5 Easy Ways To Increase Your Efficiency
Increasing the quality and quantity of your work can be a long, hard process, requiring training and perseverance. Increasing your efficiency, however, can be achieved through lifestyle changes, anticipating the day ahead, and learning to work smartly. Follow these five steps to cut out wasted time, focus on what’s important to you and leave more time to pursue the things you enjoy.
Plan the night before
Whilst you don’t need to schedule in time slots for everything you want to achieve, having a comprehensive plan for the day ahead not only makes you feel on top of tasks and less likely to forget things, but will focus your mind. Creating a visual list that you can tick off throughout the day can be incredibly satisfying, and motivate you to move straight from one task on to the next.
Ordering the list in terms of when you’ll complete the tasks, alternating grueling tasks with more enjoyable things that need to be done can provide further motivation, and will ensure that you don’t leave everything arduous to the end of the day.
Do anything that can be done immediately
When looking through all the tasks you’ve yet to complete, there will always be the odd email that you need to send, note you need to write or small accessible task that needs doing. Instead of scheduling them in for later in the day and having multiple small tasks clogging up your mind and short term memory, complete these tasks immediately. Whilst this may feel like an unnecessary effort at the time, your future self will be thankful when you’re half way through a larger project that you don’t have lots of little things to worry about.
Organising your time and mentally sorting the day ahead is one thing, but it’s often difficult to feel efficient and focused if your physical workspace is cluttered and dirty. Take the time to tidy and sort the space where you work – be this your bedroom, kitchen, or just your desk.
If you want to be particularly efficient and your work is complex, create a filing system, and use a colour code to keep things visual and keep yourself motivated. The time that you spend on organising your surroundings and properly sorting through and allocating space for everything will save you immeasurable time in the long run.
Recognise what’s important and don’t stress about what isn’t
Worry and stress not only saps your energy and is likely to leave you exhausted, it also saps your time, and can lead to a debilitating sense of fear where you are overwhelmed by your work. Try to separate out your tasks and day into what absolutely needs doing and is important, and what can wait or, if necessary, be forgotten about altogether. If a mountain of small things are starting to get on top of you, try to contextualise them by considering a bigger current issue or dilemma, be this in your own life or the wider world.
Cut out wasted time
So much of our time is spent staring at screens and sitting motionless at work. Many office jobs consist solely of sitting and staring. There is no need to add to this amount of time by watching excessive amounts of TV and scrolling through endless social media feeds on your phone. By reducing the number of times you check Facebook each day, and choosing just 2 or 3 TV programmes to watch per week, you could save yourself hours of needlessly wasted time.
Alexandra Jane is the writer and editor of graduate careers advice for Inspiring Interns, a graduate recruitment agency. Check out their website to see which internships and graduate marketing jobs are currently available, as well as their graduate jobs Manchester page for further opportunities.