1. Focus on asynchronous communication

Focus on asynchronous communication over synchronous communication.

  • Asynchronous communication concerns a message that can be sent and processed at any time (an email, SMS)
  • Synchronous communication corresponds to immediate face-to-face, telephone, or chat communication.

Synchronous communication will rottenly be time-consuming, speaking voice rate is twice as slow as reading (150 words per minute versus 300 when reading) and polite formulas take more time when speaking. In addition, most of your interactions do not require an immediate response and can be replaced by an email that will not interrupt your colleague.

Prioritizing asynchronous communication, therefore, saves you valuable time, and gives your interlocutor time to think before answering you. This can go a long way in improving your productivity.

  1. Avoid meetings (where there are too many participants)

A one-hour meeting with 10 participants is 600 minutes of work. Are the 10 participants useful? In the majority of cases: no. The ideal number of participants in a meeting is 4. Do you think communication will get better if there are more participants? This is still a misconception. Let the members of the meeting pass on the information to their teams.

The content of the meeting is also important. Everyone’s time is valuable, you, therefore, have to aim to keep the topic of the meeting in mind, so you will only have to address topics that most participants are interested in.

  1. Know how to delegate

“It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do.

We hire smart people to tell us what we need to do.”

Whether you are a leader or manager, you can’t do everything. If you have hired new employees it is precisely so that they can fill you on certain tasks. You will save time delegating to the right person.

  1. Set objectives/deadlines

It is recommended that you write down, in your calendar or you are “to-do list”, your daily tasks such as “finish the customer presentation”, “contact my suppliers” or “contact 20 new prospects”. By writing them, you are taking responsibility for this task. It is the same principle as announcing to your friends that you will stop smoking, by communicating the goal you are committed to doing you will have a better chance of doing it within the time allotted.

  1. Putting technology to good use

You are fortunate to be able to rely on many tools to improve your productivity. Below is a non-exhaustive list:

  • Rescue Time to see how much time you spend on different websites: Facebook, Outlook, Trello, Slack, etc.
  • Calendly to avoid too many email exchanges, and arrange an appointment.
  • StayFocusd to limit the time spent on certain websites such as social networks.
  • Zapier to automate a large number of tasks assume that each time-consuming task can be automated. Zapier is going to be your best friend.
  • Dashlane so you don’t have to type your passwords on every connection.

Also: Learn Excel shortcuts, use pre-filled forms with Google, practice writing faster on your keyboard with 10Fastfingers.