Being an efficient person is not always the easiest thing for everyone. It typically requires a great deal of discipline, dedication and practice. However, it is doable for everyone that makes it a point to try and make the best use of their time, energy and abilities.
Here are seven tips for being a more efficient person.
Tip #1: Do some Spring Cleaning. When you’ve got a lot of clutter around you – – whether it’s at home or at the workplace – – it gets in the way of things that are really important. The same goes for the emotional clutter that may be weighing you down. Whatever “clutter” you might have around you, take some time to do some Spring Cleaning and de-clutter your life. Create systems for organizing your workplace and if it is emotional clutter weighing you down, you may even wish to seek personal counseling with a licensed therapist, who is professionally trained to help people work through these kinds of issues.
Tip #2: Create a “To Do List”. First, prioritize your To Do List into A, B and C columns to help determine which things are most important. Then figure out what tasks require the most time or effort and which can get knocked out right away. Make smaller To Do Lists on a week-by-week or even day-by-day basis. You will gain a sense of accomplishment and confidence by knocking out a few things at a time instead of taking on your entire To Do List right now. You’re not super human, after all!
Tip #3: Write down your goals. There have been numerous studies that show that people who write down their goals are more successful at accomplishing their goals. The brain is a powerful thing and using all of your senses to reinforce your goals will help you stay focused on what it is that you’re trying to accomplish. Keep your written goals in a visible place where you can see and revisit them on a regular basis.
Tip #4: Control your interruptions. If you’re a social butterfly, controlling your interruptions may be harder for you than for others. But, it’s really easy these days to find yourself interrupted, distracted and thus, disengaged from your tasks at hand. Turn the phone on DND, close out of your e-mail for a few hours, calendar yourself time to meet with people that regularly interrupt you for questions. Doing these things will help you control your interruptions and give you more time to focus on the tasks you need to complete.
Tip #5: Get 7 to 8 hours of quality sleep. When you’re not giving your body what it needs, it will find its way of letting you know. If you’re always tired, you are most likely not getting enough sleep at night. It is recommended that you get a full 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night in order to give yourself enough time to rest and replenish yourself. Try setting a regular bedtime for yourself and enforce it! You will find yourself more alert and energized to take on the tasks for the day.
Tip #6: Find time for yourself. It is important that to stay efficient at the important stuff that you do each day, that you take time off for yourself. This includes taking time off for vacation. And even if you cannot get away for a vacation, it’s important to find some time off. Everyone’s work demands and requirements are different, but start small. Even if it’s a 5 or 10 minute walk each day, do it. If you work each weekend and can find the time to take at least one weekend off each month, do it. Find these small opportunities to “get away” and make time to take care of you. Also, check out this article entitled, “The Importance of Scheduling Nothing” from LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner.
Tip #7: Evaluate and Re-evaluate. Track your workday and figure out when you’re the most productive and when you could use the pick-me-up. Check in with your To Do List and check in with yourself about the tasks you do each day. Most people don’t know how to improve their efficiency because they don’t know where or when they’re becoming inefficient. When you’re forced to track your workday and actually hold yourself accountable to the things that you’re doing, you will be able to spot when you’re inefficient and find a fix right away.
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