10 ways to save time at work

A handy guide.

We all wish we could turn the clock back, make different decisions and spend more time with the kids. With hindsight, we'd all have lived our lives differently, especially, I suspect, at work. You see it's at work where the most time gets wasted. Wasted time is lost time. Time that could have been made making better decisions. Better because with more time and less pressure, decision making becomes more objective.

So whilst I cannot tell you how to go back and change the past, I can help you make more time in the future. That way you'll gain time you'd otherwise lose. You'll make good decisions and have more time for family, friends and fun.

Here are ten simple things that will help your time travel more slowly:

  1. Define your vision and focus on this, not the carrot on the end of the corporate stick;
  2. Write down, in the present tense, how your Iife will look in five years time;
  3. Making scheduling tomorrow's tasks the last thing you do at work each day. Then start your day with the most important from that list;
  4. If you're desk based, run your PC with two screens - then you can use two applications at the same time - the improvement in efficiency will amaze you;
  5. Go paperless and use a tablet computer when on the move - invest - integrate - work simply;
  6. Avoid pointless meetings - when you do meet, keep to both agenda and time - leave when bored - nobody will sack you;
  7. Be brutal with time thieves - get 1:1 meetings done in an hour - don't 'drop by' or allow others to drop in on you;
  8. Say no to stuff that's not for you. Instead, volunteer for stuff that builds your career;
  9. Keep fit - make time to work out and make it sacred;
  10. Break routines - this blog was written on a hot afternoon by the pool.

Robert Ashton's book Teach Yourself Time Management in a Week, is published by Hodder Education

Photograph: Getty Images

Robert Ashton's book Teach Yourself Time Management in a Week, is published by Hodder Education

Photo: Getty
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Jeremy Corbyn may be a Eurosceptic, but he still appeals to the values of many Remainers

He reassures Labour MPs defending majorities in heavily pro-EU areas that things will be OK.

There are two facts about Brexit that everyone seems to forget every few weeks: the first is that Jeremy Corbyn is a Eurosceptic. The second is that the first fact doesn't really matter.

The Labour leader's hostility to the European project is back in the news after he told Andrew Marr that the United Kingdom's membership of the single market was inextricably linked with its EU membership, and added for good measure that the “wholesale importation” of people from Eastern and Central Europe had been used to “destroy” the conditions of workers, particularly in the construction industry.

As George Eaton observes on Twitter, Corbyn voted against the creation of the single market in 1986 (and the Maastricht Treaty, and the Lisbon Treaty, and so on and so on). It would be a bigger shock if the Labour leader weren't advocating for a hard exit from the European Union.

Here's why it doesn't matter: most Labour MPs agree with him. There is not a large number of Labour votes in the House of Commons that would switch from opposing single market membership to supporting it if Corbyn changed his mind. (Perhaps five or so from the frontbenches and the same again on the backbenches.)

There is a way that Corbyn matters: in reassuring Labour MPs defending majorities in heavily pro-Remain areas that things will be OK. Imagine for a moment the reaction among the liberal left if, say, Yvette Cooper or Stephen Kinnock talked about the “wholesale importation” of people or claimed that single market membership and EU membership were one and the same. Labour MPs in big cities and university towns would be a lot more nervous about bleeding votes to the Greens or the Liberal Democrats were they not led by a man who for all his longstanding Euroscepticism appeals to the values of so many Remain voters.

Corbyn matters because he provides electoral insurance against a position that Labour MPs are minded to follow anyway. And that, far more than the Labour leader's view on the Lisbon Treaty, is why securing a parliamentary majority for a soft exit from the European Union is so hard. 

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. His daily briefing, Morning Call, provides a quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics.