12 Ways to be More Efficient in Your Job

Lara Stewart

We all have the same number of hours in the day. The most successful people are the ones who make the most efficient use of that time. And, people who are highly productive tend to set a lot of the same personal policies, including:

  1.  Limit email time

If you look at every email as it comes in, email can eat up your entire day. Instead, set aside a short time in the afternoon to look at and respond to email. 

  1. Set mini-deadlines

Projects tend to expand until they take all the time you have available. So, shorten that time. Tell yourself you will only spend 45 minutes on a report, and you’ll find that you can finish it in the time you’ve allotted.

  1. Come in early

Interruptions can kill productivity since they take you out of flow space. By going into work early, you can work without intrusions and get more done.

  1. Learn to delegate

Are there items on your list that can be outsourced inexpensively? Pass these along and concentrate more fully on the core functions of your job.

  1. Make a to-do list

But keep it short. By setting up discrete, achievable tasks, you can make sure your time is used more productively.

  1. Batch tasks

A lot of time that is wasted is lost when we transition from one job to another. By batching like tasks together, you can improve your work flow and lose less time refocusing over and over.

  1. Create routines

When you complete your daily tasks in a specific order and use the same process each time, they become automatic. This allows you to get a lot more done because you aren’t spending time getting into rhythm again each day.

  1. Take breaks when necessary

After a certain amount of time, your attention will naturally flag. Take a few minutes to stand up, walk around and get a glass of water before going back to work refreshed.

  1. Cut unnecessary steps

Examine your daily tasks to see if there are any inefficient and unnecessary steps taking up your time. For instance, if a specific item is looked over by two or three people, see if the redundancy can be cut out to save everyone’s valuable time.

  1. Do not multitask

Concentrating on more than one tasks at a time actually makes you less efficient at both of them. Give your undivided attention to each job that you do so that you complete it more quickly and do a better job at it.

  1. Leave work at the same time every day

Like mini-deadlines, leaving work at the same time each day gives you a hard cut-off time you need to meet. You use your time more efficiently when you understand that it’s in short supply.

  1. Reward yourself

It’s okay to use bribery to get yourself in gear. Tell yourself that you get 10 minutes of Facebook time after you finish Task X or that you’ll get a beer on the way home if you cross off everything on your list. The incentive gives you something to look forward to and speeds up your day.

Being more efficient at work means changing your work processes and your attitudes about specific tasks. By being more conscious of how you spend your time, you can get more out of each day and push yourself toward workplace success.