How to make the most of your time

Here are the ‘efficiency’ principles I discussed with Annette Marner on her ABC Radio show. (For more info see Time Tips.)

Keep a To Do list. Just about everyone these days probably uses an electronic task management system of some sort. Make the most of it by colour-coding different categories and scheduling follow-ups. Highlight the most important items and concentrate on them.

Keep it clear. I’m a great believer in having a clean, clear work space. I know some people like to think they work better in clutter, but I think they’re kidding themselves! Clutter makes your brain ‘antsy’ and when your brain is antsy, you can’t do your best work.

Don’t be a slave to technology. Emails, the Internet, your smartphone and all the other whizz bang communication and social networking tools are for your convenience, not to waste your time and take control of your ife.

Don’t multitask. Whatever you may think, you can’t SMS, talk on the phone, listen to music and solve a tricky problem all at the same time. Do one thing at a time and do it properly.

Discussion questions

What are your favourite techniques for making the most of your time? Have you organised your To Do list so that it’s maximally helpful to you? Do you have ‘tidy work habits’, use technology to help you manage your time, and avoid multitasking?