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Productivity Tips for Increased Work Efficiency

It often seems like there’s not enough time for all the work that needs to be done. This means time is incredibly important. While it is impossible to add more minutes to your day, some simple productivity tweaks can dramatically improve your work efficiency.

Distraction – The Enemy of Work Efficiency

The distractions you encounter during your workday waste precious minutes. These minutes add up quickly and can make a big dent in your day.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. While everyone has interruptions and distractions, successful people are still able to get finish their work when, or before, it’s due.

How are they able to do this?

It’s simple. Successful people have a process for dealing with distractions as they come up.  They have developed the skill of working efficiently.

This is the good news. Work efficiency is a skill. Like any skill, you can learn and develop it. Developing this skill will not only allow you to shine at work, but it’ll also give you more time for the things you enjoy doing.

So, what can you do to become more productive? Here are some skills you can start practicing today.

Keep these tips in mind to increase your work efficiency:

1.     Plan your work.

Have you ever gone on a road trip? When you started, did you have an idea of where you were going to go? Did you have a plan of the people and places you were going to visit? Of course you did!

The same goes for your work trip. Work efficiency requires that you have a work plan. Before you get started working, or (preferably) the night before, set your priorities. This allows you to sort out what most important tasks are. Once you have your priorities, make a to-do list with your most important tasks at the top.

2.     Work your plan.

Once you have a plan, follow it!

As Mark Twain once said, “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”

Tackle the tasks on your to-do list in their order of priority. Complete the most important tasks early in the day. Eat the biggest frog first! As you complete the most important ones, your day becomes easier.

This is a key skill for work efficiency. When unexpectedly tasks come up (as they always do), determine their priority. If they have a lower priority than what you’re working on, try delaying doing them until you finish the higher priority task.

Once you choose to do an unexpected task, try to handle it quickly. When you finish, get right back to working on your to-do list.

3.     Reduce outside distractions.

If you have a private office, close your door during times you don’t want to be disturbed. If you work in a cubicle in an open room, consider investing in a set of high-quality noise-canceling headphones. Using them to listen to some light music can help you to tune out the distractions.

Your co-workers need to know when you are and are not available. To help limit the interruptions you get from your coworkers, have a sign or some other way of letting them know you are unavailable.

Keeping a tidy desk with only what you need for your current task. While some people say they thrive in it, too much clutter is distracting.

Have a designated area to keep all your supplies and return them when you’re done using them. An added benefit is this will also keep you from wasting time looking for needed items.

4.     Avoid multitasking.

Work efficiency requires that you focus in on one thing and stay with that one thing. You may think that you can juggle multiple jobs at the same time, but the truth is that those tasks that you’re juggling won’t be completed with the quality that you strive for. Reduced quality often comes with increased errors. This leads to the biggest problem in business, rework.

The latest research shows that focusing on one task at a time increases productivity. Make your mantra, “One thing at a time.”

5.     Delegate, delegate, delegate.

If you want to succeed in life, you need to learn how to let others do things. This will skyrocket your work efficiency.

While you might do a better job at certain things, you can’t do every job better. Instead of trying to do everything, choose tasks from your to do list that others can complete or help you with and then delegate these tasks to them. This will free up time for your highest priority tasks.

The result of trying to do too much will be an overall drop in the quality of your work. This will negatively affect your productivity.

6.     Take brain breaks.

Not taking breaks is not only bad for your health, it also reduces your productivity. Working for extended periods of time without taking a break will cause your efficiency drop. Instead, try to take a break for about 5 minutes each hour.

During your brain break, give your mind a rest. Put your work out of your mind for just a few minutes.

Stand up and walk around in your office. Take some deep breaths. Do a few stretches or jumping jacks to get your blood moving again.

Get up and go for a walk outside. Just 5-10 minutes out of the office will help you return feeling refreshed and ready for the next task.

Start Using These Work Efficiency Tips Today

Work efficiency starts with being mindful of how you are using your time. As you work, keep these skills in mind. Learning and applying them will help you to get more work done in less time. This will make your boss happy while giving you more free time to enjoy doing the things that you love.