1. Emails: Check your emails twice a day. Right before lunch and late afternoon. Checking emails first thing in the morning will distract you from getting high level tasks completed first. Make it clear to your colleagues and boss that you will only be checking emails at certain times and if there is something urgent they can IM, call you or come to your desk. Avoid looking at your email periodically throughout the day. It is a huge time WASTER.
2. Meetings & Phone Calls: Try to minimize meetings as they are time vampires. If you absolutely have to meet write out the goals and agenda of the meeting, give everyone a certain length of time to speak (so each person must condense their main points prior to the meeting) and discuss next actionable steps afterwords. If further discussion is required amongst other members of the meeting then save it for later, don’t waste everyones time
3. Delegate Descriptively: This mostly applies to managers and supervisors, but when you’re delegating a task to someone make sure to be thoroughly descriptive on what exactly needs to be done and by when. Give examples, steps and be sure that the employee understands the delegated task before getting started. Be very descriptive and tell them what you are looking for. Don’t be vague! Vagueness causes mistakes and misunderstanding and again wastes time if the job is not done correctly. Do yourself a favour and spend 10 minutes writing a thorough description before passing it off and be open for questions.