How to save an hour in the office every day?

My name is Dmytro Savchenko. I am Team Lead in Allstars-IT Ukraine. On daily bases my working day contains of many activities and requires multitasking. I would like to share some tips which will save you a lot of time daily.

The tips I will talk about is the daily routines most people working in the office have to experience.

One of it is.

  1. Checking and sorting emails

Think about how much time a day you spend on sorting mail (especially after the weekend), 20,30,40 minutes? And if you get hundreds of emails per day, it can take a lot of time, right? If you think about it, then only 10% of them are relevant. By “relevant” I mean letters that require your immediate response or intervention. In other words, it is necessary to focus attention only on 10 messages from 100. How to do this?

  • Get rid of spam and unwanted ezines. I mean mailings to which we occasionally turn, but absolutely do not need them during the working day. Outlook allows you to configure inbound filtering so that low priority emails are sent by default to the Non-Emergency folder. Here they will wait for their time without distracting you.

 

  • Set up filters (rules) that will sort your mail into specified folders. Outlook allows you to filter mail depending on the specific addressee, keywords, mention of your name in the letter or subject of the letter itself, etc. As a result, you will only need to check the specified folder to view new messages from your boss, mother, or tangents of the project you are interested in.

 

  • Check mail on schedule. This will allow you not to be distracted from work on the current task, checking every new incoming message.

 

  • Sometimes it is more convenient to open several Outlook windows at the same time so as not to use the navigation buttons to switch between mail and, say, a calendar.

 

  • Use templates to write emails that contain information that does not change from time to time. Just compose a message, save it as a template (you can do it in Outlook), use the template, adapting it for the occasion. It is always easier to change a couple of phrases in a template than typing the whole message again, checking it for errors, etc.
  1. Browser bookmarks

It’s no secret that bookmarking in a browser is very convenient. But over time, each of us collects a lot of useful and not bookmarks, which in the end no longer fit on the work panel, and getting to them becomes problematic (plus not everyone is pleased to show their favorite sites to colleagues). What I advise you to do, is to group your bookmarks into folders. Chrome wonderfully allows you to do this. For example, you can have “Priority tasks”, “Internal sites”, “Entertainment”, “Online shopping” folders, etc.

  1. List of tasks

Everyone knows that having a ToDo list is awesome! And walking around with a notebook is not. As a result, we continue to rely on our phenomenal memory and forget half of the tasks set at the planning meeting. In fact, to maintain such a list there are a lot of free services. For example, I like https://trello.com/. Or you can choose what you like, do reminders in Outlook for example. Ideally, is to make a ToDo list in the evening for tomorrow and adjust it throughout the day, noting the progress of current tasks and adding new ones.

The time management gurus recommend not to add to the task list what you can do immediately and within 5 minutes (for example, a phone call or email) and I agree with them. In case with emails Gmail and Outlook provides a very interesting feature “Delay delivery”. So you can write an email now, and send it later. Just specify the time of sending and forget about the letter – it will reach without your participation, and you will not have to return to this issue by reminder.

  1. Automate

Use the maximum number of tools or applications to automate your routine tasks.

For example, if you need to go to remote virtual machines, I strongly advise you to use the program Remote Access Manager, which will save the settings of each of the machines and you will not have to enter the same data every time.

You can also use the Quick Actions feature in Outlook, which allows you to automate any sequence of actions and perform them with one click, as well as save your quick action on the toolbar and even assign it a hot key combination.

  1. Minimize permanent distractions

By “distractions,” I mean alerts of entertaining (and not so much) chat on Skype or Viber, questions from colleagues, calls, etc. A context change often gives rise to new errors and takes time to re-immerse into the task. In extreme cases, you can use the life hack below. 😊

“Do not talk to me. I do not control myself: I will speak with you for three hours and in the end I will not have time. Thank you, I love you.”

These were my life hacks on how to save some time of your office work every day. I hope this article was helpful and will allow you save your valuable time for more interesting activities.

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