1. Let other people know that you value your time. Don’t be afraid to turn down an invitation, reschedule or say no to an assigned task if you have already scheduled something at that time.
2. If it helps, set your watch alarm to go off at the time you’re supposed to finish a task or start on a new one. You can also set your stop watch on your phone or an alert on your computer to ring when your time is up.
3. At the end of each day, review your to-do list and cross off what you have accomplished. Then look it over and create a list of to-dos for the next day in order of urgency. Include any tasks from the current day that you were not able to finish and put them at the top of the list. Review this list the next morning.
4. Before heading to sleep, prepare your items for the morning. If you have taken work home, be sure it is all safely back in your briefcase. If you have been working on a great PowerPoint presentation, be sure you have the file safely on your thumb drive or email it to yourself. If you are going to be giving it on a different computer, save it to pack and go so that it can run on any machine.
Organize your packed lunch and that of your family and then put together two or three outfits to help you choose what to wear the next day depending on your mood and the weather. Doing as much as you can to prepare the night before will cut down on stress in the morning and eliminate time wasters.
5. Reply to emails promptly. If you don’t, you might forget about them.
6. Sync your office computer or your mobile PC to your home computer. That way, you can always check on important items of work easily wherever you are.
7. Keep calls, even business ones, brief. Get straight to the point, write down action items to follow up on, and conclude promptly. Confirm the action steps via email. Then add the items to-do list.