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The 70-Minute Hour
At first the 70 minute hour may seem like something out of a science fiction movie – but is it? The average person is awake for 16 hours every day. Now let’s for one minute imagine what would happen if we were able to be 10% more efficient during these waking hours – this would give us an extra 6 minutes per hour or 96 minutes extra every day. Even if we were just 5% more efficient this would result in an extra 48 minutes!
Now the million dollar question – How do we make it happen?
Areas in which we can save time:
Instead of lying in bed snoozing for an extra 10 minutes in the morning – make it five
The night before plan what you are going to wear and have for breakfast
Spend less time watching TV
Do you control the day or does the day control you. Do you have some days where you are so busy running around that finally when you get to go home you feel frustrated because the important things were not done. This is what leads to stress and frustration. Ways to deal with this are:
Before starting work sit down for 10 minutes and write down a list of activities for the day. Highlight the 6 most important activities and try and complete 3 to 4 of these each day. If you do this you will be successful. This is a very simple technique but one that will prove invaluable.
Meetings – make sure that for every meeting there is an agenda, start and finish time. A meeting should end with an agreed action plan that is circulated afterwards indicating people responsibilities and timing.
Interruptions – Try and keep these to a minimum. You also have to learn to sometimes say no – especially those people who interrupt you with the phrase – “Gotta Minute?” It can take 3 to 4 minutes to recover from each interruption, so make sure you keep these to a minimum.
Emails – Are you one of those people who cannot resist reading every new email that arrives in your in box. Set aside specific times in the day to deal with email. For example – early morning, lunch time and late afternoon.
Paperwork – Apply the TRAF rule – toss it, refer it, action it or file it.
You will never be able to control time, but you can try and control the activities within that time – this is your challenge. In today’s busy environment you cannot do everything. Remember, efficiency is doing things right, efficient is doing the right things. Are you doing the RIGHT things?