I told you in part 1 of this article to seek efficiency, but you need to know what you are seeking otherwise you will be lost in the jungle of inefficiency, and believe me that jungle is super easy to find –
1. Stop Multitasking
Many people fool themselves into thinking they are good at multitasking. But actually very few can solidly focus on more than 1 or two tasks, particularly if they require focus and depth.
So much productivity is lost when people take on more than they can accomplish. Don’t be inspired by CEOs and leaders who overload their schedules and burn the midnight oil. Really efficient people are extremely good at delegating tasks to others who will perform them better.
3. Use Appropriate Communication
Poor communication is a huge time-waster. A fast email transmitting bad instructions or an offensive attitude can end up adding many unnecessary hours to a project. The masters of efficiency take a little extra time to think through their communication in the beginning.
4. Apply Structure to the Schedule
With all the available scheduling and productivity tools you would think more people would feel they have a handle on their schedule. And yet often people feel their schedule drives them instead of the other way around. Efficiency fanatics create standard routines in their schedule so they can achieve a disciplined approach and be ready for the important events. The more you control the calendar, the easier it is to make room for the unexpected.
5. Give Everything a Proper Place
A lot of time is wasted chasing down lost items. Keys, pens and clothing hunts can cause distraction and frustration, especially when you have something important to do or somewhere important to be. People get really efficient from being organised. Establish a home for all the items you have.
6. Time Activities
Do you really know how much time you spend productively versus how much time you waste? I often know that I am talking on the phone with someone who takes efficiency seriously because they tell me when the call is almost over. Efficient people set a time for each of their tasks and work to keep the schedule. Try logging your time on conversations and activities for a week. Then spend the next week setting specific times for similar activities and work to reduce the times with similar output.
7. Commit to Downtime
Tired and overworked people don’t perform well. People pleasers will sacrifice their own downtime thinking they are benefitting others, but in truth, they detract from productivity. Really efficient people make sure they get rest and recuperation so they can perform at their peak. Since one amazing employee can do the work of three average employees, best to let the team rest up and be top performers.
8. Plan Projects
The effort is often wasted when people don’t have a clear path to success. Impatience is the direct enemy of efficiency. Really efficient people know they must take the time to research and break down a project into basic steps in order to achieve success consistently. Yes, planning takes a little time. But considering the challenges, process and responsibilities in advance will make for clear direction with the team. With good communication, everyone can move confidently and efficiently to achieve all the objectives in record time.
Am going to save the best two for last –
9. Control Your Environment Or It Will Control You
We can’t control our environment everywhere we go, of course, but we have more control than we usually choose to exercise. If you banish distractions and control your calendar you can make sure your environment is ripe for productivity.
10. Write Everything Down
We all know how fallible our brains can be yet we routinely trust ourselves to remember and follow through on things.
What did research from the Timeful app tell us –
1. Most people don’t write down the things they need to do.
2. When you do write things down, you’re more likely to follow through on them.
If it’s important, write it down. Reminders, post-its, and calendars are all good tools.
Sound stupidly simple? Research says we don’t do it enough.
If you have gotten this far, you my friend is my tenacious species – and thus, I like to read from you in the comment box on how you think efficiency can be achieved. Or perhaps you like to add to the list – maybe on something that works for you, kindly drop your suggestion below.