By Fidelity National Title Insurance Company—
1. Get a Handle on Your Time
- The Myth of Free Time: There is no such thing as free time. If you earn $50,000/year, each hour is worth 25.61.
- Keep a Log: Record the time you actually spend working on each project. Most likely it’s not as much as you think.
2. Get Organized
- Set Your Priorities: All tasks are not created equal.
- Write Down Your Goals: Clarify your goals and write them down with your expected completion date. Carry this list with you and read it at least twice each day.
- Create a To-Do List and Work Your List: In addition to your goals, write down each task necessary to achieve your goals.
3. Increase Your Efficiency
- Neatness is More than a Neurotic Compulsion: Keeping your work area tidy leads to efficiency and a better bottom line.
- Make Your Workplace Work: Configure it properly, don’t be afraid to spend money improving it and don’t use the top of your desk for storage.
- Reading Shortcuts: In the information economy reading is a must. Don’t be afraid of short cuts where they are appropriate.
- Speed Reading: Set goals and test yourself monthly. Be aware of eye movement, don’t move your lips, and keep going.
5. Find Hidden Time
- Make the Most of Downtime: Organize you work so that it can continue while you are waiting at a business or doctor’s appointments.
- Make a Game out of Saving Time: Estimate the time necessary to complete tasks and consciously race yourself to complete them in less time.
6. Pace Yourself
- Create Routines: As in the physical realm, there is a time to do each task and each task should be done in its time.
- Discover Your Work Rhythms: Learn which time of day you are at your optimum. Reserve your most complex work for that time.
- Adapt to the Rhythms Around You: Business is cyclical by nature. Be certain your ideas and contributions are offered when the time is right for acceptance.
7. Learn to Focus
- Don’t Scatter Your Force: Apply yourself only to the goals you truly want to achieve. Everything else can wait.
8. Avoid Procrastination
- Do it Now: The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.
- Finish it Now: Sixty percent of all tasks begun remain incomplete.
9. Avoid Time-Wasting Activities
- If It’s Not Worth Doing; Don’t Do It: Don’t be a slave to your in box. Just because something’s there doesn’t mean it has to be done.
- Don’t Quit too Soon: Tenacity is often the difference between success and failure.
10. Don’t let Others Waste Your Time
- Learns to Recognize and Avoid Time Thieves: If your time is not important to you it won’t be important to others.
- Don’t Adopt Other People’s Monkeys: Don’t take on every responsibility people want to give you.
11. Enlist Others to Save Your Time
- Become a Squeaky Wheel: The quiet guy gets served last.
- To Save Time, Smile: Only the super-richor super-talented get what they want without smiling.
12. Invest Time to Save Time
- Sharpen the Axe: The greater your skill and level of information, the more efficiently you can work.
- Become an Expert: You save time by becoming an expert. The expert doesn’t start from scratch each time a new client comes through the door.
13. Plan Ahead
- Think Through, then Follow Through: Learn to calculate the expense of time and money to determine the viability of a project.
- Anticipate Trouble: Always be mindful of Murphy’s law.
- Build in Redundancy: Would you skydive without a back-up parachute?
- Prepare a Script: Understand your objective, goals and victories to be won before you begin the conservation.