Do you have enough hours in the day? Do you feel like you are not getting things done? It probably is not about what other people are doing to you. It is more likely how you are managing your time with others. That is where you can make a direct impact on your productivity.

Last week, I co-facilitated a Time Management session to 60 people – ranging from the President, Division General Managers to the Sales Department. We brainstormed a list of Time Wasters. Do you want to know something? The list was the same no matter what level someone was at in the organization.

Here are some of the solutions or tips we discussed with the group, along with some other resources:

  1. Focus on one thing at a time. I am not sure what guru convinced us that multitasking means getting more done. It seems to me that multi-tasking really means nothing is done or it is done half way. Focus on accomplishment.
  2. Learn how to prioritize. Have a methodology for selecting what is done first, second…and last. Yes, that means making a decision.
  3. E-mail etiquette can help to reduce the amount of time you spend communicating with your colleagues and customers. Bob Whipple’s 12 Do’s and Don’ts for Effective E-Mail Communication is a great start.
  4. Still overloaded with e-mails? Master the subject, cc (carbon copy), bcc (blind carbon copy) and introduction line. You will improve getting what you want by being clear if it is an action item.
  5. Avoid the constant phone tag by being more specific about what you want from the person you are calling. If you want information, leave enough details to increase the likelihood that their return message satisfies your need. If it is imperative that you speak with them directly, tell them what time to call you back and be available to take the call.

By setting the standard of how you manage your time, you will influence how others interact with you. Making these changes will take discipline. If you have suggestions on what has worked for you, leave a comment to share with other readers.