By John Arenas | February 25, 2014

Top 12 Tips to Save Time at the Office

The Work-Life Balance Sheet

The promise of technology always seems to be greater efficiency and more convenience. So how come our workdays are longer and we’re assumed to be available for work any time of the day or night? Turns out some of those basic time management tips are worth revisiting – along with some not-so-obvious new ideas – to bring a bit of much-needed balance to the workday.

How about those 5 minutes or so before and after meetings? Optimizing those small increments can yield free space where it counts.

Just five minutes before and after each meeting – say, once a day — can amount to more than 20 hours of work time wasted per year. While five minutes may seem too short to start a new task, there are plenty of quick tasks you can check off of your list using that time. Here are some tips:

  • Try using a quick answer tag for any email that will take you 60 seconds or less but isn’t urgent. When you have five minutes, clear out as many of these as possible.
  • Confirm any upcoming meetings for the week.
  • Unsubscribe from unhelpful newsletters. (Try
  • Return a phone call. (Having the small window of time will help you avoid getting caught up for too long on the phone either).
  • Clear your mind for a 5-minute meditation.
  • Post an article that would be relevant to industry contacts on LinkedIn.
  • Send a thank you note to someone whose work you appreciated in the last few weeks.
  • Add new business contacts on LinkedIn.
  • Digitize new business cards you’ve acquired using CardMunch.
  • Look through your Downloads folder – which often bogs down the speed of your computer – and file or delete any files you can.
  • Update a few bullets on your resume

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