I am an advocate of great time management strategies. So it will come as no surprise to those who know me that I’m always looking for a way to cheat and get more out of my day.
Almost every morning I order a large mocha from my favourite café and every morning I wait for somewhere between 10 and 30 minutes. I don’t complain… because good coffee is obviously an art. Nevertheless; we live in a time when just a few minutes can make a huge difference to our workday.
I realize now there are many things I can do during this ‘wasted’ time. Lately I have been making a point to use this waiting time to my advantage. Here are a few tips for how you can do the same:
Skip the trip. Some business trips are just not necessary. Consider costs versus benefits for any business trip before you go to the expense of travel. Alternatives to business travel include teleconferencing, video conferencing, file sharing and collaboration platforms; just to name a few.
Listen to your favourite podcast or audio book while you go for a walk or exercise each morning, so you can stay up to date with study tips (if you’re a student) or breaking industry news, changes and insights (if you’re in business). Low impact exercise usually doesn’t require all of your focus, so it’s a great way to save time while you work your brain and your body.
Hook up your phone to a hands free kit, so you can be productive while you drive to work or college. New smartphone apps will read your daily schedule out loud, tell you the news headlines and even read your messages. You can make calls and dictate messages while you drive, which will save you time when you get back home or to the office.
Take your laptop or notebook with you when you travel by plane. Turn travel time into productive time, even for short flights. Pack earphones, so you can listen to music and block out distractions as much as possible.
Quickly check your email or review your schedule while you wait for your coffee. You might also consider organizing your first meeting to be at the coffee shop, so you can start work before your coffee arrives. Phone ahead if you can, so you don’t have to wait.
Use your imagination and schedule meetings outside your office. Schedule ‘walk and talk’ meetings, so you can squeeze in some exercise. Consider meeting in a fun location or over a game or activity, so you can network while you talk shop. An approach like this could be great for building rapport with clients or building trust within your work teams.
I have shared some of my favourite time saving tips with you. I hope you can put these tips into practice and find some more time in your day. Please feel free to share your tips in the comments section if you feel they may help me or my readers.