Ray Lewallen bemoans the lack of hours in the day

I blame Microsoft and bloggers for my brain function lately. I just can’t keep up with everything going on, and I don’t really even try to…

And I know where he’s coming from having had three major deadlines hit me in the last week. But it’s still possible to keep up to date and keep up the pace. Warren Ellis sums it up nicely

Client software and email means that I often post to the web without actually going there. I’m at the computer a lot, obviously, because I write for a living. But it’s not exactly a big timesuck to open up a client window and drop a thought in there — in fact, when I reach natural pauses in the work, that sort of thing keeps me typing, stops my fingers from going cold, and I’ll be able to segue right back into the work afterwards. It’s all one long typing stream.

With aggregators, keeping up with many different things isn’t hard anymore. I’ve got Bloglines and my LJ friends list (which contains feeds from many places), and that and the BBC News front page keeps me broadly abreast of what friends and the world are doing. And it’s no harder than just flicking up a link from my toolbar. You just have to learn what’s useful and what isn’t. IM is not remotely useful to me, and pulls me away from work, so I don’t use it. Twitter is a complete irrelevancy to the way I work.

How many complete irrelevancies do you use during your day I wonder? Maybe its time to refactor how you work and the way you organise your time. A little time invested now could mean a lot of savings later.

  • Do you use keyboard shortcuts?
  • Do you use an applauncher rather than the Start Menu?
  • Have you tried using the GTD way of organising your time?
  • Do you really read all the blogs you're subscribed to?  
  • Have you looked around the net for those utilities that will let you do your job quicker?
  • How about those irrelevancies on your machine? Maybe it's time to uninstall them.
  • Do you continually check your email? Try turning your mail client off for an hour or so a day or (like I did) just turn off new mail notifications. Then you'll check your mail during those natural pauses in the work, rather than pausing your work as soon as a new bit of spam shows up in your inbox

I'm not an expert on productivity or time organisation, but I have found that if you're ruthless enough to determine quickly what's not relevant or useful to the daily grind and happy to spend a bit of time speeding up the ways you do simple things, those natural pauses in the day and the time saved are more than enough to do that sifting of wheat from chaff.