Could you use a few more hours in your week? How about reclaiming some of the hours you already invest?

Michael Hyatt, a frequent writer on leadership issues, suggests some ways you can save as much as 10 hours from your typical work week. Among his suggestions:

1. Limit the time you spend online.
In my experience, the Web is most people’s #1 time sucker. Yes, I know it is a wonderful tool for research, blah, blah, blah. But I often catch myself and my family members mindlessly surfing from one page to another with no clear objective in mind. Before you know it, you can eat up several hours a day. The key is to put a fence around this activity and limit your time online. Set a timer for yourself if you have to. This is true for Web surfing, and it is also true for email. Unless you are in a customer service position where you have to be always on, you should check email no more than two or three times a day.

2. Touch email messages once and only once.
OK, let’s be honest. How many times do you read the same email message over and over again? Guess what? The information hasn’t changed. That’s right. You are procrastinating. I have a personal rule: I will only read each message once, then take the appropriate action: do, delegate, defer, file or delete it. I describe these in more detail in a post I made last week.

3. Follow the two-minute rule.
My to-do list is very short. It never gets longer than about 30 items. This is because I do everything I can immediately. If I need to make a phone call, rather than entering it on my to-do list, I just make the call. If I can complete the action in less than two minutes, I just go ahead and do it. Why wait? You will be amazed at how much this bias toward action will reduce your workload.

Conversely, when you don’t do it promptly, you end up generating more work for yourself and others. The longer a project sits, the longer it takes to overcome inertia and get it moving again. The key is to define the very next action and do it. You don’t have to complete the whole project, just the next action.” (Click to read the full article.)

Michael Duduit

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