Sometimes, work can get stressful, simply because of the amount that we have to get through, but there are some simple ways to work more efficiently every day that I would like to share. Work can be difficult and I often find myself wishing that there were more hours in the day to do what I need to. There are however, some simple ways we can ease the professional labour pains by making life easier for ourselves and here are my top ways to work more efficiently.
This goes without saying but one of the best ways to work more efficiently is actually to organize your files, papers and your desk. The first thing I do when I get to work is organize the emails in my in-box according to which ones need to be dealt with urgently and which ones can wait a while. They are 'flagged' appropriately so I can see which ones I need to do. Feeling more organized and 'on top' of things, can make the work the stress subside as you feel more in control of the day and the week ahead.
This is another top tip which can help you to work more efficiently. It can be tempting to do the nice tasks first and the ones that you enjoy. However, that can often mean that the more pressing tasks, whatever they may be, are left to the last minute when they actually need your full attention and energy. The best thing is to do those important tasks first. That way, should you need any help with them, you won't have the last minute scramble and panic.
If you're in a position to delegate, do it. This can sometimes be difficult but if you're in a position of seniority, delegation is something that you should be doing as it's often part of the managerial post. This will help you to get on with the more pressing tasks that you need to do. If you're lucky enough to have someone to answer your phone, that can be a good way of helping you get on with the things that you need to, rather than constantly dealing with the queries which can encroach on your precious time.
Think about when you work at your best during the day. Is it, like me, first thing in the morning or do you take a while to warm up and find that you're at your best a little later in the day when you've woken up and warmed up? Whenever it is, find your optimum working time and make sure that the most difficult tasks are saved for then.
It's so important to take breaks. They are your best friends and will help you to work more efficiently. Remember, all work and no break makes (insert name here) a less efficient worker. Go for a walk or step away from the desk and go somewhere different for a change of scenery. This is particularly effective if you're dealing with something difficult and need to get some perspective. Stepping away from the problem can sometimes allow you to see things with fresh eyes when you return, and help you feel more able to tackle it. This also applies to 'home-time' when you should try not to take work home and ensure you fully re-charge your batteries for the next working day.
There are times when my desk looks like a war-zone and I find that when that happens, I very quickly have to check myself and revert to Monica mode. It's true that the physical clutter can really affect the mind so try and organize your desk so that it is more conducive to working well.
Those of you who have read my 'ode to lists' will know about my love affair with the things. They are such an effective way of ensuring you know what needs to be done and are able to work through the list systematically. It's very therapeutic to list the things you need to do and even better when you cross them off your list. So satisfying! At the end of each day, I make a list of the things I need to accomplish the next day. This helps me feel more in control and helps me to metaphorically 'shut-down' too.
These are my top tips for working more efficiently. What do you find helps you to work at your best?
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