How to Be More Efficient

efficiency productivity Nov 24, 2021

Do you want to do more in less time and get things done? If so, then this article is for you. We will discuss how efficiency can help you be more successful. Read on to find out how.

Save time by being efficient.

Time is a finite resource, and we can't do anything to increase it or make it stop. What we can do is to make the most out of it. Being efficient is essential to make good use of time and involves the following:

  • Utilizing the most effective way of doing a particular task
  • Spending the least amount of time possible to finish a task
  • Churning out high-quality output while doing the two things mentioned above

It may sound daunting to do things while applying the three things I mentioned above, but it's doable. First, we become efficient by doing the same thing many times. Over time, we become familiar with our tasks, so we become faster in accomplishing them. At the same time, we can think of new ways to do things, including applying shortcuts to what we do. There are several techniques you can do to handle tasks better to avoid wasted time.

1. Prioritize the most urgent and important tasks

Creating to-do lists is effective for knowing your daily tasks, including long-term priorities. A to-do list serves as an outline of what you have to do. However, having a to-do list is not enough to be genuinely efficient. First, out of the multiple tasks in your list, you have to identify the important task you have to do. Then, consider the deadlines of each task and prioritize the task that has the nearest deadline. Once you finish your first task, even better if you finish early, move to the next job with the closest deadline. You can try using an Excel spreadsheet to list all of your tasks and plot each day of accomplishment per task. What will happen is that your progress will look like stairs as you make your way through each task, making it easy to visualize your priorities.

                                               An example of a project schedule manager

2. Break down goals into small tasks

Thinking about that one task that seems too big can make you feel overwhelmed and can result in procrastination. You can stay focused better by breaking down your major projects into smaller tasks. When the things you have to do come in smaller pieces, you feel them easier to do. Also, the feeling of making progress and accomplishing something comes faster, so you become more motivated to do the next job and eventually hit your big goal.

3. Implement shortcuts

For whatever job you have, there will be repetitive tasks that you have to do. One thing that can boost your productivity is by using shortcuts that can make your work easier. For example, if you are a writer and need to type in your computer to create content, it would become handy to know keyboard shortcuts such as Ctrl+C for copying and Ctrl+V for pasting content. There are many other shortcuts you can try to increase productivity. As a writer, it's vital to have good grammar so you can try using a spelling and grammar checker tool, like Grammarly, to help you. Instead of manually proofreading and checking your spelling and grammar, you can have a tool do it for you while writing. Using a computer with high specs and an ergonomic keyboard can also help as technology is a form of shortcut too.

If you lead a team, delegating tasks to other people is a form of shortcut too. Assign some of your tasks to other teammates who can do them better so you can free up some of your time to focus on the most important tasks. Having a standard operating procedure for everything that you do also helps a lot.

4. Stop multitasking

Contrary to some people's belief that people who multitask are more efficient and productive, it's not. When you try to do multiple things at once, you are more prone to committing errors. If you think about it, you are not doing things simultaneously when you multitask. Instead, you are shifting your attention and focus from one thing to another rapidly. A better way to work efficiently is to focus on doing one thing before moving to another. It's even better if you finish one task before moving to another; this way, you wouldn't have to do some switching later. Knowing which tasks to prioritize first is the key.

5. Make plans

The future is uncertain, but it doesn't hurt to make plans to tackle things once they happen. You can also make a contingency plan in case things go wrong. If you are about to start a new project or task, do some research and read beforehand to become familiar with the new undertaking. Things can always change and ruin our plans, but it's better to prepare rather than react and go blind once something happens.

6. Start doing something

When faced with an enormous task ahead of us, we sometimes cower in fear and delay what we should do. People want some inspiration and motivation so they can start doing something. Inspiration and motivation can come later once you start taking action and doing something, no matter how small or inaccurate. Start writing some notes or typing something on the computer to get started. The idea is to get your mind and body moving, and you would feel more motivated to do something once you see some output from yourself.

7. Strike while the iron is hot

Throughout the day, there is a time when your body and mind are at their peak. This time usually happens in the morning or during the first few hours after waking up or the first hours you have to spend doing your job. The trick is to do the most difficult tasks during these peak productivity times. Delegate the easier tasks during downtime periods; these are the times when we are low on energy. Even the most productive and efficient people get tired, so knowing when to give it all can boost work efficiency.

8. Don't stuff your plate too much

When dining in a buffet, it can be pretty tempting to keep adding food to your plate when everything around you looks delicious. However, you might overestimate your eating capacity and leave some food on your plate, which is a waste. The same thing with our daily work, we shouldn't put too much on our "plate." Our plates refer to the work capacity that we can handle each day or over a certain period. Knowing your limit is essential, and learning to say no to people can help in preventing overwork. It can be a challenge to reject other people's offers, but it's vital to know your limits to be more efficient when doing things.

9. Eat, sleep, and rest well

To become efficient in doing your work every day, you must take care of your body and mind to ensure you are in good condition every time you have to do your tasks. Eat healthy foods, get enough sleep, and have some break time between tasks. Even the most efficient people need to take a break as they cannot spend an entire day working continuously for several hours straight. Incorporate healthy habits in your life like taking exercise regularly and spending time on hobbies and passions. All these things can contribute to improving efficiency.

Do more in less time.

When we start incorporating efficient habits in our life, we stop wasting time, and every single workday becomes a productive day. In addition, when we finish tasks efficiently, we gain more time to spend on doing things that we love. If you wish to improve efficiency, you can try looking up the work habits of successful people. There are many habits and methods that you can try doing to increase efficiency. Do the same things that other successful people do and start gaining more time for yourself.

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