While we all have the same number of hours in every day, what we can accomplish in that time can vary widely. The fact of the matter is that time continues to march on no matter what you insist. "You cannot save time, but you can shave time from some of the things you must do that are less enjoyable," says Elaine Biech, consulting expert and best-selling author of The Business of Consulting: The Basics and Beyond.
Here are some of Biech's successful time-saving strategies:
- The big jobs. Work on several large projects rather than dozens of small projects. You invest-and waste-a great deal of time moving from one client to another, getting up to speed, then flying from one coast to the other and reminding yourself of all the personalities and remembering names.
- End-of-the-year tickler file. This will remind you of all the things that have occurred during the year that you need to remember for tax purposes, legal responsibilities and personal desires. It's a guaranteed method to ensure that you have everything you need when tax time comes and that you're not rummaging through stacks of paper trying to locate something at the last minute.
- Required reading. It's important to stay abreast in your field with industry trades and journals, so always keep your reading materials with you so that you can do your reading when waiting on clients, in the doctors office or while waiting on that delayed flight.
- Postcard contact. Keep a bundle of stamped postcards in your briefcase along with addresses on self-adhesive labels. When you're on a plane, stuck in a waiting room or have a canceled appointment, you can pull them out. Use them to keep in touch with friends, colleagues and clients.