By Neen James
Special to the Legal
Have you ever said, "There just aren’t enough hours in the day"? Do you ever feel like you just can't get it all done, even while working 12+ hours? Well you are not alone. We need to increase our impactivity™ through super-productivity.
Productivity is NOT about doing more, it is about doing less; Less of the things that don't matter and more of the things that energize us and help us achieve our goals.
When we wake, we are all given the same amount of time every day. Time doesn't care how old you are, what your next case is, what you do or how long you have been doing it; time doesn’t care. Time doesn't decide how it will be spent, you do. The real secret to super-productivity is the 15-minute rule.
Here are some ideas of actions that can be achieved when you begin to think in 15-minute increments!
- Create time. While we often cannot find an additional hour in our day, we can definitely find 15 minutes. Choose to create time by rising 15 minutes earlier or going to bed 15 minutes later.
- Make time in time. Review the activities you are currently completing that can possibly be combined with other related activities or delegated to someone else. Some may call this multi-tasking; I prefer to think of it as cleverly using all aspects of time. If you are waiting for an appointment, take reading material with you or write a note while you wait.
- Decide now. Choose to work on one task or activity for 15 minutes only. I bet you will be amazed how much you can achieve in 15 dedicated, concentrated (not multi-tasked) minutes.
- Eliminate time robbers. Identify activities that "fill up" your day. When you waste time on an activity, phone call or lack of system or process, it is another 15 minutes you could be investing somewhere else.
- Arrive early for appointments. This allows you to catch up on reading journals, papers, write thank you notes, make a business call or just review your next case file. You already need to be at the appointment, so try arriving 15 minutes earlier to focus on activities that don’t require you to be in court or in your office. In your personal time, arrive at the gym earlier to fit in an abs routine or sort through your mail while waiting to collect the kids from school.
- Go phone-free. Switch your cell phone and/or desk phone to voicemail for 15 minutes and allow callers to leave a message while you complete an important task.
- Ignore e-mail. If you are going to be in court or at an event for extended time, set an out-of-office message for people to help manage their expectations. E-mail is best checked in 15-minute increments three to four times per day.
- Clear your inbox. If your e-mail feels out of control, dedicate 15 minutes daily for one month to clean it up, file it, sort it, delete it and unsubscribe.
- Designate time. Schedule weekly time in your calendar to complete certain tasks; filing, paying bills, unsubscribing from junk mail, checking online accounts or contacting a family member.
Here is a list of activities you could achieve in 15 minutes:
- Make a business phone call
- Write a handwritten note
- Make a healthy meal
- Talk to a friend
- Update your blog
- Get involved in social media conversations
- Thank a team member
- Assess your goals
- Play with a child
- Send a birthday wish
- Tidy your desk
- Scan newspapers and journals
Every day we get to choose how to invest our time. By increasing your consciousness of investing in 15-minute increments you will feel super-productive. Now what can you do in the next 15 minutes?
Neen James, MBA CSP, is the President/CEO of Neen James Communications, LLC. An international productivity expert and native born Aussie, James delivers engaging keynotes that have educated, and entertained audiences with real-world strategies that apply in all roles, whether at work or in life. She also provides one-on-one consulting and mentoring to women on a variety of business issues and topics. To find out more about James, visit her at www.neenjames.com/bio, e-mail email@example.com or follow her on Twitter @neenjames.