Do you find that tasks are taking longer than they should to complete? Are you working late at the office because you can’t focus during the day?
Lack of an efficient working strategy results in wasting work time and can make you frustrated and stressed. Bolster your work ethic with these tips to help you work efficiently.
1. Stop Multitasking
Focus on one thing. It can be so tempting to juggle different tasks at the same time, but avoid it! Multitasking is something we’ve all become so accustomed to, it may feel normal and you may think that it doesn’t affect your focus. However, try not multitasking for one day and notice the difference. Focusing on one thing will increase your productivity—trust me!
2. Use Tools When It Makes Sense
Try to use the proper technology to increase your efficiency. This may mean making significant investments for your business that will be paid off over time by the amount of time you’ll save. Do you need to buy a printer to save on trips to the print shop? Should you purchase a label maker to save on shipping costs? Take some time to evaluate your workflow and decide if an investment needs to be made.
3. Be Present
Focus on the task at hand. Try to not think about your personal worries or chores. If you’re more efficient with your work, that means you can have more time later to worry about other tasks.
4. Structure Your Schedule
Plan the next day at the end of the previous day. This way you can get right to work when you arrive in the morning. Block out chunks of time for specific tasks, and schedule your breaks too.
It’s okay to ask for help, and delegating is a skill unto itself. Knowing which tasks would work best with which people means you pay attention to people’s skillsets. Try not to micromanage and instead trust your team!
6. Trim Excess Tasks
Take some time every now and again to reflect on your tasks. Is everything essential? What’s working and what isn’t? Sometimes tasks become routine and when they stop being productive you can fail to notice because it’s developed into a habit. Taking a step back to analyze your actions can help you determine what’s truly necessary and what can be cut out.
7. Organize Your Emails
Organize your emails so you know how to prioritize your responses. And for goodness sake delete all the useless ones. When you organize your emails it can save you time so you don’t have to constantly be thinking about which one should be answered first. As soon as you read it once, shuffle it into a category. This way you don’t have to struggle to search for it later, and you don’t have to reread it many times to determine if it’s an urgent matter.
8. Get Proper Rest
If you’re tired you won’t be able to focus and your efficiency will suffer. Getting a good amount of sleep is crucial to helping you stay alert and on top of your work.
9. Plan Your Projects
Set small, achievable goals so you can focus and stay motivated throughout the day. If you put one huge project on your to do list, you can get overwhelmed. Plan out the details of each project so that you can always move onto the next step rather than get confused as to what should be the next move.
10. Keep Your Space Tidy
Save time by making sure your files and space are organized. Don’t waste time looking for the correct document or the hole-puncher. Make sure everything has a designated space. Clutter only generates confusion, while organization will help you stay efficient.
11. Communicate Effectively
Can what you have to say be said over email rather than a meeting? Then write the email and cancel the meeting. Be concise and clear in all your communication, and if it’s not a brainstorming session or something else that’s crucial for a meeting, then say it over email. In person meetings can develop into tangents that can be destructive to your efficiency.
12. Determine Your Most Productive Time of the Day
Do you find that you can check off your to-do list best when everyone else is at lunch? Or do you find that you come back from lunch refreshed and ready to crank out work? Everyone has different ways of focusing. Pay attention to yourself and notice when you do your best work.
13. Time Your Activities
Try to time everything you do so that you can plan how long it will take the next time. Having an accurate estimate of how long your work will take will help you effectively plan for the next day. Timing your tasks is key to a having a successful, structured schedule.
14. Create A Routine
Create a productive routine that begins to feel natural. When you have a routine you’ll get used to the rhythm of the day and it will be easier for you to transition between tasks.
15. Commit to Your Breaks
Instead of half working/half relaxing, commit to your break so you can work more efficiently when you’re back at work. If you’re committing to anything halfway it means that you’re not getting the full reward. For example, if you’re trying to work while eating lunch, chances are you won’t be getting much work done, and you’ll be sluggish the rest of the day. Instead, take a solid chunk of time for your break so you can return refreshed.
Now that you’re armed with these top tips for efficiency, get back to work! What do you do at work? Share your story at UltiCareer to help others get to know what your type of job is really like.
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