How To Be Efficient In The Workplace: 14 Top Strategies
In this new article, you’ll find out how to be efficient at work.
Dealing with work-related stress is tough these days. Anyone who has worked full-time knows that a typical work day is not all the time long enough to get all of your assignments done.
However, adopting habits that help you work more efficiently can greatly increase your productivity. An efficient worker makes the most of each minute of every day by focusing on the most vital tasks first.
Working efficiently won’t only increase your productivity and earn you points with your boss, but will also make you feel contented because you’ll have an interesting and productive day.
How To Be Efficient At Work:
1. Maintain a clean and orderly work environment.
Often, removing clutter from the workplace alone is sufficient to increase productivity.
An unorganized work environment can hinder your productivity. If you keep searching through the scrap pile for a particular tool or paper, you are wasting valuable work time. Keep only the things you use regularly; everything else should be kept out of the way but accessible.
If you work in an office, organize your workspace and desk so you can find what you need quickly and simply. The same idea applies even if you do not work in an office.
For example, if you work in a bicycle shop, keep your equipment clean and arranged so you can find them quickly when you need them. Maintaining a clean work environment is useful in virtually every case.
Office workers and anyone who manages lots of documents must develop a logical and well-organized filing system. Documents you use regularly should be kept close at hand. Other papers should be arranged alphabetically (or some other logical order).
2. Maintain a fully occupied workspace.
Make sure you have all the mandatory tools and equipment for your job. At work, this means having a punch, stapler, calculator and other office supplies. Outside the office, the essential principle remains the same: have everything you need to work efficiently before you start.
Both scientists using complex charting software and mechanics using socket wrenches will benefit from having their equipment available.
It also involves having an enough supply of whatever your profession requires—staplers need staples, carpenters need nails, instructors need chalk, etc.
Make sure your tools are in good condition. If you cannot work without it, one broken lock tool can hinder your other work! Spend a couple of minutes cleaning and maintaining your instrument regularly to save time in the long run.
3. Keep the day well organized.
If you have not done so before, making some effort to plan your day will virtually definitely increase your productivity. Limit yourself to one full planner to manage a really productive schedule (optionally supplemented with one calendar or box office for longer term goals).
Don’t overcomplicate your task by keeping lots of schedules or creating huge lists of notes that will ultimately get lost. You want to be capable to see everything you need to know in one place.
Make an everyday “to do” list to help you stay organized. Start with the most vital tasks for the day to ensure they get done. Put less significant tasks at the bottom of the list. At the start of your workday, start at the top of the list. If you do not complete your list by the end of the day, you can complete it the next day.
Set deadlines and timeframes for the most vital initiatives and be realistic about how long they will take. You do not want to set yourself up for failure, so ask for extra time early in the project, not before a deadline.
4. Remove all distractions.
Different work environments have different distractions.
For example, in some jobs you may have very chatty colleagues who will not leave you alone. Other places may be very quiet, making even the slightest sound disturbing.
Make necessary adjustments to make sure you can focus on the task at hand. Bring an MP3 player to work if your workplace lets you listen to music safely. You may additionally want to post notices at your workplace to keep employees from bothering you.
This may seem harsh, but it isn’t. This is a logical and practical way to encourage others not to distract you while you work. Feel free to spend your time as you please during breaks and meal times.
Spending time at recreational sites is a typical source of distraction. According to one study, approximately two-thirds of workers spend at least some time each day visiting websites unrelated to their work.
Fortunately, most browsers let you download free productivity tools to block problem sites. Look for “blocking sites” or “productivity helpers” in your browser’s plug-in store. You will virtually definitely find some free and effective solutions.
5. Make private calls only during breaks.
Oddly enough, taking breaks can in fact help you be more productive at work rather than holding you back. First and foremost, rest provides some much-needed relaxation.
If you do not rest long enough, you may feel tired and work more slowly or less skillfully. Second, breaks help you deal with distractions. Use breaks to do anything that might distract you from the task at hand.
When you must work, do you consider the relatives you want to contact? Call them during breaks so you do not get distracted!
6. Break your task into smaller parts.
Big projects can be intimidating; if it is sufficiently big, it is easy to put it off, wasting time on less significant tasks until you are forced to finish everything right before the deadline. As an effective employee, you must prioritize the most vital tasks, even if it means completing only a small portion of a bigger project.
Completing a small part of a bigger task is not as satisfying as completing a whole small part, but it is a good use of time. In the long run, you will finish your most vital tasks faster if you work on them a little each day.
For example, if you have a big presentation coming up next month (1), set the goal to outline now. It will not take long, so it will not distract you from your other activities, but it is a very important step that will help the rest of the process go faster and easier.
7. Delegate tasks to reduce your workload.
Unless you are at the bottom of the corporate ladder, you may be capable to delegate specifically time-consuming tasks to one or more of your subordinates to save time. Don’t give your subordinates tasks that you can only complete successfully.
Instead, delegate time-consuming and repetitive tasks that keep you from focusing on more important responsibilities. Remember that when you assign responsibilities, you should contact your helpers and provide them a deadline to complete them.
When your subordinates help you, all the time be polite; if they know you value them, they will work hard for you in future assignments.
Even if you’re an intern, a first-time employee, or someone else in a lower position in the organization, you can try to distribute highly repetitive tasks with others at your level (with their permission, and your boss’s approval, obviously). If you ask a colleague for help, be prepared for them to return the favor!
If you have a good relationship with your employer, you can even ask them if they can delegate some of the work for you to someone else.
8. Minimize gatherings.
There’s a reason why everybody hates meetings: according to last year’s survey, more than half of respondents believe meetings are the most time-consuming aspect of their job, even more than time spent on personal pages and entertainment.
Meetings are important for discussing goals and setting direction. On the other hand, meetings, if left unchecked, can quickly become bloated events, consuming hours (or even days) of your time and producing little to nothing. Here are some suggestions on how to make meetings more productive:
Create an agenda before each meeting to make sure the time allotted is well spent. Include dates and times when certain conversation topics should be discussed. Stick to the meeting agenda as much as possible; if a new problem arises, suggest that you discuss it later during an individual meeting at the office.
Invitations should be for as few people as possible. Keeping meetings to a minimum in terms of attendance reduces the chances of the discussion deviating from the original topic. This keeps everybody who does not need to be at their workstation working, leading to higher overall productivity.
Keep the number of slides in your presentation to a minimum. There is much debate about whether slide presentations (PowerPoint, etc.) help or hinder meeting effectiveness.
This is very clear: if you’ll use slides in your presentation, keep them as short and concise as possible. It’s not the whole presentation content that’s at stake, but graphics and facts that cannot be conveyed through sound. Also, do not waste time fiddling with animations or transitions.
Finally, as a general guideline, know what you want to decide before the meeting starts and do it as soon as possible.
9. End the fight in the office.
Unfortunately, the workplace can be very stressful. If a fight arises, deal with the bad emotion instantly. This may mean that you, or the other person, or both of you, need to express sincere regret. This must be done as soon as possible.
If you let some petty arguments escalate into resentment, your productivity will suffer in the long run because you’ll spend time working around this person and avoiding them at work. More importantly, you’ll be miserable if you let office conflict destroy your productivity and attitude!
When faced with a critical situation, do not be afraid to ask a mediator for help. Companies recognize that office drama and negative emotions can reduce productivity, so they hire people whose main job is to resolve workplace conflicts. If you are easily irritated, stressed, or afraid at work because of other people, contact your company’s human resources department.
After all, you haven’t got to befriend a colleague you do not agree with; You just need to be capable to work with them. Even if you hate your coworkers, be polite and thoughtful at work.
10. Make sure you are well rested.
Fatigue has never had a positive effect on the quality of anyone’s work. Fatigue can decrease your productivity (2), interfere with your performance, and, if you tend to nap, make you look bad in important meetings.
What’s more, chronic sleep deprivation is linked to many health problems. To be at your best, get 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Don’t fall asleep at your desk or skip work because you do not feel good.
Fatigue at work can be a minor distraction at best. At worst, it can become a serious security issue. Regular sleep patterns are particularly important if you work in a job that endangers human safety (for example, if you’re an air traffic controller or drive a truck).
11. Make an effort to exercise.
A healthy exercise routine has been found to increase your happiness and productivity at work. This is particularly true for office jobs that require lots of sitting. If you spend most of your work day sitting at your computer, make an effort to get some exercise every day; not only does it make sitting at work easier, it helps you feel happier, smarter, and more motivated.
If you are just starting to exercise, start with easy exercises and add strength training to them.
12. Maintain a positive attitude.
If you are trying to increase productivity, you may tend to take your job seriously. This is not all the time a smart idea.
You can increase your productivity in the short term, but if you never allow yourself to have fun at work, you’ll tire quickly, leading to burnout, tension, and an absence of motivation. Maintain a positive attitude at work; if you enjoy your job, you’ll be more motivated and impressive.
Listen to music through headphones, take short breaks, or take your laptop into the break room to lift the mood without interrupting work.
Make the most of your lunch break by taking the opportunity to eat delicious food and joke around with colleagues.
Coffee should be used with caution. Coffee can be an awesome energy boost on days when you are feeling particularly tired, but if you drink it every day it will get you addicted and it will not do you any favors.
13. Keep your motivation up.
When you are well motivated to work, it is less complicated to work effectively. If you are struggling with motivation, consider the factors that led you to your current job: your life goals, your tasks, and your vision of yourself.
Think of your work as a method to an end, where the “end” is your ideal vision of life. If you value your work, consider how you’ll feel leaving it. Do you feel fulfilled and contented?
Consider all the positive aspects of your job. Maybe your job lets you send your kids to school, or perhaps you owe your house or car money from work. Consider the “benefits” of your job, such as health and/or dental insurance for your family.
Think about the implications of not working. What should you give up if your source of money is gone? What is the impact on your family or the people closest to you?
14. Be happy for yourself.
If you have improved your performance, congratulate yourself; you deserve it. It takes lots of effort to break old habits and create new ones, so reward yourself for your efforts.
After work on Friday, go with friends to a restaurant or bar, or simply lie in bed reading a book; whatever makes you happy after a hard week at work, do it. Self-respect reinforces a sense of success, which is key to staying motivated.
Your gift does not must be extravagant, nor can it be too expensive. The best rewards are easy and reasonable. The new TV should be saved for a special occasion.
I want to thank you for taking the time to read my article on how to be efficient at work. I actually hope that its content has been of good help to you.