Change your habits to become proactive—instead of reactive—in your approach to priorities… and see how much time you gain.
Priorities are things that are important—I know that, you know that. But a lot of us are guilty of the habit of reacting to the urgent things on—and off—our to-do list, rather than responding to the important ones.
Don’t prioritize based on who gave you the work; fit it based on its importance and urgency for the big picture. Most people don’t take this time, the time to prioritize. They are usually reactive, so make a concerted effort to be proactive.
6 time-gaining tips that you can apply to everyday tasks:
1. Create lists—a lot.
Prioritized notes and lists help with focus and multitasking.
2. Set priorities during your daily planning.
Eliminate or minimize unproductive to-do items from your daily list to make room for the productive ones..
3. Early in the day, sort email.
And quickly categorize each piece appropriately—now, future, trash. Because each piece is only addressed once, you gain time throughout the day.
4. Request simplified emails.
When appropriate, request that people send you prioritized emails that spell out the actions required of you with clear bullet points, not long narratives. Set the example yourself by sending only efficient, bullet-pointed emails.
5. Prioritize your reading.
By learning to skim industry newsletters, articles and books. Then read only what really gives you value.
6. Create a written agenda and follow it for every meeting.
If you’re not the meeting organizer, help guide a long, rambling meeting to some actionable objectives.