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20 Apr

Make proper use of time gained

Datum: 2022-04-20 14:00

As you improve your struc­ture at work, you will unques­tion­ably gain time. You will spend less time search­ing for items and doc­u­ments, or redo­ing things you pre­vi­ous­ly com­plet­ed but now can­not find, since you will now find what you are look­ing for much faster.

Less time will be wast­ed trans­port­ing your­self between phys­i­cal loca­tions since you now use the time you spend in a loca­tion more effi­cient­ly (and you there­fore do not have to move around as much).

You spend less time cor­rect­ing mis­takes which you made while doing some­thing half-heart­ed­ly last minute, since you now pri­or­i­tize more con­scious­ly and work with greater foresight.

Help your­self choose
But it is easy to just fill this extra time we now have at our dis­pos­al with more of the same things”. The con­tin­u­al inflow of e‑mails, col­leagues want­i­ng your atten­tion and meet­ings have a ten­den­cy to auto­mat­i­cal­ly get a high pri­or­i­ty since you per­ceive them as being more or less urgent. This is exact­ly why it is a good idea to help our­selves to choose the right thing to do dur­ing the extra time we have gained, hence pre­vent­ing wast­ing the oppor­tu­ni­ty we are pre­sent­ed with.

Do more of that which you are not doing enough
If we let the time we save by struc­tur­ing more be con­sumed by what­ev­er tasks come our way, we will not expe­ri­ence that we have gained any time at all. Instead of feel­ing that we have gained some ground, more of the tasks we usu­al­ly do (and spend our time doing) obtain a sense of being urgent and we will end up work­ing with less fore­sight rather than the opposite.

This is why you need to make it clear to your­self what you want to do more of when you have more free time at your disposal.

Do this

  1. Take a few min­utes to reflect on the fol­low­ing: what do you not have time to do today which you would do more of if only you had the time? Would you call more clients, devel­op more things, con­verse more with the peo­ple you are in charge of, go home ear­li­er, work more on refin­ing your strate­gies, or some­thing else?

  2. Write the things you come to think of on a note.

  3. Think of a way to be remind­ed of what you would want to do more of when the oppor­tu­ni­ty to do it presents itself. When you notice that you have a few moments to spare, you will want to catch a glimpse of the (three?) things you want to do more of when you have the time.
    • If you spend a lot of time by your desk, you could make a sign.
    • If you are fre­quent­ly on the move or if you pre­fer dig­i­tal reminders, cre­ate a back­ground image for your screen (on your com­put­er, phone, iPad, or the likes) where the three things are listed.
    • Or, cre­ate a small card to keep in your wal­let which you see every time you take out your cred­it card.
    • Or, paste a note next to where you hang your coat every morn­ing when you arrive at the office.
    • Or, buy a small can of paint for porce­lain and write the three things on the bot­tom (on the inside) of your cof­feecup, so that you see them just as your cof­fee break is over.
    • Or, tape a strip of paper onto the space between the lap­top key­board and the screen onto which you have writ­ten the three things.
    Per­son­al­ly I have used a mag­nif­i­cent high-res­o­lu­tion pic­ture of a beau­ti­ful land­scape and writ­ten the three things in my favorite font in the mid­dle of the image. Every time I start my com­put­er or min­i­mize all win­dows, I see what I have writ­ten and am remind­ed of the things I want to do dur­ing the moment of free time.

  4. If you need to do some­thing in order to do this, but you do not have time to do it right now, write it down as a to-do-task on your to-do-list so that you can remind your­self to take action on your good ideas.

Make use of your increased efficiency
If you make it clear to your­self what you want to do with the time you save by being more struc­tured than before, you will make bet­ter use of your struc­tur­al improve­ments. The struc­tur­ing actu­al­ly result­ed in some­thing new, rather than just give you time to do more of the work that does not actu­al­ly increase your util­i­ty. You make it eas­i­er for your­self to have more of what you cur­rent­ly do not feel you have enough of.

What was your way?
How did you make it clear­er to your­self what you want to do dur­ing any extra time gained through struc­tur­ing? Tell me!

If you want more tips on how to cre­ate good struc­ture at work — here are many ways to get just that.