Be a Better Not You

August 11, 2011

By Tad Fry

There was a time when all I did was what I did. I know that’s confusing, but please stay with me. Are you a designer? Stop designing. Are you a programmer? Stop coding. Are you a writer? Stop writing. Put your primary role on hold, and focus on how you could improve your workflow. Be a Better Not You just for a moment.┬áIt will create more time to practice your main craft.

If you’re buried under your inbox, then learn new ways to handle your e-mail, voicemail, and face-to-face meetings. Instead of letting requests dictate what you work on this instant, use a method to process and assign priorities. A great system is Getting Things Done by David Allen. It helps you determine actionable requests, what needs to happen now, what can wait, and where to keep your next actions list so you can focus on work.

Another way to gain time in your workflow is to script routine tasks. If you notice yourself repeating the same type of work, then find a way to script it. Get your feet wet by searching for your program or operating system plus batch scripts. Once you see what others have done, you’ll quickly see opportunities where you could apply those scripts. Furthermore, you’ll learn the script syntax so you can write your own.

Assess what you use for your actual work as well. Learn keyboard shortcuts, or even new programs. These could help reach your goals quicker, but be careful not to sacrifice quality.

Make the time to save time. Continue to find what takes time away from your work, and make those areas more efficient. It will make you a better you.