Agile Insider
Published in

Agile Insider

Six Time saving techniques that have helped me become more efficient

Photo by Milad Fakurian on Unsplash

1. Batching

This technique involves grouping a set of similar tasks together and completing them in one go.

  • I go through all my unread emails or slack messages in a single sitting rather than opening these every few minutes. These frees me up from the constant interruption that is usually associated with messaging tools.

2. Timeboxing

In this technique, you specify the amount of time you will devote to a particular task and finish it off within that time period. This acts like a “forcing function” and helps you finish a task instead of letting it linger on.

  • If my first meeting starts at 10:30 in the morning and I am starting my day at 10, I will set aside those 30 minutes as a deadline to complete some high priority task that was lingering on.
  • Another example is my process for publishing this post. I created a rough draft few days back. Now, while revising this draft, I set myself a specific time limit by when I have to submit the final version of this article.

3. Commit through Deadlines

This technique involves setting up a time limit by when you must finish something.

  • Say, I have to submit the roadmap to my boss. I will schedule a meeting two days from now with them for reviewing the roadmap. Now this “external deadline” pushes me to complete the roadmap planning before the scheduled meeting.
  • For any feature under development, I fix the meeting time & date for demoing the feature with the rest of the team. This is done based on mutual consent with the engineering team and helps keep everyone on their toes.

4. Using Templates to automate work

  • I use templates for i) creating documents such as PRDs, roadmaps ii) reaching out to customers for feedback via email iii) crafting presentations

5. Add Breaks into your work schedule

Sitting in front of your computer screen for long is exhausting — both physically and mentally.

  • I take multiple 5–10 minute micro breaks during the day. This could be for having a quick snack, getting some fresh air or simply just pacing up and down in the room.
  • Late afternoon, I try to take longish break of 40–50 minutes to go for a run.

6. 10 minute daily planning ritual

  • Before starting my work, list down the important tasks for the day. These tasks can range from the small to the big.
  • Identify the “most important task” from a medium or long term perspective and block time for it on the calendar.
  • From the remaining tasks, identify the ones that are urgent and must be completed by today or tomorrow. For these tasks, block focused time on the calendar. (If there are a bunch of smaller tasks that will take 5–10 minutes each for completion, you can finish them off together in one sitting)
  • The remaining tasks will be the ones which are not urgent. If there is still time left on your calendar, block time for these. Otherwise, ignore these tasks and revisit them during the next day’s planning.
  • Rinse and repeat next day.

Conclusion

An extra minute of time saved at work means an extra minute of free time for you. The 5–10 minutes saved every hour compounds to more than an hour of free time everyday. Besides, making you a better time manager it also leads to less frustration and more output.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Vikram Goyal

Currently PM@Airmeet — building a kick-ass product for conducting remote events and conferences.