That Thing Only You Know
People are more self-aware than they are often given credit for. Consequently, the experts believe that with the right questions, people can quickly come to a conclusion that is more powerful than anything they have been told. So here is where you start to find your lost 60 minutes. Start with analyzing your day and being honest with yourself.
How much time do you spend doing things at work that you wouldn’t want your boss to see? This works for management as well. How much time do you spend on something at work for which you would be embarrassed if your hard working employees were to witness? There are those that expect good stewardship of your time. You know who those people are and you know what time-consuming things you are involved in that would disappoint them.
It’s not that a little time for yourself can’t be healthy from time to time. However, if you really want to find a lost hour of the day, you have to start here. No one knows what this time looks like apart from you. If you are unwilling to go here, then you need to question how committed you are to finding that extra hour.
The End of the Day
If you get off work at 5:00, what time do you stop working? This is not a trick question. Remember, we are talking about saving the day by finding an extra 60 minutes. If you frequently shut down at 4:45 every day, then recovering that time gets you 25% of the way there. Now, this is more than just a motivational approach, but a scheduling one as well.
However, before you schedule, you have to be honest with yourself about when you quit working. You can’t ask your boss about it because you usually don’t tell your boss that 4:30 is when you start staring at the clock rather than working. If you know this about yourself, then it’s time to start being smart about what you schedule for the end of the day.
If you put projects that are too large to complete at the end of the day, then you need to ask yourself if it is too tempting to just wait until the next day to start. Moreover, if you put frivolous tasks without deadlines at the end of the day, the temptation might be to just put it off until tomorrow. Remember, we are seeking an extra 60 minutes, not a whole day. Consider putting easy tasks with a daily deadline as an end of the day task. This forces you to put that last hour to use, which otherwise would be unproductive.
So these are routes to discovering lost time for which self-awareness will be your guide. If you are unwilling to ask yourself the hard questions about your own work habits, then all the tips and tactics in the world will be of no use. Search yourself and these 60 minutes will be easier to find than you think.