Becoming More Efficient Than Your Peers: 7 Time Management Techniques That Will Put You Ahead

Updated: October 19, 2010

My mother is the typical example. She is great at her job; she keeps getting headhunted for these awesome positions. Her problem is that she wants to do her job so well, impress everyone and keep everyone happy, that she does too much. She seeks out extra assignments when she already has a full schedule, she offers to help others when they need help even though she doesn't have any more time than they do.

This of course is the reason she gets these great jobs!
The downside is that it is wearing and tearing. 2 years back she burnt out. She had to start seeing a psychiatrist and had to take a break from work.

She decided she needed to slow down.
2 years later, she is back where she started working harder than ever, and loving it.
She has been able to find a better balance in her work now. She has found smart ways to get as much done, but spend less time and energy on achieving it.

She told me about the differences she has made in her life and how it has helped her and I was very impressed.

These 7 techniques are what saved her from another burn out.

1. What is the most important use of your time?
Asking yourself this question every day will make an enormous difference in your life. The most important use of your time is what your bosses care about, that is what they will measure your success against.

It is great if you do extra tasks but what you are being measured on is the most important use of your time. You might as well do that REALLY, really well because that is what will get you promoted.

2. Get help to focus on the most important tasks
Once you know the most important use of your time make sure you find time to work on those tasks. Ask your boss for help in clearing distracting jobs of your desk. Delegate tasks that spread your focus and ask instead for more responsibility in the area you should be focusing on.

3. Plan your week
Making a weekly plan lets you organize in a much more efficient manner. By looking at the whole week you can stream line tasks and processes to make you more efficient. You can come up with smart plans that might save you time on travel or starting and stopping different tasks.

If you aren't planning by the week already you will be surprised by how much time it can save you.

4. Organize you day
Once you have planned your week, organize your day. Make sure that you work on your first task, first. Until it is finished, then move on to the next task.

This will make you a lot more efficient and helps you get an overview over what you really need to produce, today.

5. Work in Quadrant 2
This comes from Stephen Coveys book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. All tasks can be split into 4 quadrants.

  • Urgent and important
  • Not urgent but important
  • Urgent but not important
  • Not urgent, not important

By working in quadrant 2, Not urgent but important, you are proactively getting rid of important tasks before they have time to become critical and stressful.
By being a step ahead you can usually finish the tasks faster and avoid the unnecessary stress they cause.

6. Get in earlier, work harder, stay later
This is always a good tip. You get more done, you are more focused and you work for a longer time. This will make you more efficient and give you the peace of mind to relax when you aren't at work. You got more done than all your colleagues did together.

7. Be proactive
Always being one step ahead of changes.
Create your own brakes and keep working on what you can influence, forget the things you cannot change.

Featured Research
  • EHR Implementation

    More and more medical practices are selecting and implementing electronic health records (EHR) than ever before. In fact, statistics show that the number of practices who have purchased an EHR has doubled in just three years. That being said, many practices fail to prepare for their new EHR and thus do not gain the full benefits that come with implementing a solution. more

  • Selecting the Right EHR for Your Practice

    The purchase and implementation of an electronic health record (EHR) system is no small feat and is a big step for a practice, small or large, to take. Selecting your new EHR is one of the most important decisions that you will make for your practice. more

  • 8 Ways Business Travelers Can Save with VoIP

    Do you or any part of your workforce travel for work, or even telecommute? If that answer is yes, then you should be utilizing mobile VoIP. With VoIP, businesses have been found to save as much as 40% on local calls and a whopping 90% on international calling expenses. more

  • Top 10 Contact Center Tools for an Unforgettable Customer Experience

    It should come as no surprise that consumers have only increasingly become less and less brand loyal in the modern age. In fact, 89% of them have switched brands within the last year due to a poor customer experience. One of the major steps to preventing this customer churn is to invest and invest heavily into improving your customers' experience. Now the major question to ask yourself is, "of all the contact center tools available, what are the ones that I should be utilizing for my business?" more

  • The Future of ERP

    Today's business decisions are data-driven and the difference between success and failure can be boiled down to utilizing the correct data. Now more than ever, companies have access to not only robust data but consumable data as well, through Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. more