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Speeding Up Common Tasks

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Posted 4th June 2009 at 04:45 AM by Odhinn

It seems to me that one of the most effective ways to get more work done during the day would be to spend less time doing those simple things that we all end up doing every day. For instance, I know that a year ago, it would have taken me twice as long for me to type up this short blog post as it does now. The difference between then and now is twofold – first, I’m a much more practiced writer, and second, I have learned touch-typing. That effectively allows me to write twice as much now in the same amount of time. As someone who relies heavily on article marketing, I think that this is a really essential skill that cannot be ignored no matter how much you try.

Everyone has those few things that they do everyday that can be improved. If you’re going to be an effective businessperson, it is essential to learn the advanced ways to do these daily tasks, because they essentially add hours to your day. The more hours you can add, the more you can do, and the more time you can spend relaxing with your family.

There are literally an infinite number of things to learn – how to delegate tasks, how to speed read, how to reply faster to common customer service emails, or how to analyze information. Maybe you could start by setting some time aside to creating a spreadsheet that does basic analysis of your daily business metrics that you pay attention to, so that you can do some of the manual analysis and calculations that normally took you a great deal of time. For instance, if you measure daily sales from this year to years previous, you could quickly develop a spreadsheet that could handle these, and then it would take only a few seconds per day to figure out exactly how your sales figures compare.

By putting time to this aspect of your business up front, you’re going to save yourself a lot of time and effort over the long term. Think about it: one hour’s worth of developing a simple spreadsheet like this could lead to a half an hour or more of saved time in a week’s time. Then, in two weeks, you’ve already broken even, and every week thereafter, you’re running ahead of schedule.

Many people already have learned about the power of saving themselves lots of time with spreadsheets and accounting, and many have learned how to optimize the flow of information through their organization. What most people have not learned is how to optimize their personal habits and skills. How long does it take you to type a letter? How long does it take you to read a page in a book? How long do you spend doing repetitive tasks that should be handled by other people? If you could optimize yourself with these basic tasks, you could be cleaning up hours of time every day.

Recently, I found this speed reading site. You can take a test that shows you just how fast you can read, and you can compare it to other people. I used to think that I was a great reader, but I read at a "Junior in High School" rate. That's something that I'm going to be spending some time working on.

And isn't it interesting that the higher up you go in the business world, and in education, the faster you can read. While I don't think you can measure sheer intelligence in terms of how fast you read, I think that shows that it has a direct relationship to how far you can go in life.
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