Time is money in the workplace. There’s just no two ways about it. If you’re wasting your time with inefficiency, the company as a whole suffers. Making sure you’re working smarter and saving time in everything you do will help you to get more done, which translates into the company making more money. There are quite a few things you can do to make sure you’re more efficient in the way you handle yourself around the office. Here are a few ways you can get more done in a shorter period of time.

Make the Time for Responding to Communication

tips for working smarterMost people have about four different ways others are trying to get in touch with them. Whether you’re being asked to jump in on some web conferencing, answer a phone call, respond to an email or reply to a text, people want to talk to you all day long. If you stop everything you’re doing every time you get interrupted by one of these devices trying to grab your attention, you’re not going to get a lot done. Even if you do get a lot done, you’re not going to provide very good quality work. Instead of trying to multi-task, which is a human impossibility, you should ignore or turn off your devices while you’re working on something important, according to Smead. No one trying to get in touch with you will be upset that you’re not always available for calls or email interaction. In fact, if it’s a client trying to get in touch with you, they’ll be happy to know you take your work so seriously that you cannot be disturbed while you’re engrossed. If you absolutely cannot turn off your devices, you might want to create a different ring tone for anyone you have to pay attention to whenever they call.

Meet Smarter, Not More Often

Meetings can be a big drain on your time. As such, you need to be smart in how you’re handling yourself in your meetings. Smart Company suggests doing more than just concentrating on the meeting itself, but also looking for alternatives to meetings. Using web conferencing is a great way you can streamline what you need to accomplish in meetings simply because you can go right from one meeting to another without having to get up from your desk. You can talk with people throughout the world without having to pause for anything more than initiating the next meeting. Schedule all of your meetings in a block and make sure you run the meetings efficiently, so everything is covered as quickly as possible and you can move along to the next one. If possible, make sure someone else is taking notes and have them provide you with a summary of everything that was covered in the meeting. This way, you can simply concentrate on the discussion and you won’t have to waste any time pausing to jot something down.

Minimize Your Downtime

The last thing you want to do is to schedule your day within an inch of its life, but you also don’t want to have big gaps of time where you have nothing going on. Instead, you should create a flexible schedule so you have less downtime scheduled into your day, according to Reliable Plant. Make sure you create your schedule by priority. If you have a potential for something to overlap in your schedule, make sure the thing that would suffer is something of a low priority, so you can slough it off until a time when you can schedule it back into your day. If your schedule doesn’t overlap, don’t push off the lower priority stuff, but get it done and find something else to fill your schedule. You’re much better off ending your workday early than you are in taking big breaks throughout the day. Just remember how difficult it is to come back from any break and you’ll understand why.

Organize Your Thoughts

Any time you’re going to need to speak with someone, you should take a little time to organize your thoughts. Tips on Career and Money suggest writing down talking points prior to any conversation. The last thing you want is to get off the phone with someone and realize you didn’t bring up something important. Not only is it embarrassing to call back and try to bring up the point, but it’s unprofessional because now you’re encroaching on someone else’s time. Have a clear cut goal in mind before you ever dial someone’s number. This way, you can stick to the script and make sure you’re saying everything you need to say. If you’re not sure what you’re looking to get out of a conversation, it’s not as important as you might have thought and you should just call when you have something real to talk about.