Using your computer to perform tasks can save time. However, if you have bad computer habits it can actually harm your productivity and result in waste. This article outlines how you can save time by forming several habits. Taken together, these will help you to: Procrastinate less, Achieve more, Save time
1 – Only Read E-Mails That you Will Answer Immediately
During slack times in the day many people idly browse their E-mail with a vague intention to respond to items at some point in the future. This wastes time. Learn how to save time by forming the habit of only answering E-mails when you have the time and energy to reply to each one. Use the information provided in the subject line of each E-mail to save time and decide on the level of priority it should receive. You can also forward low priority E-mails to yourself and then use your Inbox folders to organize these items. Only look through your inbox if you have time to respond to items fully. By forming this habit you will be able to make your inbox work for you and free up precious time during the day.
2 – Streamline Your Online tasks
Many people do try to ‘kill two birds with one stone’ by running errands together. This is a good habit that can reduce travel time. Tragically, few computer users apply the same logic to their internet browsing. The time spent navigating from one site to another soon adds up. Where possible, minimize the amount of switching between sites. This begins with a specific target. For instance, you can vow to visit Google only once during the day. To support this goal, arrange tasks by type and assign them to a specific time in your schedule. You can then perform all tasks of the same type during a single session. By batching similar tasks together in this way you make best use of the time and improve efficiency. Using this technique, tasks such as system maintenance that once took two hours to complete can often be compressed into the space of twenty minutes to half an hour.
3 – Limit Your Computer use
Parkinson’s Law states that “work contracts to fit the time you give it.” Limit the amount of time you spend on the computer and achieve a larger outcome. For instance, you could plan to use the computer between 10 and 12 AM and again from 2 PM to 3:30PM. By limiting your computer time you can train yourself to see it as a tool rather than an entertainment platform. You can also use the time you spend away from your computer to reflect, plan and find more effective ways to perform your tasks. By forming this habit you will achieve greater effectiveness with your computer-based tasks and realize greater efficiency when you return to your computer.
Small Changes Can Help you to Save Time
You don’t have to constantly scan your watch or drive like a New York cab driver to make better use of the time available. Follow the above steps for three weeks and measure your daily progress. By forming these select habits it is possible to save time, procrastinate less and achieve more.