Have you ever noticed that the more we excel at our jobs and grow our businesses, the busier we seem to get? And while promotions may give us a salary increase and more perks, it can’t give us more time in the day. So how do we save time at the office?
We each get 24 hours a day and only 7 days a week, so we have to work with the time we have. The key, then, is making the most of that time so we can be as productive and balanced as possible.
With that in mind, here are 10 tips on how to save time during a busy day at the office:
1. AUTOMATE YOUR SYSTEMS.
If there are things you do over and over in your work, see if there’s a way to automate it. Email campaigns and social media can be scheduled, client requests can be automatically processed, and the list goes on.
You can apply this same mindset to your writing as well. Are there emails or thank-you cards you write over and over? Create a template that you can simply copy/paste and tweak before sending out.
2. USE STAMPS FOR YOUR PAPERWORK.
Using stamps takes automation to a whole new level. Stamps can save you time on things you might have to write over and over, such as your address, your printed name, your signature, check endorsements, approval labels, etc.
You can also use stamps to show your business logo or to mark and organize invoices and receipts.
Using stamps to automate these items not only saves you time, but it makes sure that the writing is legible. The only thing worse than writing the same thing over and over is not being able to understand the writing afterward.
3. CHECK EMAIL AT SELECT TIMES.
You don’t have to check your email all day long. When you’re busy, checking email can quickly take you down an unnecessary rabbit trail. Instead, try setting aside two or three times each day that you check your email—perhaps first thing in the morning, right after lunch, and an hour before the end of the work day.
For some jobs, this idea doesn’t work because they need to respond to emails immediately. But if you regularly receive non-urgent emails, then I recommend using this tactic to save time.
4. SET YOUR PRIORITIES THE NIGHT BEFORE OR FIRST THING IN THE MORNING.
The easiest way to waste time is to respond to “urgent” to-do items as they pop up. Instead, be intentional about how you spend your day.
Start by setting your top three priorities for each workday. Then map out how you want to spend your time on those priorities.
This will help keep you focused on your priorities instead of letting impromptu requests, emails, and tasks derail you and steal your time.
5. BE CORDIAL BUT HONEST WITH CHATTY CO-WORKERS.
If you have several co-workers who love to chat and you don’t have the time, it’s important that you be kind but honest with them. For people with more passive personalities, this might be difficult. But it’s crucial to honestly communicate when you need to focus on your work instead of office gossip.
You can simply say, “I’d love to hear more about that, but it might need to be after work because I need to make time to focus on this deadline right now.”
6. CLEARLY COMMUNICATE THE FIRST TIME.
Another huge timewaster is unclear communication. We tend to get lazy about our communication when we’re trying to save time. Yet that tactic quickly comes back to haunt us when people don’t understand our request or answer. We then have to clarify our original message, sometimes several times.
You can save time by clearly communicating the first time. When you write a message to someone, take 30 seconds to review it and make sure it clearly communicates what you mean. Imagine you are the other person reading your message for the first time. Does it make sense? If so, click send!
7. TRACK YOUR TIME.
One of the best ways to expose timewasters in your day is by tracking the time you spend on various tasks. Analyze what you spend your time on. You may find that there are some tasks that don’t need to take as much time or that can be eliminated altogether.
8. GET GOOD SLEEP EACH NIGHT.
Better sleep means better focus throughout the day. I know you may think you have too much to do to get a good night’s sleep, but think about it: If you don’t get enough sleep, you will actually waste more time the next day because your thinking won’t be as sharp.
Get good sleep and be on your A-game at work. It’s that simple.
9. TAKE BREAKS AT CERTAIN TIMES THROUGHOUT THE DAY.
When we focus for long periods of time with no break, our brains get tired and our work can actually suffer. To keep your focus sharp, make sure to take several breaks throughout the day. Give your mind a chance to relax and regain its strength.
Research even confirms this. Studies show that taking breaks throughout the day can decrease your stress levels and increase your work performance.
10. DELEGATE WHERE YOU CAN.
The best way to save time on a task is to simply eliminate it from your schedule altogether. Oftentimes as bosses or business owners, we continue to do tasks that someone else can do—perhaps even better than we can.
Delegating simple organizational tasks is a great place to start. Train an assistant to label and mark certain files, which is easy to do when you use Self-Inking Custom Stamps and Stock Message Stamps.
Browse our custom stamp collections to see what stamps you need to get started and save time in the office!