Looking for tips to be more efficient? Read on.
Some of us try to work more hours, do overtime, linger in the gym for a few more reps, pushing the limits of our own existence. But most times, these efforts don’t translate into any progress whatsoever, and not only that but leave us exhausted, will-broken, and wondering what we did wrong.
What if we tell you that it doesn’t have to be that way? The most successful directors we know, almost always make sure that every action taken, exerts the least effort and provides the maximum output.
To do this, they follow a set of basic rules, routines, and habits, throughout the day. What we’ve done is we combined the 44 most important ones here in this 4000-word article, curated them to perfection, in order to show you how you can be as efficient as possible, starting today.
Work smart, not hard? How about no work at all and still be smart about it? Let’s dig in!
Develop A Morning Routine
To jumpstart your productivity, create a morning routine that gives you a sense of calmness. This could include meditating, exercising, or writing a brief gratitude list to reinvigorate your mind. In fact, directors whose performance peaks in the morning are more likely to achieve career success than those who perform optimal work in the evening, because they’re more proactive.
Read more at Northeastern.
Don’t Sleep On It
Working from home might inspire dreams of sleeping in, typing out emails from bed and never running a brush through your hair (or teeth, eew). But, for productivity’s sake, please get up.
“Even though working from home allows you the flexibility to sleep in and work in your pajamas, I don’t recommend it,” Holly Reisem Hanna, the force behind the widely popular career site, The Work at Home Woman, advised RealClearLife. “Having a routine where you wake up at the same time each day and get showered and dressed puts you into the mindset of work and professionalism. As the saying goes, when you look good, you feel good.” Rated as one of the most important tips to be more efficient.
Read more at InsideHook.
Make A Checklist
Creating a work checklist or to-do list can help you stay on track at work. Limit how many items are on your to-do list so you don’t stress yourself out. Choose the three most important tasks you need to get done. These are big, important, and crucial tasks that must get done before you do anything else. Fill the rest of your checklist with minor tasks to accomplish if you finish your big tasks.
Read more at WikiHow
Track Where You Waste Time
You can best do that by tracking the time you spend on all your activities at work via a timer – including time spent on priorities, minor tasks, lunch breaks, short breaks, meetings, phone calls, inbox management, and the like.
- Simply, start the timer once you enter an activity
- Add a short description and other data (project, task, tag) that further clarify the activity
- Stop the timer once you move to something else
- Then, repeat
By doing so, you’ll eventually build a list of time entries you can later analyze. Crucial part of the tips to be more efficient.
Read more at Clockify.
Create A Daily Routine
It’s not always easy to keep track of everything you need to do, so start each morning by writing down your goals for the day. When your focus is broken or you find yourself procrastinating, you can use the list to keep you on track, said Sam McIntire, founder of Deskbright, an online learning platform dedicated to helping entrepreneurs and employees. Write your list down on a Post-it or something that’s visible from your desk, then return to it when you need a reminder of what you should be working on, McIntire said.
Read more at NyTimes.
According to research, once we get distracted or try to shift from task to task, it takes on average 25(!) minutes to regain our full focus on our task at hand. This is a phenomenon called ‘attention residue’, which implies that some of your attention is ‘left behind’ at the previous task (or distraction) your brain was dealing with. Your brain can’t simply shift from task to task effectively, as its capability to focus has literally decreased.
Read more at Medium.
Vision Board To Stay Motivated (Tips To Be More Efficient)
A vision board can be a wallpaper or collage of everything you want in life. It can include pictures of your dream car, dream home, yacht, land, famous places that you want to visit, and so forth. Anytime you need a boost of motivation, just look at your vision board! It will remind you of everything you can obtain if you work hard enough.
Read more at The Balance Small Business.
Get Dressed For The Day
It doesn’t matter if you’re simply swapping your pajamas for your most casual daytime attire—engaging in this part of your usual morning routine might just help you maintain a sense of normalcy and purpose.
Researchers have actually linked the clothes we wear to our self-perception in the office: Those who wear traditional business attire report feeling more authoritative and competent, for example, while those who opt for business casual feel friendlier. The point? What you wear really can have an impact on your mindset.
Read more at Ritual.
The food we eat is extremely important in boosting our brainpower and impacting how productive we are at work. Imagine you eat a Snickers bar versus a fruit and nut bar – which do you think is going to give you the energy necessary to finish strong through the afternoon? The top of the tips to be more efficient.
Junk food not only affects your weight. It also causes decreased productivity and energy crashes. Keep healthy snacks at your office to stay fueled for a productive day.
Read more at Snacknation.
Work To Live, Not Live To Work
You mustn’t let working from home take over your life. Working from home is a lifestyle choice, and it is not your life. The idea of working from home is to depart the office and to enter a more flexible work lifestyle that provides you with more time to spend with friends and family.
That being said, you can still choose to work for 10 hours a day within the four walls of your bedroom. Alternatively, you might work flexible hours. Whatever your decision, stick to doing sufficient work to allow you to live a good life while enjoying the perks of working from home.
Read more at RingCentral.
Given that managing work-from-home employees is a purely human process, it’s always best to make your employees perform the most crucial tasks first. This is the best way to get them to complete complicated tasks on time.
Because let’s face it, no work-from-home employee will work for a full 8 hours when they’re at home. So, it’s better if they perform priority tasks first so that they can complete the rest of their tasks comfortably, through the course of the day.
Read more at Process.
Tidy Your Workplace
A cluttered desk could mean a disorderly life. And if you’re guilty of a messy desk, you probably waste at least 10 minutes a day searching for your diary, notepad or (even worse) that confidential document. By creating an organized environment, though, you will be able to find items easier and concentrate more on your day-to-day tasks. Rated as one of the most important tips to be more efficient.
Read more at Career Addict.
Adopt a Good Attitude
Effective workers have a “good attitude.” But what does this really mean? People with a good attitude take the initiative whenever they can. They willingly help a colleague in need, they pick up the slack when someone is off sick, and they make sure that their work is done to the highest standards. “Good enough” is never quite good enough for them!
A good attitude at work will do more than just earn you respect: setting standards for your work and your behavior means that you’re taking responsibility for yourself. This admirable trait is hard to find in many organizations. But demonstrating ethical decision-making and integrity could open many doors for you in the future.
Read more at MindTools.
Choose The Right Colors For Your Home Office
Colors can have a profound effect on your mindset. Certain colors can make you feel more energized while others are calming and relaxing. So make sure the place you choose to become your home office is decorated with colors that are not too bright. It’s best if colors blend into the background and are harmonious, so they don’t draw attention and distract you from your work.
Read more at ToughNickel.
Collaborate With Your Coworkers
Working in a collaborative environment simply means getting more work done faster and is one of the most important tips to be more efficient. It is a process through which a group of people constructively explore their ideas and power to look for a way out that is far more extended than one’s own limited vision. With the growing trend of remote working and Millennials striving for flexibility to work, the teams must be able to communicate, collaborate and share ideas easily.
Read more at Proof Hub.
Maintain Regular Work Hours
Set a schedule, and stick to it…most of the time. Having clear guidelines for when to work and when to call it a day helps many remote workers maintain work-life balance. That said, one of the benefits of remote work is flexibility, and sometimes you need to extend your day or start early to accommodate someone else’s time zone. When you do, be sure to wrap up earlier than usual or sleep in a bit the next morning to make up for it.
Read more at Pcmag.
Discover Your High Productivity Period
Every individual is most productive at different times of the day. For example, some individuals are morning people, and they are most productive and focused during the morning hours. For others, their most productive time in the workday is the evenings.
Read more at Nextiva.
Get The Right Tools
In order to stay connected with colleagues, you need certain tools to carry out your work as effectively as possible. Your company’s IT department will most likely advise you on which project management, collaboration and web conferencing tools to use, and it’s a good idea to ensure you have everything you need before you start working from home. If, on the other hand, you’re a freelancer, you’ll need to do a little research into the particular tools that will help you do your job.
Read more at CareerAdict.
Create A Work Environment
Create a place that is clearly associated with work is one of the most important tips to be more efficient. Ideally, it would be an office at home as a separate room. Of course, not everyone can afford it. Then a simple dinner table can be good enough. Convert it into a clear desk. Remove anything that is associated with fun, relax, and pleasure from your line of sight.
They all are the source of distraction. Do it even just temporarily. Use your company laptop even if you have a VPN or a remote desktop. When you open and close it, you give your mind a clear sign of starting and stopping work. When you work with your own laptop, create a separate desktop with a different background for work. At least close all unnecessary applications and windows.
Read more at Scrum.
Even if you think you’ve discovered the perfect remote-work situation, trying something different can help you learn more about what makes you feel most creative and efficient. You’ll only know the perfect workspace once you try out some options.
Read more at Self.
Being Too Available
While some colleague interruption is inevitable, you may unconsciously be encouraging it as a form of procrastination. The way you respond to distractions and present your availability gives other people an idea of whether they can approach you at any given time. Boundaries like headphones, working in a side room or from home or setting “availability hours” help establish when you can and can’t be interrupted.
Read more at Memory.
Break Time (Tips To Be More Efficient)
Don’t keep working on something that is sucking your energy away just because you’re afraid someone will judge you for taking a break. If you’re being judged for listening to your own body, you’re working for the wrong people.
Read more at Forbes.
The amount of time spent on a certain task directly depends on how much time one can make available to complete it. Without a deadline, the task can go on forever. Don’t worry about the pressure once you set a due date, it will drive you to finish the task even before your deadline, making you work faster to beat the clock. You should know that an interesting thing happens when you are timing your task. It will put you in a mental state of flow. And the flow is good.
That means that you are immersed in the activity and you can focus on it, unaware of everything else going on. The flow is triggered once you set a time limit on a task and only then you can use your skills to their highest potential.
Read more at Teodesk.
Chronic stress and worry can lead people to develop a mental filter in which they automatically interpret situations through a negative lens. A person might jump to negative conclusions with little or no evidence (”my boss thinks I’m incompetent”) and doubt their ability to cope with stressors (“I’ll be devastated if I don’t get the promotion”). To reappraise negative thoughts, treat them as hypotheses instead of facts and consider other possibilities.
Read more at ProofHub.
Get Help When Necessary
If you ask your co-worker a broad or vague question, it may appear you’re dumping the entire project at their feet. If there are 27 steps in your project and you’re stuck on step 14, tell your colleague you need help with that one item, not the whole thing. Asking specific questions about your problem helps show your colleague that you’re totally engaged and actively trying to resolve the issue alongside them,” he says.
“Once you get the precise help you need, be ready to take back over immediately—it’s your project and your colleague has other things on their plate.
Read more at Monster.
Ditch Your Digital Devices
If you’re being distracted by social media or other sites but still need your computer to get work done, disconnect from the Internet or shut down your web browser for chunks of time. When you can’t easily click over to Facebook or another distracting site, you can focus on the task at hand and vastly increase efficiency.
Read more at TonyRobbins.
Communicate (Tips To Be More Efficient)
Regardless if you’re a remote or in-office director, there will be times when you will have to work with others. As such, you should strengthen your communication and collaboration skills.
When you do, you’ll eliminate unnecessary rework and wasted time from straightening out any misunderstandings and miscommunications. You can start by enhancing your active listening skills and staying on one topic when communicating.
Read more at Inc.
Credibility In Acting & Speaking
Explaining your decisions in a logical manner is one of the most important tips to be more efficient. Use facts, not emotions, as the basis for your decision. Even if you are making people-based decisions and must take into account the impact on people, weigh the logical implications, too. Be comfortable enough with your own decision to take and answer questions about it. Avoid words like maybe, sort of, I think, I wonder. Speak decisively to inspire confidence.
Don’t dilute the effectiveness of your decisions by trying to please all the people all the time. Know that you will not be able to accomplish this or handle it correctly if you are trying to appease everyone with your decision. Don’t ignore the risks. Understand them and face them right away.
Acknowledge them openly so others can see how you’ve looked at the whole situation. Less is more – keep your messages simple and straightforward. Don’t hide information, but don’t feel like you have to go into great detail unless others ask.
Read more at People First.
Stop Saying Yes
Saying no is hard. It means consciously setting things aside so that you have the time to work on your most important priorities. “People who are highly efficient are really good at NOT doing things. Having less to do means that the time you spend on important things is more focused and more productive.
Too often people think they are becoming more productive by filling up their day with more and more low-value work, but this low-value work takes away energy and creativity that could go toward high-value work.
The most productive and efficient people I know have figured out what they do that is really valuable and they put their effort into doing that to the best of their ability. Usually, this means that they stop doing some ‘good’ activities in order to focus on the things that are most important for them and for their goals.”
Read more at Active Campaign.
Do More Of The Work You Enjoy
When you’re interested in, challenged by, and good at the work you do, you’re more engaged — and more effective. Consider which aspects of your job you look forward to, which skills you get the most praise for, and which types of projects your colleagues ask you for help with. While not everything you do at work can be a passion project, with a little creativity, even tedious tasks can be fun or challenging.
The next time you have to generate a timesheet or expense report, time yourself, and see if you can beat your personal high score. Do your best to learn something new every day, or push yourself to try something you haven’t before.
Read more at Wrike Blog.
Walk Or Exercise
I’ve worked in office parks, in downtown business districts, and from home. And in every place, I try to find time to walk at least once a day. That could be around the parking lot, down the street, or in the park, and it’s more refreshing than anything on social media. This isn’t about staying in shape or losing weight, not that those are bad things.
But exercise can help you be more productive because it increases your alertness. Because it increases your blood flow and cardiovascular health, you’ll be less anxious, more focused, and more capable of dealing with stress.
Read more at WorkZone.
The human body operates on 120-minute biological intervals throughout the day called ultradian rhythms. During the first 90 minutes of the interval, your mental energy peaks, and after that, your mental energy drops down into a trough for about 30 minutes. To maximize speed and productivity, it’s best to work in 90-minute sprints when your body is naturally energized, followed by 30 minute rest periods when your body is naturally exhausted. This allows you to take full advantage of your body’s fluctuating energy levels.
Read more at Hubspot.
Core Activities (Tips To Be More Efficient)
Core activities are an essential and vital component of any organization. If the organization focuses more on it and gives more time to those activities then it would definitely help you keep ahead of competitors. After outsourcing your non-core business activities to a third party, you would have sufficient time to manage and focus on your core business practices using limited resources.
Read more at The Next Scoop.
Be a Good Director
A good leader inspires productivity as well as loyalty since employees are more likely to work hard for you and even look up to you if you show them that you actually care about your business. Moreover, research has shown that workers who consider their boss to be a good leader are much less stressed out at work. One of the most important tips to be more efficient.
So, show passion for your work, keep improving your communication skills even if you think they are already good enough, spend time with your employees, listen to their needs, and keep looking for new creative ways, ideas, and approaches to improve the way your company works.
Read more at The Ladders
Properly Train Employees
It’s hard for an employee to do their job well when they were never trained properly in the first place. Make sure you set up a system to ensure all employees receive proper training when they first arrive.
Then offer employees opportunities to continue their education. Employees work harder and smarter when they know what’s expected of them and they know how to get the job done. They also work harder when they know they have a stake in their future. No one works hard when there’s no room for improvement or advancement.
Read more at MarketPlace.
Email Detox (Tips To Be More Efficient)
You used to get so many spam emails, notifications, and updates. Deleting an email may take only a millisecond, but fellow entrepreneurs know — the time is precious — and the brainpower could be better used somewhere else. Do an email detox and unsubscribed to unnecessary spam and now only the important messages get through.
Read more at BusinessInsider.
Consolidate Routine Actions
Hopping back and forth from one activity to another is a big time-waster. If you file a piece of paper then make a call then send an email then file another piece of paper, your brain has to switch gears at each step. Instead, try to complete all of one type of to-do before moving on to the next task. Make all of your calls, do all of your filings, and then send all of your emails. You’ll find that you move faster and get more done in a shorter amount of time when you’re in a groove!
Read more at Smead.
Don’t Let a Meeting Ruin Your Productivity
Improve the way you run meetings. Although meetings have a bad reputation in terms of performance, you definitely need them to share information and make decisions. Invite only those people who need to be involved, create a goal-oriented agenda, and sum up every meeting with clear resolutions.
As a consequence, the number of excessive meetings will gradually decrease. Don’t be afraid to experiment. As an illustration, hold a stand-up or walking meeting. Even if a positive shift in team productivity is not quite obvious, you will definitely benefit your health.
Read more at HrCloud.
Follow Your Schedule
COVID-19 is compelling people to make contingency plans, and most of the professionals are freaking out just because they believe that they may fail to produce optimal results. This is entirely a myth. Here is an easy solution: make yourself feel like you are working from the office and not from home.
If you get easily distracted, simply fake it. Get up early, dress up for work ready for work as you have to go to the office in the ‘time-bound period.’ Fake it and live the fact that you are actually at your office. You’ll be in work-mode instantly without any extra efforts. Maintain regular working hours. Leave for your ‘home-office’ at the usual office timing.
Read more at Simply Learn.
Clarify Purpose (Tips To Be More Efficient)
If a team doesn’t understand the purpose of their work, their attention and enthusiasm can dwindle. Be clear about why you’re doing what you’re doing – it’s the key to motivation. Simon Sinek, author and marketing consultant, unravels this game-changing concept in his TED talk.
Read more at Jostle.
Add Great Perks
Employees respond to appreciation expressed through recognition of their good work because it confirms their work is valued by others. Praise and recognition are essential to an outstanding workplace. With some of the world’s most popular companies increasing useful perks for their employees, small and medium-sized companies have also started to realize that it’s an area that needs attention.
This way, every employee will stay motivated as well as happy to give their best performance and become highly productive. A workplace however big or small should be driven by proven strategies to achieve tangible results in terms of productivity. The above tips will hopefully help you ensure that your employees don’t fall behind and put that extra hour to good, productive use.
Put in some time and effort utilizing these given strategies, and you’ll start to see employee productivity on the rise.
Read more at Zippia.
Listen To Music
If you think wearing headphones all the time at the office makes you look antisocial, don’t worry about that. Listening to your favorite songs while working can help you get in the zone and finish your tasks a lot faster than you would without them. The headphones are also very useful to show your colleagues that you’re concentrated and would rather not be disturbed.
Read more at Pipefy.
Don’t Be Afraid To Nap
The Alpha and Omega of Tips to be more efficient. A midday nap can be hugely beneficial to your productivity and energy levels. If you find that a nap makes you feel refreshed rather than groggy, pencil one into your schedule. Any trick is a good trick if it makes your workday more efficient and keeps your spirits high.
Read more at Aircall.
Have An End To Your Workday
This sounds straightforward, yet sometimes it is hard to do. One of the biggest complaints from those who often work from home is that their workdays never seem to end. They feel they are working all the time. You may find it tempting to check work emails after putting your kids to bed, or your boss may take the liberty to call or email you for some work-related issues late at night.
Unless it’s a work emergency that must be dealt with at the moment, you need to set boundaries for yourself and the people you work with so you can spend quality time with your family, especially during this challenging time.
Read more at The Federal List.
Tips To Be More Efficient Final Thoughts
If you’re still looking for more tips to be efficient then we can’t help you.
What we can help you with is telling you that now is a good time to put the ones above to use! First one: Take a nap.
Thanks for reading this post and as always, share your tips in the comments below.