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How to fit a day’s work into just a few hours

If you’re a freelancer or run a small business around your day job, you’ll only have a small window of time to get a whole day’s worth of work done. Short of cloning yourself, getting hold of a time machine or learning to work faster than the speed of light, you’re going to have to find another way to get all the work done in just an hour or so. Don’t worry—we’ve got your back! Manage your workload from anywhere and get it done faster with these wicked work hacks.

Time awareness tutorial
Ever sit down at your desk, then catch sight of the clock and realise that you’ve miraculously lost three hours without managing to make a dent in your to-do list? Meet Rescue Time, an app that will run quietly in the background while you work, silently monitoring where you spend the majority of your working time. You’ll be able to see a tidy breakdown of which activities, sites and tasks take up most of your time so you can easily streamline your workflow. You’ll also get the option to put temporary or timed blocks on certain sites, so if you suspect all those adorable kitten videos are the reason you’re struggling to keep on top of your jobs, you can remove the temptation and crack on!

Time awareness

Learn to love lists
Lists are to organisation what bread is to butter, am I right? Although you could decide to go retro and buy yourself a little notebook or organiser to help you stay on top of things, we love sites like Trello, which can be shared, added to and accessed anywhere. You can colour code tasks and set deadlines on them too, so keeping everything in order is simple, wherever you are.

Love lists

Versions
Versions are a miraculous printing time saver, available to the printed.com customer totally free of charge. If you aren’t familiar with the concept, versions are several different artwork types with the same product specifications (paper type, size, lamination etc.). Just pop the number of artwork versions in when you’re selecting your quantity and save yourself going through the ordering process multiple times.

For example: if you wanted all your greeting cards to be A5, tent fold on uncoated card but needed to print designs for Father’s Day, Easter and Christmas, you would be saved the trouble of re-entering the same product options three times for each separate artwork version you want printed.


Inspiration and industry mash-up
In order to keep ahead of the game with regard to trends, competitors and inspiration, you’re probably signed up to half a dozen blogs which each require a slice of your time each day. Instead of going round the houses or checking multiple RSS feeds, why not mash them into one scrollable feed that you can go through in one go? We love ChimpFeedr and RSS Mix for this and definitely think it’ll help you claw back a few more minutes.

Blog organisation

Link saving
Scrabbling around trying to remember that brilliant site or online supplier can be a time drain. Save links where you can get to them easily with a link saving sites like Delicious or Pocket. You’ll be able to add them from your phone and tag them for easy organisation, so you’re not just relying on your computer’s bookmark function.

Template it
If you’re designing a print product that you’ve never tried before, it can often take a while to muse over how best to set up your artwork to make sure it prints the way you want it to. Instead of pausing to puzzle it out, we recommend using one of our free templates. Just find the product and size that you need, and then design over it, for a faster way to create something new. Job done!

Templates

If you’re ready to take on your workload, start shopping now and bust some deadlines like the organised individual you are.

Comments

David Brookes-Lennon
17 Aug 2015 18:03
Great tips
Jilly Tait
18 Aug 2015 14:34
Some great resources! List writing is something I love but spend too much time on, Trello sounds great.
Ian Clennett
25 Aug 2015 12:54
Very helpful
Peter Burch
26 Aug 2015 09:17
I tend to write a list the night before of all the tasks I have pending for the following day. It really helps focus you when you arrive at work in the morning.

The average worker only does 3 productive hours per day which is very low, so lists really do help!

Rescue Time looks worth investigating too, thanks!

Mirlah Richardson
08 Sep 2015 16:28
Big fan of Trello, especially when working remotely with others on projects!
Su Mwamba
17 Sep 2015 07:53
I always do a full day's work before heading out to work - sometimes it really just isn't possible to fit everything in, but lists do help, and having your thoughts organised & focused is essential. Thanks for the tips!
Rachael Lucas
23 Sep 2015 17:20
Great tips! Just what I need! Thank you :)
Tam
10 Oct 2015 10:33
lists are essential! great blog, thanks :)
TL
28 Jan 2016 14:11
I swear by to do list LOL!
John
29 May 2016 13:38
good advice, really useful
Bryony Bishop
11 May 2017 08:27
Templates and versions are a life saver!

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