Higher work efficiency and good job performance is your guarantee to job security in these times of professional uncertainty.

What this means is that not only do you have to be more productive at work, but you have to produce effective outcomes as well. With professionals in today’s workforce operating on key catch phrases like “work smart” and “work-life balance”, employees have a very tall order to fill.

Whether you are a student, a professional just starting out at work or a freelancer working from home, follow these tips to be more efficient in finishing your tasks or projects.

1).Prioritise Before you dive into your work day, set aside 5 – 10 minutes to sort out your workload for the day, week or month. Divide them by timelines (today, tomorrow, next week) or state of urgency like Do Now (urgent), Do Today, Can wait. You can also organize your workload into easy or difficult tasks.

“Everyone wants more time. Efficiency is one way of adding minutes or hours to your day. Here are eight tips effectively used by the most efficient.” ~ Kevin Daum, an Inc. 500 entrepreneur and best-selling author. 

TIP: Create a daily To-Do List. Most people tackle the more challenging tasks first because once that is out of the way, you are able to manage the simpler tasks. However, if the opposite works for you, go for it. At the end of the day, as long as the work is done, it does not matter how you do it. Do not beat yourself up if you do not complete the list by the end of the day. Just tackle the uncompleted items the next day.

2) Set a Time Limit Deadlines are crucial to the completion of tasks. You can use the timeline to break the assignment into smaller chunks, thus making it less daunting. You can then keep better track of the progress by committing to finish a specific portion of work within a certain time.

TIP: Apply this time limit rule to your meetings or breaks.  

3) Take Action – Avoid procrastination. When you find yourself slow, delaying or postponing doing something that should be done because you do not want to do it, because you are lazy, etc, you need to address it immediately.

TIP: Break down the task so it is less daunting. Motivate yourself with a reward for finishing the task. Ask for help to jump start on the task or project. Once you get the ball rolling, it is much easier to get the task completed.

4) Minimise Distraction – Gossiping with colleagues or chattering with friends and constantly checking your whatsapp messages are common distractions from work.

TIP: If you are at work, minimize drop-in meetings. Tell your colleague that you need to finish the project promptly and will come back to talk to them. Screen your calls (to avoid needless telephone conversations). Better yet, put your phone on silent mode while you work. 

5) Keep A Clean, Orderly Work Space – Mess creates stress. Achieving efficiency at work can sometimes be as simple as clearing the clutter from your work area. If you’re constantly struggling to find specific tools or documents in a mountain of clutter, serious work time is being wasted.

TIP: If you work in an office, arrange your office space and desk so that you can quickly and easily find whatever you need to work. If you don’t work in an office, the same principles still apply. Almost every work area benefits from being kept clean.

6) Know your Productive time We all have one. Some of us work better in the mornings, others in the evenings. Knowing when you perform best will yield higher productivity.

TIP: Schedule the tasks where you need the highest focus and concentration to be done during your peak performance period. This will ensure your best work.

7) Have Some DownTime – Tired and overworked people don’t perform well. Productive people make sure they get sufficient rest and recuperation so they can perform at their peak.

TIP: Sleep early. Play and relax.

8) Motivate Yourself With an Incentive – Reward yourself after the task is done with instant gratification like a break or a small token (if this workplace). as you will be more likely to stay motivated and ambitious

TIP: Try to keep high spirits – you will stay motivated and ambitious when you feel good about work. Listen to music through headphones, take stretch breaks, or take your laptop to the break room for some peace and quiet. Think about the good things your work allows you to have. Think about the consequences of not finishing your project.

P.S. If you have kids in Secondary School or Junior Colleges, these same skills easily can be adopted by them and adapted to their academic projects as well. 

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Till then, love yourself, love your child, live strong and be free.

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