Ways to Increase Productivity and Efficiency
The thought of enhancing productivity and efficiency causes one to have a picture of a person checking every task using a timer. The efficiency concept was first used by Henry Ford to make more cars quickly and economically. This was made possible by the development of an assembly line where the same motion was repeated to do away with any unwanted motion. One does not have to have been employed in an assembly line to benefit from the tips it has provided to save time. Through planning and arranging it is possible to have some extra time in the day to accomplish your work and still have time to enjoy yourself. This can only be achieved by being productive and efficient with time. This is inline with Victor Hugo who says that a person whose day is guided by a plan has a thread that guides him through the labyrinth of the busiest life.
Below are some of the tips that can guide you to use your time productively and efficiently:
- Organize your work. Schedule your work and plan your day. You can do this by using at least 10 to 15 minutes at the beginning or end of each day to create a to-do list of the tasks you are supposed to handle. This will help you identify what are the crucial tasks before you begin your day. This type of scheming can set aside more than one hour each day.
- Use your time productively. Note that everybody including Mother Teresa, Da Vinci, Helen Keller, Michelangelo, and Einstein havetwenty four hours in a day. Action step: when you are waiting for appointments or on a queue, use this time to read or update yourself on certain materials that can be useful in enhancing productivity. Moreover, go through your tasks and determine which ones take up a lot of time and eliminate them. Alternatively, come up with ways to accomplish them with less time. By lowering the time needed to accomplish tasks, you create a lot of extra time.
- Use your high-yielding time for the essential activities. Some people are more fruitful in the morning whereas others prefer night time to get through the hard work. If you struggle waking up avoid scheduling for activities early in the morning. To know which the important tasks are, ask yourself what it is that you need to accomplish for the day that will make you feel like you have achieved something and which period of the day are you most fruitful.
- Prioritize on your most essential tasks.Compose the essential tasks and arrange them in order of priority. Concentrate on three of the most essential tasks. Ask yourself the below question to identify the most important tasks.
- If I only have time to complete one task, which one is it?
- Is the task the best use of my time, creativity, knowledge, and experience?
Focus on the most essential project until it is completed and go back to your priorities and handle the next crucial task. Practicing this will provide you with a feeling of accomplishments at the end of the day. Learn to book yourself for appointments to achieve projects that are most crucial to you.
- Take small steps. One of the reasons most of the larger/long term projects are not started is because they appear overwhelming. When we start working on the whole project at once it becomes difficult to deal with it. Therefore, take baby steps that you are sure you will complete. Moreover, it is more beneficial to have realistic goals. Once the project takes shape, then all excitement and energy of the task will guide the project and you will find yourself spending more time on the project.
- Plan your life weekly. Take some time on Sunday evening to plan for the week ahead. Remember to also prioritize the most important projects during the week and review your accomplishments from the week before.
- Schedule for the non-urgent tasks. Allocate some time for tasks that are not urgent such as paying bills and sending emails. You can allocate a half-hour period when you are not under any pressure to accomplish these tasks. The most suitable time for this is after a break or meal.
- Avoid piling up tasks. Handle task as they come and avoid adding them on your to-do list to complete them later if they are small tasks that can be completed in less than five minutes.
- Handle your voice mail and email messages twice daily. Allocate two periods of time during the day to check your voice messages and emails. Strictly use these time periods only to handle these tasks. Doing this frees you up from spending time on your phone when handling other tasks.
- Take breaks. Try taking 15-minute breaks after very 45-90 minute work periods.
- Evaluate accomplishments at the end of the day. Conduct anassessment at the end of each day to reflect on what was achieved. In addition, decide on what needs to be done the following day.