At Björn, we use many different techniques in order to work more efficiently and save time for other things. Many of our ideas and inspirations come from the book 4 Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss and we’d love to share some with you!
You may already have a To do list, but we’d also like to introduce you to the Not to do list. This list helps us focus the time we spend working on doing actual work. Hopefully it can help you too:
- Do not make emails the first or the last task of the working day. Checking the mail can wait until at least 10 a.m. Use this time to get started on To Do’s instead.
- Don’t keep an eye on your email the whole day. This will steal time and focus. Schedule checking the mail as a task, perhaps several times in a day, but stop once you are done with it.
- Don’t do things if you don’t know why you are doing them. Do not attend meetings without an agenda. Do not make calls without a purpose. Do not re-decorate the shop without knowing what result you want. The work you do should be designed to help you reach the goals you have.
- Don’t procrastinate. Hard sometimes, we know. But a big part of ‘getting things done’ is ‘getting down to it’. Projects are often easier to work on than they might seem before you’ve started them.
- Prevent work from filling up your spare time. Protect your personal life and don’t put work off for doing in your free time. This may seem difficult, but working only when you are supposed to and being free in your free time will ultimately make you more efficient in work.
Now for the To Do list! Hopefully we all already have some version of a this list that we use. (If not, our first tip would be to jot one down as soon as possible.) The following points can be used to improve your list:
- Look through your To do list. What has been sitting there the longest? Find out why. Perhaps it is not a necessary task or you may need to ask someone for help in order to accomplish it.
- Question the tasks. Each time you interrupt your work or change tasks, ask: Is this something I need to do?
- Examine pain points. What on your list causes you the most frustration and boredom? If it is a reocurring task, think of a strategy to make it easier. Can someone else do it?
- Identify the top five time-consuming tasks. Perhaps you are not spending as much time as you think you are on some things, and more on others. Examine why and if the tasks are really worth that much time.
- Identify the top five most fun tasks. What do you look forward to the most in a working day? What you enjoy doing you are also often the best and most efficient at doing.
With the help of these points you can rethink your To Do’s and project list. What is feasible and where do you need help? Are there tasks that someone else is better suited for? Where is it best to ask for help or think of new strategies?
In the long run, this will help save time and effort, making work more fun and efficient!