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How to be more efficient at work

Written by: Charlotte Rogers
Published on: 12 Jul 2019

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Whether you need to be more efficient in your current role or in your job search, sometimes coping with the pressures of any type of work can be a little overwhelming at times. Some days you may not have enough time and others you may feel like the day is never ending. Whichever type of day you have ahead of you, there are some things you can do to help your productivity at work and make your working day go a bit smoother. An efficient worker may make sure they are doing something every minute they have at work, but don’t mistake efficiency for over-working. You must have a good balance in your day, to achieve the right amount of productivity and a good quality of work. Working efficiently doesn’t always mean working in a job role, you may need a little push to make your job-hunt more efficient too. The tips below can be used for any work situation you have! Read below and see what you can potentially change.

Start your day right

Everyone’s day may start differently. Some may have children and others may have a long commute, but whichever type of morning you may have, make sure you prioritise your self at some point. This can be as soon as you get into the office/work environment. Take your time to organise your work space, have breakfast or grab a cup of coffee, whatever you need to get you in the right mindset. Preparing yourself for the day ahead is very important. Make sure you pick a morning routine and try to stick to it when you can.

Organise everything

If you have a messy workspace, it’s more likely that you’ll have a disorganised day. Before you start your daily tasks, make sure you get rid of any mess that may distract you. Make sure you don’t have paper and notes everywhere. (Unless that is how you like to work) The messier your workspace, the harder it may become to find what you need quickly. Your workspace is a place for you to work, so make sure you can find everything when you need it. A disorganised work space can cause unnecessary stress.

Most important tasks come first

Another thing you can do first thing in the morning is figure out what exactly needs to be done that day. Keeping lists may be useful for some workers. A lot of people are more productive in the morning and tend to slip a little in the afternoon. Therefore, it can be a very good idea to prioritise your tasks from high priority to least. By doing the most important tasks before anything else, it can relinquish some of the stress from the latter part of your day. You can do the easy/less demanding tasks in the afternoon and save yourself some trouble the next day.

Try not to multi-task

When you have a busy day ahead, it can be second nature to try and do everything at once. Some tasks may be small and can be bundled together, if you have a restricted time frame. When it comes to the more important tasks, they may be easier to finish when you aren’t trying to focus on more that one thing at once. Try and keep the important or larger tasks separate and take more time in handling them. When you multi-task, your mind can become filled with unnecessary worry and stress. It can all become a little manic, so if something is important, prioritise it and hopefully you will se positive results.

Prioritise your breaks when they come

If you are someone that works through all their daily breaks, it may be time to stop. By continuously pushing yourself to work and not taking your planned breaks, especially lunch, your productivity can be hindered. You may feel like you are getting work done, but is it to your best standard? Is it something that you are going to be proud to have your name on? If the answer is no, then you are not only compromising the standard of your work, but you’re going to tire yourself out. Taking a break is normal and is needed. It gives your mind a second to filter all the information you have been putting in all day. Taking a break can give you the space from your work to come back and carry on and do it right.

Don’t force yourself to do it all

We’ve all had those busy days, where the work may seem endless. If you have one of these days, it’s okay to say no to new tasks. Some employees often feel bad about not taking on extra work when asked, but if it is going to push you too hard, what’s the point? If you are not able to complete the work to the right standard, then ask yourself if it is worth it. If it does get too much, maybe ask about spreading out your workload among your colleagues. It’s okay to ask for help. You are going to be more productive if you are not overworked.

In order to work efficiently, you need to be able to start the day with the correct mindset. Feeling refreshed and ready to work is the perfect way to start a day, but we all know that this can sometimes be an unrealistic standard some days. It can sometimes become too much. If you see yourself slipping, try and think about what you can do about it before the situation becomes too bad. Organise your work life and prioritise the things that are most important to you. If you begin to try out some of these tips, you may begin to see yourself become more efficient and happier at work.