by Matt Alderton | November 08, 2018
The key to successful work/life balance is time management. The hardest time to manage, however, is the kind that comes in small increments. That's because scant time is easy to squander. But what if you used your spare time instead of wasting it? The gains could be significant, according to Fast Company contributor and time management coach Elizabeth Grace Saunders.
"The default setting for most individual's brains when they have 20 minutes or less is to waste it on activities that give them no greater sense of accomplishment at the end of the day than if they had skipped them," Saunders says. "As a time management coach, I've seen that most people can easily reclaim one to two hours of productivity in their workday by changing their default settings. That means getting more stuff done and less working late. Happier boss and happier you."

Saunders' suggestion for taking control of otherwise wasted time: Create a "quick task" list.

"Consider making a 'quick task list' for items that will take 10 minutes or less," she says. "These could include printing off a document, doing a follow-up call, scheduling an appointment or other little things that need to get done but don't take much time. When you have a small opening of time, challenge yourself to knock items off that list. Not only will this help you get more done in the time, but it can also help you beat procrastination on pesky little tasks."

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