How You Can Be More Efficient at Work?

As a quote we often hear goes, efficiency is at the core of work productivity. But what does it really mean in the workplace? Here are some ways you can explore its meaning.
Anne Grace Savitha
Writer, gradsingapore

In the workplace, efficiency is the name of the game – it allows you to juggle between various tasks on top of those that may have piled up on the side. However, there are numerous ways to raise your efficiency and keep your tasks from swamping you – here are a few tips.

Plan ahead

Planning is essential – even before you start on a new project. If you don’t have a plan, or even an outline of a plan, in place, there is a possibility you may lack direction and purpose. On the flip side, however, having a plan or outline will not only keep you aware of deadlines, by completing a set of tasks every day, you will also be able to pace yourself within a comfortable timeline.

Start your day by listing out the tasks ahead of you alongside current ones. At the same time, draw up a separate note consisting of urgent tasks that need attention and set a specific time for completion. If your job includes ad-hoc tasks, add that as well to help yourself manage your time in order to work on both the ad-hoc and urgent tasks over the course of the day.

Punctuality is also key in planning. For example, when planning a meeting, make sure you have set the duration of the meeting as well as mapped out the agenda. In this case, you will have the chance to keep the meeting structured while ensuring the workload is evenly distributed. Remember to use your time well during meetings by clearing doubts and following the agenda so that time isn’t wasted seeking clarification from co-workers and colleagues.

On top of all that, planning also gives you some room to breathe in the event things do not go as projected and continuing with the original arrangement is no longer viable. Keep contingency plans in mind and update them as necessary.

Take regular breaks

Thinking and working on a variety of things at the same time is extremely strenuous mentally. Taking regular breaks gives your mind the opportunity to de-stress and de-clutter, and fresh ideas may come better to you better after some downtime. However, make sure to take bits of time off only after an adequate amount of time has been spent on your task, such as planning an event or writing an article.

A few ways you can recharge is to get up for a walk every once in a while or simply listen to music – this short break may just be the impetus your mind needs to generate new and more creative ideas from different perspectives. However, be sure to time yourself when you take a rest so as not to get carried away.

Focus, don’t juggle

If you attempt to capture two rabbits, you may not catch either one. By the same token, when you try to handle two or more tasks simultaneously, not only will you be unable to give your fullest attention to one, the quality of work may be affected. Ignore your devices unless necessary and, if possible, keep them out of sight to put off disruptions and maximise your time.

When you focus on a single task with the drive to do it to the best of your ability, you give your mind the chance to generate information and multiple ideas, and you will be able to deliver good results – but don’t do this at the expense of relationships. Set aside time for family, friends and colleagues either during lunch or after hours, but make sure to concentrate on what needs to be done first at work.

As a budding employee, you will need to show your employer that you’re fully able to handle your tasks, so make sure to use your time in the office wisely and efficiently!