Randy Pausch, the Carnegie Mellon University professor who died of cancer in July at age 47, earned a devout following after delivering his “last lecture” in 2007. He later gave another lecture, this one specifically about time.
A few of his simple, yet powerful tips:
1. Stand while on the phone. You’ll finish the call more quickly.
2. Avoid copying five people on an e-mail when you want something done. Each will assume that one of the other four is going to do it.
3. Minimize interruptions. Turn off the “ping” alerting you to new e-mail, or better yet, shut down e-mail during your good working hours.
4. Do the “ugliest” thing first. Everything else will seem easier.
5. Make time for the important things, not just for time-sensitive matters. Otherwise, you will spend all your time fighting fires rather than coming up with creative, new ideas.
6. Recognize that the best reason to save time in your work is to increase time with your family.
“You can always make more money later,” Pausch often said. “But you can’t make more time.”