them to the door
64. If they still don’t leave, thank them for coming
65. If they still don’t leave, shake their hand
66. If they still don’t leave, tell them you have to go now and say goodbye
67. Make the ‘visitor chair’ in your office uncomfortable to ensure meetings are shorter
68. NEVER put your feet up in your office
69. Don’t have an office chair in which you can lie down
70. Don’t listen to music/radio while working
71. Get a parent-type internet site blocker
72. Smash your TV with a baseball bat, or just put it in the closet
73. Avoid coffee – it will slow you down and you can’t make the best of your time
74. Give up smoking/alcohol because these seriously cost time
75. Get some email training
76. Re-negotiate deadlines as opposed to rushing them
77. In meetings always take minutes to save time in the next meeting
78. All people in the meeting must have their mobiles off
79. Never have a meeting for longer than an hour
80. Only have a meeting if there is a purpose
81. Always have an agenda to follow in meetings and get some facilitating training
82. Learn to say no to people who will be wasting your time
83. Be effective with your time i.e. don’t always try and fit everything in, be sensible
84. Make the most of situations where you can’t do much else e.g. Reading reports while exercising
85. Have a packed lunch if you work out of home so you don’t spend an entire lunch in a queue at McDonalds
86. Sulking and moaning will take up too much time; just get on with what must be done
87. As a freelancer don’t work more than 40 hours in the week unless it is sensible
88. NEVER EVER negotiate the time you spend with your loved ones
89. Use apps on your phone to increase efficiency
90. Don’t regularly switch from one app to another- it’s time wasted
91. Learn to touch type
92. Spend an hour investigating keyboard shortcuts
93. Manage your reading material
94. Manage your reference filing away from your desk
95. Use a label machine
96. Don’t manage time, manage actions
97. Don’t manage time, manage projects
98. Don’t manage time, manage distractions
99. Don’t manage time, manage attention
100. Don’t manage time, manage habits

By Graham Allcott