Gaining more time is an impossible challenge. There are 24 hours in a day, no one has more or less of it. The solution lies in prioritising and focusing on the most important tasks at hand. The tasks that will help you reach your daily, monthly or yearly goals.
Focus on what you would like to have accomplished by the end of the day and keep that in mind when deciding which emails to respond to or which meetings to attend.
If you take your time at the beginning of the day to determine what you would like to have accomplished by the end of the day, everything that comes on your path will be easier to assess in terms of importance.
Start your day with a quick scan of your emails. Only answer those that help people move forward to reaching their goals. Send out emails to the people you need input from for reaching your daily goals. Disregard everything else.
The same goes for attending meetings.
Decide which meeting to attend based on input you need to have to move forward. Attend only those meetings that need your input or those that are paramount for reaching your goals. Make sure you have an agenda for the meeting to determine what is expected from you.
All too often meetings are ill prepared and it is not clear what desired outcome is expected. Don’t get caught in that trap. Don’t attend meetings without an agenda or a clear purpose.
Block one hour at the end of every day to take care of loose ends. Follow up on the emails you sent at the start of the day, make sure you have the answers you need. Only then read and answer those emails you received during that day that don’t disturb your priority list.
This hour will also give you the time to have quick 1-on-1 conversations or to prepare for next day’s meetings. By prioritising and focusing you will prevent becoming sidetracked and lose yourself in activities that take a lot of time from your daily schedule, but don’t help you reach your goals.