I have written a number of blog entries on this subject and there are plenty of experts who make their career focused on helping people to be more productive, or make better use of their time.
It is important to understand that this concept is not just about work … you can increase your “effectiveness” in your personal life by good time management techniques too. How you use that extra time is entirely up to you … you might CHOOSE to “chill” and do nothing but good time management will ensure that you have the maximum “chilling time”.
How does that work?
There are things that you need to get done … and there are plenty of other things that you do. Often those “other things” just happen in the course of your day, they are not conscious choices. Those are the things that eat up your time.
If you can do all the things you need to get done as efficiently as possible then you will have more time to do the other things that you CHOOSE to do.
So … at work if you can be as productive as possible you might end up being the most productive person in your work place, but put in the least number of hours. You would be setting yourself up for success at work (as an excellent producer) AND maximizing your personal time. How many people do you know who “put in long hours” but don’t seem to accomplish much?
The “quest” for productivity is a constant one. It involves continually looking at ways of getting more efficient, which achieve the added benefit of keeping things interesting.
There are many obvious ways to get quick hits in your productivity and the trick is to implement them in a way that you can manage, and keep doing. You need to build new habits and that is not easy.
The following are a number of links to previous blog entries that you can read and gain ideas:
In March 2008 I wrote my own set of Time Management Tips which tend to work for me.
In May 2007 I wrote a blog entry called First Day Back in the Office, which was written after I was confronted with the aftermath of taking time away from the office. This is particularly good for me as I took a long weekend this past weekend and Tuesday I wondered why!
The final link I will provide just proves that I am as guilty as the next person when it comes to slipping up on time management issues. I do however take time out to correct things when I get a Time Management Hiccup.
So … there are ways to be more productive, but you need to WANT it and the best way to get that desire is to understand how it can help you personally. That will translate into being more efficient, and everyone should be happy!