7 strategies to help you become more efficient
Most of us want to become more efficient at work, which is not only beneficial for your career, but it can also help you maintain a healthy work / life balance, but how can you become more adept at work? Well, here are just 7 of our favourite strategies that we think you should implement.
1. Don't let to-do lists ruin your life.
To-do lists aren’t just useful. They’re essential to your success. The brain can only focus on three or four things at a time so we need lists for any work-related tasks that we have to get to later.
However, creating too many lists can cause stress. These lists don’t take into account how long it's going to take you to complete a task, and they don’t help you separate the important from the urgent.
Now, we're not saying you should scrap your to-do-lists, instead, rethink your approach.
A straightforward approach would be to use post-it-notes for your to-do lists. You could try the six box rules or Warren Buffet’s technique where you write down 25 tasks, circle your top five, and then ignore the remaining 20. Or, you could try out if-then-planning.
2. Stop multitasking.
We’ve all been guilty of multitasking at one point, but, when it comes to working, it can be detrimental because the human brain can’t do more than one thing at a time.
When you multitask, you’re spreading your attention between tasks. As a result, the quality of your work declines and it wastes time. The reason for this is that you spend more time switching between tasks than focusing on one thing at a time.
Stop trying to do more than one thing at a time. Instead, put all your energy into what you’re working on at the moment and then move on to your next item, task, or activity.
3. Scale down your responsibilities.
Go through your to-do-list for work. Outside of your primary responsibilities, what could delegate or automate? Are they even things that could be dropped entirely from your schedule? If so, delete them from your list and calendar ASAP.
4. Set deadlines for all of your tasks.
Parkinson’s Law states that "work expands to fill the time available for its completion.” That means if there isn’t a deadline for a specific task, you’ll use up as much time as you want. If there is a time restraint, however, you’ll be more motivated to beat the clock.
5. Keep a distraction list.
Subconsciously, we all know distractions and time management don’t mix well together. But, are you actually aware of what diverts our attention. That’s why we recommend keeping a list of everything that distracts you. It will help you identify, and eventually, thwart these interruptions.
Distraction lists are also handy for whenever random thoughts pop into your head. Writing these down gets them out of your head so that you can get back to work.
6. Work within ultradian rhythms.
Ultradian rhythms are the 120-minute biological intervals that our bodies go through throughout the day. We’re most productive during the first 90 minutes. After it peaks, your mental energy drops for roughly 30 minutes.
By knowing your body’s rhythms, you can schedule your day more effectively. As opposed to working during an energy lull, you would work when you’re most productive. When your energy dips, focus on less critical tasks or take a break.
We strongly suggest using the Pomodoro technique to work within these 90-minute sprints, meaning you would work for 25 minutes and then take a 5-minute break.
7. Set up your week using the 2-hour solution.
Developed by Roger Seip, author of Train Your Brain for Success, this is where you spend 2 hours weekly to plan for next week. Unlike regular scheduling, however, this method encourages you to focus on your goals and examine what has and has not been working for you. The two-hour solution focuses on your goals by dividing your time into:
Green time. The work that gets you paid.
Red time. The time that supports your green time.
Flex time. Unblocked time to address the unexpected.
Recreation time. Hobbies, relaxing, exercise, etc.
As with everything we do, we hope that these easy to implement tips will help you become more productive, enable you to focus on what's needed to build your business, increase revenues and grow profits.
At Red Flag media we will always work hard to find the most cost-efficient and effective way to help you grow, and to communicate what really matters about your brand and organisation. Whether you require customer magazines, guides, visitor publications, websites or content creation, we're here to help you get the most out of your marketing; in print, online and across social media platforms.
CEO & Founder
Leven Media Group Ltd