You want to simplify your working life and have more time for other things. Where do you start? Quite often the simplest questions are the ones that are never asked.
Before you rush off and start changing everything around you, it's prudent to sit back and figure out what your problem areas actually are so that you have a list to work from to then find solutions that suit your requirements. Let's take a few minutes to do just that.
Grab a pen/pencil and some paper to write on. Don't make your list on your PC, laptop, phone or tablet. Whilst typing out may be easier and saving the note to all devices or storing it in the cloud provider of your choice means you have instant access to it anywhere anytime, more often than not notes in digital form get over-looked or simply forgotten until discovered years later and instantly deleted as redundant. By saving your list digitally you instantly add extra weight to your life in the form of wasted time and never using that file.
So, go old skool. By writing your list by hand you are forced to think about what you want on it - really think about those items - and you are more focussed and in the list-making zone when you have something physical in front of you - it's tangible, real, of your world, not some digital cloud server in some far-flung data center.
Right.. with writing utensil in hand and paper in front of you, consider your pressure points and daily tasks. How repetitive are they? Do you perform certain tasks more than once a week? More than once a day? If so write them down. How about your environment, office space or organisational skills? Are they lacking? Is it cluttered? Do you have everything you need to do your job or complete your task properly and effectively? Are they within easy reach? Your desk or chair.. are they comfortable enough, or are you a little sore after your working day from whatever position you have to work in (this also applies to any of you standing up, laying down or balancing on your head for work). Can you make yourself more comfortable so you are not in physical pain or discomfort?
Think about the people you work with, speak to or deal with on a daily basis and your interactions with them. Are there any issues there that you want to resolve? Do you get on with these people? Could communication and relationships be improved? How far do you have to move or travel to speak to them? Perhaps you deal with them purely over the phone, Instant Messenger or email? Would you both benefit from face-to-face interactions, whether it's for every meeting or the occasional catch up?
Once you've listed everything you can think of (give yourself at least 10-20 minutes to think about your answers), place the piece of paper somewhere you can easily see it; ideally on the wall by your working location where you can easily access it. Don't have it hidden away out of sight, placed on your desk or put in a drawer - you'll never see it again or won't see it as often as you may need too. Keep it close by. Your task for the day is done. You've made your list and you can start to visualise what you want to change and having done so you may already be able to start thinking of ways to achieve it.
By having it clearly visible and accessible (and on an easy physical medium to update), you can add to it or update it as you work or as new ideas come to mind. You can also easily cross them off when you've accomplished them, giving you that amazing feeling of completion.
That's step one out of the way.
Of course, feel free to add any comments to this post with any pressure points or items that you have listed down - you may have some that would apply to other readers that they may have not yet thought of or considered.