40 time-saving tips to help you save an hour a day
In a computer-based world, less typing equals more time. Software that reduces the number of keystrokes such as Text Expander, autofill or autocomplete programs can simplify repetitious tasks like adding signatures, writing standardized letters, completing forms or coding HTML or CSS. They may take a while to set up, but will save you hours in the long run.
Manage your email inbox and divert nonessential correspondence using mail filters, smart mailboxes and folders. Establish email rules to stop spam, automatically reroute incoming items to specific folders, and flag important senders.
Set goals, provide rewards
If your workday begins with a cup of coffee and a few minutes browsing your favorite sites, you've rewarded yourself before you've accomplished anything. Instead, set small goals and hold off on treating yourself until those tasks are done. Setting goals and deadlines will boost your productivity and prevent you from wasting time first thing in the morning.
Limit social media
Once you go on Facebook, you know what happens. Stop checking social media constantly. Instead, restrict your viewing time to no more than 5 minutes, three times a day -- morning, midday and evening. You'll still stay on top of things but you won't get sucked into games, sharing memes or lolcats, and you'll regain a good chunk of your day.
Use website blocking tools
Spending too much time on YouTube, Pinterest, eBay or Twitter? Turn your browser into a nanny state by setting up a website blocking tool so that even if your resolve weakens, you won't be able to feed your addiction -- even if you restart your computer.
Instead of meeting, videoconference
Meetings are a huge time sink when you factor in travel time. Nearly everything a face-to-face meeting accomplishes can be done via videoconferencing. With the advent of Skype and other face-to-face options, it's fast, easy and cheap. And because no cars are involved, it's good for the planet.
Avoid rush hour
In many urban areas, rush hour traffic traps drivers in gridlock. Leaving for work an hour earlier can cut 60 minutes or more out of a daily commute. By coming in to work at a less-traveled time, you'll leave earlier as well and avoid outbound traffic.
Take public transportation
You may be giving up the privacy of your own vehicle, but you'll gain extra time to respond to email or relax with video games, social media, and downloaded movies or TV programs.
Get a head start
By using public transportation, you can start your workday ahead of where you left the night before if you use your commuting time as extended office hours. Even without an internet connection, you can work offline, save documents and sync later with programs like Evernote, which work across various platforms.
Move closer to work
You may have chosen to live far from work because rentals and home prices are lower, but the hidden costs of a longer commute (not to mention the price of gas and transportation) can add up. If you can afford a move and higher housing costs, this may be the easiest, most sure-fire way to gain an hour every day.