FAQ: Efficiently Working and Making the Most of Your Time

Have you ever looked up at the clock at the end of the workday and felt that you just didn’t get enough done? Are you working extra hours nights and weekends and still not hitting your target outcome? Why is it that you haven’t yet discovered how to be more efficient at work?

Developing a more streamlined and effective way of managing your work-related tasks doesn’t just make you more productive – it also leaves you with more free time to spend however you like, whether you’re improving yourself or relaxing.

Work efficiency is the ability to get the most output from the least possible input. It means doing more with less. Working smarter, not harder. When you improve efficiency, you’re able to get a larger output from the same amount of input – or even less. For employees, this means being able to get more done in a finite amount of time: the workday.

You can calculate work efficiency with this formula: output / input = efficiency. The output in the formula is the standard labor hours. The input is the actual number of hours you or your employees worked. Then multiply it by 100 to get a percentage. That’s your work efficiency.

Our beliefs about productivity and work efficiency can actually hold us back from achieving our goals. To improve efficiency, stop buying into these three common myths.

Efficiency in the workplace means when employees carry out the correct tasks in the right way, with the least waste of time and effort. In essence, improving workplace efficiency is about helping employees work smarter, not harder.
  • Focus on most important tasks first.
  • Cultivate deep work.
  • Keep a distraction list to stay focused.
  • Use the Eisenhower Matrix to identify long-term priorities.
  • Use the 80/20 rule.
  • Break tasks into smaller pieces.
  • Take breaks.
  • Make fewer decisions.

How to Become More Productive at Work

What are the benefits of working more efficiently?

Working more efficiently can provide you with the following benefits:

What does efficiently working mean?

Working efficiently means using your time wisely and in the most productive ways at work. Efficiency entails eliminating distractions and wastefulness to increase your output over the same period of time or with the same amount of allocated resources. To work efficiently, you need to channel your time and energy into the tasks that actively contribute to your end goals.

Businesses may track productivity in various ways. These can include:

Its important for companies to understand whether employees are working efficiently as this directly influences company expenses, product or service quality and profits.

What are the types of efficiency at work?

The two types of efficiency at work are static efficiency and dynamic efficiency:

Static efficiency

Static efficiency refers to improving existing products, services, processes or procedures. This involves evaluating the current system and finding ways to make it faster, cheaper or more useful. For example, consider a company that uses project management software to track deadlines and assign tasks to project team members.

Static efficiency could include the project manager adding more ways to use the project management software, such as managing the project budget and hours worked on the project, to help increase productivity without spending additional resources.

Dynamic efficiency

Dynamic efficiency involves creating new systems, processes or products to increase productivity. For example, the project manager from the previous example may decide that weekly progress meetings in the conference room are hindering creativity. Instead, the manager institutes bimonthly brainstorm sessions out of the office.

How can you work more efficiently?

Here are some tips for how to be more efficient at work:

Prioritize your tasks

Decide what tasks are most important and what tasks are the most time-sensitive. These may not always be the same duties, so this exercise helps you plan your day and further into the week and month.

Have a clean work station

Make sure your workspace is clean, well-lit and organized before beginning your work. Looking for papers or supplies wastes valuable time. Also, consider an ergonomic chair and desk so that you can be comfortable for long periods of time.

Limit distractions

Turn off music, shows, and podcasts. Shut your door and use a polite note asking not to be disturbed. Close tabs that you dont need on your browser, hold your calls and put your cell phone away.

Delegate or set a schedule for busywork

You can easily get caught up working on necessary but unimportant tasks. Set a certain time to perform these duties each day, and dont go over. If you can, delegate these responsibilities to administrative employees or interns.

Plan for long-term projects to avoid procrastination

With a large project looming, you may be tempted to leave it for later. However, this can cause the quality of your work to suffer. To avoid the overwhelm of a big project, break the project into manageable steps, and plan backwards from the final deadline. Aim for shorter-term goals for each component of the project to help keep you focused and on schedule.

Use technology

Consider incorporating technology to help streamline your responsibilities. You may benefit from the following tips:

Eliminate unnecessary meetings

Meetings can interrupt productivity, and its difficult to regain that momentum. Determine if the information planned in the meeting can be communicated in another way, like email, that requires less time and energy away from your tasks.

Schedule your day to optimize your most productive hours

Identify when you feel the most energized and focused. Some people like mornings, while others feel a burst of energy in the afternoon. Schedule your day around these peak hours so that you have the most distraction-free time during those hours that you feel most productive.

Get rid of distracting thoughts with a running to-do list

When you have thoughts that could take away your current focus, such as meetings to schedule or emails to send, use a running to-do list to capture those items without neglecting your current assignment. This ensures you wont forget the thought while still keeping your momentum on being productive in the moment.

Take breaks

Consider scheduling breaks into your schedule to help you reset your mind. You may get a snack or take a quick walk, but you should be disconnected from work for at least a few minutes several times throughout the day.

Reduce emails

Rather than an email exchange that takes four to five emails to arrive at a solution, consider crafting emails with more information upfront. Be clear and thorough, explaining your precise expectations instead of open-ended comments. This can reduce the number of questions recipients have, helping you spend less time responding.

Have a backup plan

Even with the most organized schedule, unforeseen circumstances happen. Be ready to take on these challenges by knowing who can perform what tasks, which deadlines are flexible and how you can work around the issues.

Stop multitasking

Try to limit how many tasks youre working on at once. If possible, create your schedule so that you can focus completely on one project or assignment at a time. This means that while working on a single task, like researching, you will not be checking emails, scrolling social media or chatting with a coworker. When your brain is constantly switching between different tasks, it takes time for it to align with the new activity, leading to a drop off in productivity every time you switch your focus.

Take care of your mind and body

To perform at your best, your mind and body must be healthy and fueled. Consider implementing the following tips into your schedule:

Learn to say “no”

In order to have enough time to complete your tasks and do them well, you should learn how to decline requests from peers or supervisors, when appropriate. You can be courteous but honest about your time constraints and prior commitments.

FAQ

How do you work efficiently and effectively?

Increase productivity and become highly efficient with these habits:
  1. Focus on most important tasks first.
  2. Cultivate deep work.
  3. Keep a distraction list to stay focused.
  4. Use the Eisenhower Matrix to identify long-term priorities.
  5. Use the 80/20 rule.
  6. Break tasks into smaller pieces.
  7. Take breaks.
  8. Make fewer decisions.

How do you show efficiency at work?

Everyone wants more time. Efficiency is one way of adding minutes or hours to your day. Here are eight tips effectively used by the most efficient.
  1. Stop Multitasking. …
  2. Delegate. …
  3. Use Appropriate Communication. …
  4. Apply Structure to the Schedule. …
  5. Give Everything a Proper Place. …
  6. Time Activities. …
  7. Commit to Downtime. …
  8. Plan Projects.

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