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1. Schedule your day, from start to finish.

That even means waking and getting to sleep at the same time every day. Your body finds an equilibrium in routine, along with an efficiency for doing daily tasks better and faster which means you'll be able to pack more into what was once an unproductive day.

2. Work with a team that syncs with your natural schedule

It's said that the famous philosopher, Rene Descarte, met his end because he accepted a gig tutoring Queen Christina. But the problem wasn't the tutoring, or the Queen, it was meeting on cold early mornings, which threw him off his natural beat of waking later in the day.

Make sure that when you accept a role or responsibility, or pick your team, that everyone is in sync. That means being honest about availability, what work times are best, etc.

3. Keep your inbox at zero

Email has a way of piling up, but the worst part is the waste of time it takes to orient and prioritize our focus every time we sign in.

Even if there are nine old messages sitting there, most people will read through them over and over until they are filed away or deleted.

To avoid such a time suck, only keep emails in your inbox that you can act immediately upon, otherwise file them in folders, labelled accordingly, like "one month follow up", etc.

Also, reclaim your inbox by using tools, like Azendoo, that replace emails (at least for internal communication).

4. Use specific instructions

When you need to get something done and it depends on others to help you, be specific in your instructions, and list each item that needs to be done, any particulars, and especially a deadline. Create a format/process for issuing instructions as well, so that part is automated too.

5. Don't fear the phone

We're all so used to IM'ing back and forth, which is good for record keeping and group collaboration, but wake up when it becomes a waste of time. In a project management capacity, I've seen dialogs between developers go on throughout the day, each new post adding a new layer of confusion.

Everything could have been solved with a three minute call, then if needed, a typed summary of action taken could have been posted for the record.

6. Avoid meetings without a clear agenda

Why does the world still insist on meetings when there's no reason to gather the forces. It takes time to prepare, end, and process meetings, so don't schedule them just to have a pow-wow, unless there's a clear agenda and punch list for everyone attending.

Guest post by Jonathan Poston M.E., President of a company that, among other services, project manages global creative teams.

Jonathan Poston

Guest Writer
This post is a guest post written by one of our contributors. If you'd like to write on the Azendoo blog contact us at blog[a]
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