How To Be Efficient In The Workplace: 14 Top Strategies

In this new article you’ll learn how to be efficient in the workplace.

Dealing with work-related stress is very difficult these days. Anyone who has worked full-time knows that a typical workday is not always long enough to get all of your tasks done.

However, adopting habits that help you work more efficiently can greatly increase your productivity. An efficient worker makes the most of every minute of the day by focusing on the most essential tasks first.

Working efficiently will not only increase your productivity and earn you points with your supervisor, but it will also make you feel fulfilled because you will have an interesting and productive day.

How To Be Efficient In The Workplace:

1. Maintain a clean and orderly work environment.

Often, simply eliminating clutter from the workplace is enough to increase productivity.

A disorganized work environment is one that can stifle your productivity. If you’re constantly searching through piles of junk for certain tools or papers, you’re wasting valuable work time. Keep only the things you use regularly out and about; everything else should be tucked away somewhere out of the way but accessible.

If you work in an office, organize your workspace and desk so that you can find what you need quickly and easily. The same ideas apply even if you don’t work in an office.

For example, if you work in a bike store, keep your tools clean and organized so that you can quickly locate them when you need them. Maintaining a clean work environment is beneficial in almost every case.

Office workers and anyone who manages a lot of paperwork should develop a logical and well-organized filing system. Documents that you use regularly should be kept close at hand. Other papers should be arranged in alphabetical (or other logical) order.

2. Maintain a well-stocked workspace.

Make sure you have all the necessary equipment and tools for your work. In the workplace, this means having punches, staplers, calculators, and other office supplies on hand. Outside of the office, the basic principles remain the same: have everything you need to work efficiently before you start.

Both scientists who use complex charting software and mechanics who use socket wrenches will benefit from having their equipment available.

It also involves having enough of whatever supplies your profession needs-staplers need staples, carpenters need nails, instructors need chalk, etc.

Make sure your tools are in good condition. If you can’t work without them, one key broken tool can hinder the rest of your work! Take a few minutes to regularly clean and maintain your instruments to save time in the long run.

3. Maintain a well-organized day.

If you haven’t done so to date, making any effort to plan your day will almost certainly increase your productivity. Limit yourself to one complete planner to manage a truly productive schedule (optionally supplemented by one office calendar or box for long-term goals).

Don’t complicate your task by keeping multiple schedules or creating a huge list of notes that you will eventually lose. You want to be able to view all the things you need to know in one place.

Create a “to do” list for each day to help you stay organized. Start with the most important tasks for the day to make sure they get done. Put the tasks that are not as important at the bottom of the list. At the beginning of your workday, start at the top of the list. If you don’t finish the list by the end of the day, you can finish it the next day.

Set a deadline and time frame for the most important initiatives and be realistic about how long they will take. You don’t want to set yourself up for failure, so ask for extra time at the beginning of the project, not just before the deadline.

4. Remove all distractions.

Different work environments have different distractions.

For example, in some jobs you may have a very talkative colleague who won’t let you alone. Other places may be oppressively quiet, making even the slightest sound distracting.

Make the necessary adjustments to ensure you can focus on the task at hand. Bring an MP3 player to work if your workplace allows you to listen to music safely. You may also want to post a notice at your workstation so that employees do not disturb you.

This may seem rude, but it is not. It is a logical and practical way to encourage others to leave you alone while you work. Feel free to spend your time however you want during breaks and meal times.

Spending time on recreational websites is a typical source of distraction. According to one study, nearly two-thirds of workers spend at least some time each day visiting websites unrelated to their work.

Fortunately, most browsers allow you to download free productivity tools to block problematic sites. Look for “blocking websites” or “productivity aids” in your browser’s plugin store. You’ll almost certainly find some free, effective solutions.

SEE ALSO: How To Overcome Shyness At Work: (11 Confident Ways)

5. Only make personal calls during breaks.

Surprisingly, breaks can actually help you be more productive at work instead of hindering it. First and foremost, breaks provide much-needed relaxation.

If you don’t rest long enough, you may feel exhausted and work more slowly or with less skill. Second, taking breaks helps you deal with distractions. Use breaks to do anything that might otherwise distract you from the task at hand.

When you should be working, do you think of a relative you’d like to call? Call them during your break so you don’t get distracted!

6. Divide your tasks into smaller chunks.

Big projects can be intimidating; if they’re big enough, it’s easy to put them off, wasting time on less important tasks until you’re finally forced to finish everything just before the deadline. As an effective employee, you should prioritize the most important tasks, even if it means completing only a small part of a larger project.

Completing a small part of a larger task is not as satisfying as completing the entire small part, but it is a good use of time. In the long run, you will complete your most important tasks faster if you work on them a little bit each day.

For example, if you have a big presentation coming up next month (1), set a goal to create an outline now. It won’t take you long, so it won’t distract you from your other activities, but it’s an important step that will help the rest of the process go faster and easier.

7. Delegate tasks to reduce your workload.

Unless you are at the bottom of the corporate ladder, you may be able to delegate particularly time-consuming duties to one or more of your subordinates to save time. Don’t give your subordinates tasks that only you can successfully complete.

Instead, delegate time-consuming, repetitive tasks that keep you from focusing on more important responsibilities. Remember that when you assign responsibilities, you should contact your helper and give them a deadline to complete them.

When your subordinates help you, always be courteous; if they know you appreciate them, they will work hard for you on future assignments.

Even if you’re an intern, entry-level employee, or someone else with a lower position in the organization, you can try to distribute particularly repetitive tasks with others at your level (with their permission and your supervisor’s approval, of course). If you ask a colleague for help, be prepared for them to return the favor!

If you have a good relationship with your employer, you can also ask them if they can delegate some of the work for you to other people.

8. Keep meetings to a minimum.

There’s a reason everyone despises meetings: according to a survey from last year, more than half of respondents believe that meetings are the most time-consuming aspect of their job, even more than time spent on personal and entertainment pages.

Meetings are important for discussing goals and setting direction. On the other hand, meetings, if left unchecked, can quickly become bloated events, consuming hours (or even days) of your time and producing no meaningful results. Here are some suggestions on how to make meetings more productive:

Create an agenda before each meeting to make sure the time allotted is put to good use. Include dates and times when specific topics of conversation should be discussed. Stick to the meeting agenda as much as possible; if new issues arise, suggest that you address them later during an individual meeting in the office.

The invitation should be for as few people as possible. Keeping meetings to the minimum necessary in terms of attendance reduces the likelihood that the discussion will stray from the original topic. This keeps everyone who doesn’t need to be at their workstations working, resulting in higher overall productivity.

Limit the number of slides in your presentation to the minimum necessary. There is a lot of debate about whether slide presentations (PowerPoint, etc.) help or hinder meeting effectiveness.

This much is clear: if you are going to use slides in your presentation, make them as short and useful as possible. It’s not the entire content of the presentation that’s at stake, but the graphics and facts that can’t be conveyed by voice. Also, don’t waste time fiddling with animations or transitions.

Finally, as a general rule of thumb, know what you want to decide before the meeting starts and do it as soon as possible.

9. Put an end to office squabbles.

Unfortunately, workplaces can be quite stressful. If an argument arises, deal with the bad emotions immediately. This may mean that you, or the person you are arguing with, or both of you, need to express sincere regret. This should be done as soon as possible.

If you allow a few small arguments to escalate into resentment, your productivity will suffer in the long run because you will spend time working around this person and avoiding them at work. More importantly, you’ll be miserable if you let office conflicts destroy your productivity and attitude!

When faced with a critical situation, don’t be afraid to enlist the help of a mediator. Companies realize that office drama and negative emotions can lower productivity, so they hire people whose sole job is to resolve workplace conflicts. If you’re irritable, depressed or scared at work because of someone else, contact your company’s human resources department.

After all, you don’t have to be friends with a colleague you disagree with; you just need to be able to work with them. Even if you despise your coworkers, be courteous and considerate in the office.

SEE ALSO: How To Engage Others As a Leader: Complete 17-Step Guide

10. Make sure you are well rested.

Fatigue has never had a positive effect on the quality of anyone’s work. Fatigue can reduce your productivity (2), impair your performance, and, if you’re prone to naps, make you look bad in important meetings.

What’s more, chronically poor sleep is linked to many health problems. To be at your best, sleep 7-8 hours each night. Don’t fall asleep at your desk or miss work because you feel bad.

Workplace fatigue can be a minor distraction at best. At worst, it can be a serious safety issue. A regular sleep pattern is crucial if you work in an occupation where human safety is at risk (for example, if you are an air traffic controller or drive a truck).

11. Make an effort to exercise.

A healthy exercise routine has been found to increase your happiness and productivity at work. This is especially true for office jobs that require a lot of sitting. If you spend most of your workday sitting in front of a computer, make an effort to exercise every day; not only will it make sitting at work easier, but it will also help you feel happier, smarter, and more motivated.

If you’re just starting to exercise, start with a modest workout and add strength training to it.

12. Maintain a positive attitude.

If you’re trying to increase your productivity, you may be inclined to take your work very seriously. This isn’t always a smart idea.

You can increase your productivity in the short term, but if you never allow yourself to have fun at work, you’ll burn out quickly, leading to exhaustion, tension, and lack of motivation. Keep a positive attitude at work; if you enjoy your job, you will be more motivated and ambitious.

Listen to music through headphones, take stretching breaks, or bring your laptop into your break room to boost your mood without disrupting your work.

Make the most of your lunch breaks by taking the opportunity to eat delicious food and crack jokes with coworkers.

Coffee should be used with caution. Coffee can be a great energy boost on days when you’re feeling particularly tired, but if you drink it every day, you’ll become addicted to it and it won’t help you.

13. Maintain your motivation.

When you are well motivated to work, it is easier to work effectively. If you’re struggling with motivation, think about the factors that led you to your current job in the first place: your life goals, your tasks, and your vision of yourself.

Think of your job as a means to an end, where the “end” is your ideal life vision. If you value your job, consider how you feel when you leave it. Do you feel satisfied and fulfilled?

Consider all the positive aspects of your job. Perhaps your job enables you to send your children to school, or perhaps you owe your house or car to the money you earned at work.Consider the “benefits” of your employment, such as medical and/or dental insurance for your family.

Think about the repercussions of not working. What would you have to give up if your source of money was lost? What impact will this have on your family or those close to you?

14. Be happy for yourself.

If you have improved your work performance, congratulate yourself; you deserve it. It takes a lot of effort to break old habits and make new ones, so reward yourself for your efforts.

After work on Friday, go out with friends to a restaurant or bar, or just lie in bed with a book; whatever makes you happy after a hard week at work, do it. Rewarding yourself reinforces a sense of success, which is key to staying motivated.

Your reward doesn’t have to be extravagant, nor should it be too expensive. The best rewards are modest and reasonable. A new TV should be saved for a special occasion.

I want to thank you for taking the time to read my article about how to be efficient in the workplace. I sincerely hope its contents have been a good help to you.

Przemkas Mosky
Przemkas Mosky started Perfect 24 Hours in 2017. He is a Personal Productivity Specialist, blogger and entrepreneur. He also works as a coach assisting people to increase their motivation, social skills or leadership abilities. Read more here