More productive in less time

The beginnings of the year are usually perfect for promises we cannot keep. So let´s be more organized, better plan, delegate more efficiently, or maybe try intense concentration sessions over longer or shorter periods of time ... The next step Do more, better, as soon as possible.

And yet, this plan has, to a considerable extent, feasible, and with the right strategies for the right project we can make a considerable amount of time and energy savings.

Here are some of the most effective ones:

      1. Clarify Expectations

It is almost mandatory that when you commit to a task you also clarify the expectations. Perhaps the final material has to be a presentation or a brief description of the conclusions is enough. Maybe a 10+ analysis is required, or perhaps one of 8 is just as good. Determining the expected outcome can help from the start in the planning of the activity: how much, how long and with what efforts.

  1. Recycling previous materials

How much and for which types of projects or interactions we can re-use or recycle past materials depends on each individual situation. However, it should not be understood that we are militating for copy-paste until robotisation, but where it is necessary to resume portions of emails or presentations, an adaptation of the previous materials produced can be a more effective solution.

Furthermore, you may have already noticed that many of the top speakers are recycling their speeches: not just to save time but also because practice makes us better. How much salt and pepper you add to your presentation depends only on you.

  1. Templates and Checklists

Whether it's about an email you send regularly to the same or more recipients, or a list of activities you have to do each month, the templates and the checklists help you both to monitor and to better keep under control the communication elements.

There is almost no need to say how efficient the checklists are. The biggest win is that you do not waste your time trying to remember what to do next. Moreover, having the bird’s-eye-view over all the tasks, you can organize them better and monitor the projects easier.

There is no tool that works better or less well, so everyone can choose their own work platform: Excel, Word, or any to do lists application. We have tested Evernote with very good results. 

  1. Discussions face to face

Depending on the objective, it is probably more effective that the clarification talks be faced up front. For example, instead of a long email or a complex presentation, you can get many more validations during a meeting with the project beneficiary. Even in the case of more creative projects, it is sometimes easier to draw and explain in your own way than to write. 

  1. Maximum time

The last of our list strategy, but not less important, is to set aside from the outset how much time you spend on the project in general and on particular components in particular. For example, if the tendency is to spend too much time on the research stage, it is much more effective to stop after the amount of time you planned to spend.

Observance of the timeframe allocated to each stage will not guarantee the completion of the project in time, but it will surely help you focus better on each of the stages.

Each of us has its own way of working and for each of us different strategies will work, but whatever we choose, with patience and perseverance we can succeed in being more efficient in a shorter time.