Whether you are a freelancer or a 9-5 corporate employee, your job requires efficiency. Without working efficiently, you can’t think about attaining productivity or completing all tasks assigned to you. Your childhood nightmares of not being able to complete your tasks and assignments on time are real and inefficiency lurks around somewhere, hiding in shadows feeding on your negligence while others name it lack of commitment from your end!
But working efficiently and effectively for all millennials today is a need that can’t simply be ignored. This drives their future and motivates them to take their career ahead. Not only does this propel their career but overtime helps them become more efficient in their job profile. But does your inefficiency at work also denote your irresponsibility?
Welcome to that age where you need to become responsible. You need to understand that at this stage all your actions — good or bad will have some consequences. While for your achievements you will be well-appreciated, you will be held accountable even for a minute error in your assigned tasks. And, belonging to the so-called generation of the ‘millennials’ of the 21st Century, you need to become responsible for your actions and replace your distress with better ways of working efficiently and effectively.
Then comes the major question in your head, What is stopping you from working efficiently? Is it just you or the environment you have been working in? This is because there are always two sides to every story and in your case, both your ways of working and the environment around you. After all, you are not the only one who is to be blamed for ineffectiveness in your work.
It is the kind of condition you have been working in. Maybe they are your noisy coworkers, lack of motivation and willingness to work, all the clutter on your desk, or even your habit of checking notifications on your mobile phone now and then. But for working efficiently, you are the one who needs to figure out the ways to achieve it.
Talking about the current phase of COVID-19 pandemic the world is undergoing, most employees are working from home. Working efficiently from home may seem like an impossible dream for most being amid noisy neighbors, kids, and pets at home. Mingling work life and personal life might also keep you from working efficiently. Then, to mitigate the loss in productivity, many corporate employees working from home try contributing a couple of more hours to complete their assigned tasks. But does working efficiently mean working harder or working smarter?
There is a wide difference between working harder and working smarter. While the former denotes you putting in all your energy and effort to complete your work, the latter denotes coming up with smarter ways to complete the same task but with more efficiency. Let’s demystify the secrets to ways to stay productive at work and how you can achieve maximum work efficiency. Here are the best ways of working efficiently and effectively.
Also, Read: 10 Ways To Make Your Work From Home Efficient
Keeping a track of time for working efficiently
For working efficiently, you always need to keep a track of time. You need to figure out how much time you spend on your emails, mobile phone, social media, and other daily tasks you typically undertake every single day. Though science suggests that only 17% percent of the people can keep a track of time. But believe us, it isn’t impossible to track the tasks every day.
Once, you have done this small personal research, you can easily divide your time between unnecessary and priority tasks. Then you can list out all the important tasks and prioritize them before going on board with unnecessary tasks like social media and reading unimportant emails. This will surely help you keep a track of the time spent on your tasks and you can evaluate your progress and ultimately start working efficiently.
List out your tasks for the day
In your quest to achieve work efficiency, listing out your tasks is yet another important step to consider. This will help boost your productivity at work, and help you work smarter and reduce the amount of effort and time you put into completing the tasks assigned to you.
Start by listing out your important tasks for the day the moment you reach the office. Depending on the nature of your work, you can list out your tasks the previous night or even while commuting to your workplace in a cab, bus, or metro.
Avoid unnecessary meetings
Working in the corporate world, we have to undergo numerous meetings and discussions to plan strategies and track the progress of older strategies. But sometimes, amid these many meetings, you might find it hard to accomplish your assigned tasks. This will hamper your work productivity.
This is why you should avoid going out for unnecessary meetings and focus on your priority tasks first. If you can’t avoid those unnecessary group meetings, you can even connect on the phone with your colleagues and even through video conferencing.
Learn to say ‘no’ sometimes
Saying ‘no’ isn’t a hard task for everyone but can often add to a lack of commitment from their end, when working in the corporate world. But, to accomplish your desired tasks within the stipulated time, you need to learn this art. This is because you have a limited amount of time in hand, while working in your office or even when working from home.
Though you shouldn’t always respond negatively to some assigned tasks, these can be ignored and done only when you find time from your priority tasks.
Focus on one task first
Like we addressed it above, you should always prioritize the tasks assigned to you. The most important tasks should be focused on more and completed before the rest to achieve efficiency at work. This is because undertaking many tasks at once will result in stress and you can’t work efficiently under stress!
You need to understand that you can achieve efficiency while multitasking. On the other hand, taking a single task, completing it, and then focusing on another later will surely help you be more focused and productive at work.
Follow the ‘Two-minute Rule’ for smaller tasks
Sometimes while working in your office, you are bombarded with many smaller tasks. These smaller yet priority tasks often can reduce your focus on your prime tasks of the day. Your overall productivity will go down, leading to your distress.
As the best resolution of this, you must consider the ‘Two-minute Rule’ postulated by David Allen, stating “If it takes less than two minutes, then do it now.” This, in your case, necessarily means that if a task requires less than two minutes of your time, you must consider finishing it on the spot. This will surely reduce your workload and stress and ultimately help you in working efficiently.
Stay away from all distractions
In one of its features on Psychology, Princeton Alumni Weekly suggests, “Distractions in our visual environment can impede our brains’ ability to function”. Imagine yourself surrounded by books, useless wires, a bundle of unimportant paperwork, and other distractions around. Would you be able to work with full focus then? This is why you should keep all distractions away while working.
There can be numerous distractions around you ranging from noisy colleagues and their indistinct chattering, the same news playing over and over again on the television set around, and even your habit of checking your phone now and then for notifications. You need to get rid of such major distractions around you for working efficiently.
Add something to your happiness quotient
Only a healthy mind can bring-in maximum productivity to your work. You need to stay stress-free and evade all negativity in the air around you while working. This is why you must consider adding something to your happiness quotient.
It can be anything that makes a stress-free environment for you — a couple of family photographs placed on your desk, an idol of Buddha, a plant, or even a superhero action figurine! This will not only add to your happiness quotient but will also promote a healthy, stress-free environment for working efficiently.
Keep your inventories updated
Laptops and its peripherals, a strong internet connection, and many other things come under the necessary inventories you need at work. But, they require maintenance and up-gradation at regular intervals. An unhealthy inventory like a crashing system or weak internet connectivity can hamper and reflect negatively on your work efficiency.
Whereas keeping them updated will ensure a hassle-free working environment for you, which ultimately will help you become more efficient and productive at work.
Listen to music for better concentration
Sometimes, amid a noisy environment at your workplace, fully concentrating on your work seems nearly impossible. This is why you need something to boost up your concentration and music can be something that can work great for you. Depending upon your taste, you can make a playlist on your mobile phone and listen to them at a low volume while working.
We would recommend some soothing instrumental tracks which can make you stress-free as well as improve your concentration while working. And, only with full concentration, you can work efficiently.
Take regular, small breaks
Sometimes to keep yourself stress-free while working with small breaks is necessary to bring more productivity to your work. Taking regular short breaks of 5-10 minutes is considered one of the best ways to evade boredom and tiredness that you may sometimes face while working for long hours. Moreover, for achieving efficiency you need to choose to work smarter over working harder.
You can take regular breaks for short amounts of time and get rid of stress and do activities like stretching, drinking a cup of coffee, go out for a walk, or even walk up and down the stairs, in case you are working from home in the ongoing pandemic.
Learn from successes and failures
This is perhaps one of the most important steps to consider when talking about attaining work efficiency. You need to understand that successes and failures are both phases in your life. While your successes will keep you motivated for work, failures may make you feel down. Yet, even if you fail, you must take the responsibility of your failures, try to find the reasons, and act on them immediately over feeling distressed over them.
This isn’t just a life lesson but also can teach you to work harder and with more productivity and emerge victoriously over the tasks you have been lately failing at.
So, these were our top tips you should consider undertaking for working efficiently and effectively whether you are a freelancer or a 9-5 corporate employee or even are working from home amid the widespread COVID-19 pandemic. So, what is your secret to working efficiently?
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