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We are all looking for more time in the day. It just always seems like there aren’t enough hours to get everything done! Especially as we approach the holidays, and there are days off and vacations, and family coming to visit. We all need to find a few more hours in the day to make sure all of the work gets done. The truth is, there is more time during our workday, and sometimes we just miss it. There are ways we can find this missing time and put it to use so we can enjoy the days off ahead!

Get a Report On Your Time

There is an awesome application called RescueTime that you can use to track what you are doing on your computer and devices during the day. You may not think you spend a lot of time browsing the internet, reading blogs, or checking social media since you only do it sporadically throughout the day. When you use an application that tracks your activity, you may find that you are spending a lot more time on those things than you thought! Knowing exactly what you are spending your time on can be eyeopening. Through these types of reporting applications, you can also set goals for yourself and block distracting websites to make sure you stay on track.

Use Shortcuts

From keyboard shortcuts to suggested text, there are many tools available within various applications that can make our jobs quicker and easier. The trick is to find out what these tools are. Sometimes these shortcuts are not obvious or readily available. The question you need to ask yourself during the day, especially when working on a repetitive task, should be “is there an easier way to do this?”.

For example, if you are working in a program, and you notice something that could work better, notify someone. If you are writing in a notes section and you constantly have to enter the date, time and your initials to differentiate your notes from others, find out if there is a button that you can push that will enter the date, time and your login name automatically. If there isn’t already a button, submit a request to add one to the developers of the program.

You can also use an app like TextExpander that auto-expands pre-determined text from a short text trigger. So, a few keystrokes can allow you to insert text “snippets” from a repository you build (over time) from emails, boilerplate copy, and general customer service responses. Using these kinds of shortcuts, while they may seem like an insignificant amount of time, can really add up throughout the day.

Try to Focus

Multitasking is a myth. Most people cannot truly do 2 things at once, and do them both well. Sure, sometimes it works if there is a process that takes a while to run, and you start it and move on to another task. But, to really get things done efficiently, you need to stay focused on the task at hand. We recently discussed 5 apps that can help you stay focused at work. If you really sit down and knock out the items on your to-do list in order, you should be done in no time at all.

With the holidays here, we really need to make sure the time we spend at work is productive, so we can enjoy our time at home with family and friends.