Efficiency is a wonderful asset, but at the same time it can be a hindrance. Sometimes we are so efficient at what we do that we do it all – which could actually be non-efficient. It can be a real catch-22. If you want to be super efficient, here are some things to consider:
- Delegate: Yes you can do it better and faster, but taking the time to train someone else now, will save you a great amount of time down the road.
- Prioritize: Although there is something to be said for diving in head first, it’s always best to prioritize. Not only will this keep you and others on task, but you will think about the time necessary to accomplish each task and be able to plan accordingly.
- Interruptions: In this day and age, this could easily be the biggest time waster by far. We have beeps, rings, bells and whistles going off all around us from our email in-boxes and cell phones. Try this out for at least one hour – shut down your email, turn off your phone, close your door, and announce that you need one hour to focus. See how much you get done in that hour, this may just become a rather productive habit.
- No: This is a good word to know and use. You cannot, nor should you, do everything. Be very clear to yourself and others about what your responsibilities are, and stick to them. Then say a gentle “no” to the rest.
- Balance: You simply cannot be effective if you do not have some semblance of balance in your life. If you are constantly on the go, with no down-time, it is inevitable that things will begin to fall through the cracks. There is a time for work, a time for play and a time for rest – make sure to assign some of your time to each!
- De-Clutter: Stacks, overstuffed files, mountains of Post-It Notes, clogged email boxes and more can be a huge distraction; it can take over some of your valuable physical, mental and emotional space. Take a bit of time each day to tidy up and efficiency will follow.
For most of us, being efficient is equivalent to staying on top of our game. What do you do in the name of efficiency? Share it with us!