Time Management: How To Boost Productivity at Work [Mission #27]

Simplify Tasks for Better Time Management

Welcome to Mission #27 of our 52 Get Organized Missions.

You may not be thrilled with the way you manage time in your business life. On the other hand, you may not want to invest precious money, energy, thought and – yep, even time – into finding a whole new time management system.

If you’d just like to get more done in your business day, follow the 5 easy steps in this mission.

PS Next week: Time Management: How To Declutter Your Home Organization Tasks.

Get Organized Mission # 27: Streamline Your Work Tasks And Be More Productive

Step 1: List Your Work Tasks

Jot down all the things you generally do in your work day. This list will of course vary depending on the work you do, but it may include items like:

  • Writing proposals
  • Managing people
  • Liaising with other departments
  • Financial analysis
  • Preparing reports
  • Research
  • Creating presentations
  • Typing
  • Organizing
  • Making decisions
  • Support
  • Fielding calls
  • Managing the boss
  • Managing clients
  • Creating products
  • Managing suppliers
  • Customer service
  • Answering emails

Step 2: Simplify or eliminate

Go through your list for anything you can cut down, streamline or cross right off the list.

For example:

  • Can you stop replying to emails that don’t really need a response?
  • Instead of answering calls as they come in, could you return messages all at once?
  • If you write a lot of proposals or presentations, could you create a template to save time on the repetitive work?
  • If you answer emails with common questions, could you create an FAQ?
  • If you manage staff, could you schedule weekly, bi-weekly or daily meetings with each person to address all their concerns at once?

Step 3: Delegate

Next, look for items you can delegate to someone else in the company.

For example:

  • Could you train a junior staff member to draft reports, proposals, or presentations – which you could then edit and polish?
  • Are you doing tasks that could be handled more effectively by another person or department?

Step 4: Outsource

Now check for tasks you can outsource or sub-contract to someone outside the company.

For example:

  • Would specialist companies save time and money in areas like customer service or research?

Step 5: Batch

Finally, see which of the remaining tasks can be batched together for greater time efficiency and mental effectiveness.

For example:

  • Can you schedule whole hours, afternoons or days for admin, financials, meetings or other work, to save mental transition time’?
  • Can you schedule all uptown meetings on Tuesdays and all downtown meetings on Thursdays, to save travel time?

These steps will leave you with a streamlined list of work tasks that focus on areas where you can be most productive. Well done – you deserve a nice long break. 😉

Dos & Don’ts

  • Don’t worry about capturing every little task that occasionally comes your way on your list.
  • Do focus on the big, time-consuming challenges, the frequent, repetitive tasks and the annoying, de-motivating parts of your job. These are the places you’ll make the greatest productivity and time-management gains.

Extended Organizing Mission Options

Want to go beyond this 30-minute organizing mission?

  • If you have a job, complete this mission with your team, department, boss or assistant. It could move your collective productivity and time management to a new level.
  • If you have your own business, complete this mission with your staff. The 30 minutes you spend here could boost both business success and staff morale.

Ready, Set, Go!

Remember – move quickly, act fast, don’t overthink.

Start The 30-Minute Timer

Before You Go: Check In!

Please add a comment to say you’ve completed this week’s Get Organized Mission and you’re keeping your commitment.

And see you back here next week!

Did You Know

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Click here to sign up for 52 Organizing Missions.


[Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/left-hand/ / CC BY-ND 2.0

13 thoughts on “Time Management: How To Boost Productivity at Work [Mission #27]

  1. Michele Connolly says:


    Here are my ‘tips for keeping up motivation under these conditions’:

    1. Do what you have to do in your job
    2. Save whatever motivation and energy you can
    3. Spend that motivation and energy finding a job you enjoy.

    I’m sure there are many good reasons why finding another job is very hard for you to do right now. But it may be that doing this very hard thing is what ‘s needed for you to have a happier life.

    Good luck!
    M 🙂

  2. Jessie says:

    This is fine for executive types who have some freedom in deciding what to do and when to do it, and have staff to complete their minor jobs for them.

    I have a job where I am typing constantly 8-10 hours per day to complete tasks on the computer screen, interrupted by frequent phone calls which I must answer and process. Everything I do is timed, and the only way to increase my productivity (computer-logged by tasks completed per hour) is to type faster and make my phone calls shorter.

    My challenge is to keep typing at the same rate of speed all day no matter if I’m bored, stumped, frazzled by difficult people, or not feeling well. I’ve never seen tips for keeping up motivation under these conditions.

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