Ways to Increase Efficiency

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Many people feel there aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish assignments at work. Rather than staying at the office late or bringing work home at the end of the day, try making a few simple adjustments to boost efficiency. Increasing productivity can make it possible to accomplish all necessary tasks and more each day.

Ask for Help

  • There’s nothing wrong with asking for help. When faced with a major project or a looming deadline, ask a colleague to step in and lend a hand. Managers can lighten workloads by delegating tasks to employees with the appropriate skills to successfully complete the task. It’s important to take the initiative to speak up when overwhelmed, as people aren’t likely to volunteer to take on extra work.

Take Breaks

  • Stepping away from work may initially appear counterproductive, but it’s not. It’s easy to become burned-out after working for hours non-stop. Taking a short break to walk around the office or step outside for a few minutes refreshes the mind, helping to increase productivity. Stopping to refuel for lunch is also important, as the brain can’t function at full capacity when you're hungry.

Prioritize Tasks

  • Manage competing priorities by ranking them on a to-do list each day. Accomplish the most important tasks first to ensure they’re completed on time, then work down through the remaining ones. Knowing exactly what needs to be achieved each day makes it easier to stay on task and focus on the work at hand. (Ref. three)

Avoid Multitasking

  • Multitasking may seem like an efficient way to accomplish a number of tasks at once, but it rarely pays off. Most job duties require full attention to be completed in a high-quality manner. When multiple tasks are executed at once, mistakes are commonly made, producing low-quality output. In total, more time is wasted going back to correct errors than is saved by multitasking.

Minimize Distractions

  • When trying to focus on an assignment, it’s easy to become distracted by email, phone calls and colleagues stopping by to talk. Increase efficiency by designating certain times of the day to check email and voicemail, steering clear of them the rest of the day. Reduce interruptions from colleagues by kindly articulating the need to focus and arranging a time later in the day to meet.

Arrive at Work Early

  • Arrive at the office an hour early to get a head start on the day. Diving into tasks while the office is quiet makes it easier to focus. Enjoy a feeling of accomplishment by the time the rest of the staff arrives, setting a productive pace for the day.

References

  • Photo Credit TongRo Images/TongRo Images/Getty Images
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