10 Ways to Save Time During the Work Day

Last Updated Mar 1, 2010 11:53 PM EST

Time is the single resource in our lives that it's impossible to make more of. Which is unfortunate, because we waste tons of the stuff -- especially at work.

Want to make better use of your time, get more stuff done, and possibly save some extra time for yourself and your family? I won't promise miracles, but I do have 10 tips for how to save yourself some time throughout the day.


Productivity 501 recently discussed timesavers for office workers, and many of these tips are already things I find that I do around the office. Others are great tips, because they speak to common traps that sap our efficiency and waste time. Here are the most important time savers -- check out Productivity 501 for the whole list:

1. Time your commute. This is like advice I learned many years ago, when I shared a communal shower in college. Leaving for the office just a few minutes earlier or later can have a significant effect on your overall commute time.

2, Know which is faster -- the stairs or elevator. If you only do it once a day, perhaps not a big deal. But if you spend a lot of time tromping up and down floors, this can really add up.

3. Don't skip lunch. Working through lnch is pennywise, pound foolish. You need the break to re-energize.

4. Don't wait on things. If it takes 5 minutes to boot your PC or 10 minutes for a print job to process, do something else to fill in the gap.

5. Prep for tomorrow. At the end of the day, I always update my to-do list and arrange my desk so it's ready for my new priorities.

6. Turn off e-mail notifications. You already know my feelings about e-mail: If you can, dedicate some slices of time each day to e-mail, and turn it off in between. If you must check e-mail continuously, though, I think notifications are handy, since you can see what's coming in without switching to the mail client. This lets you decide to engage or ignore mail at a glance, without leaving the project you're working on.

7. Don't sit all day. Get up, walk around. Even working while standing for short periods of time can reinvigorate you and make you work more efficiently.

8., Batch your tasks. Arrange your workday so you can tackle high-concentration or high-priority tasks together.

Photo by h.koppdelaney

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