Did you know the average employee is only productive for 2 hours and 53 minutes per day? It’s common to feel like you’re not achieving enough or being efficient in your workday, but there are tips you can learn to combat this.
Work efficiency means working smarter rather than harder and reducing the amount of time it takes to do tasks. It’s also a skill anyone can learn and practice.
Let’s take a look at some practical tips to help you learn how to be efficient at work, maximize your time, and achieve your goals.
1. Declutter Your Office Space
Having a cluttered workspace can make you less efficient and productive. Buying a desk organizer or document holder can make your space more visually appealing and easier to work in.
Not sure where to start? Looking at some office design ideas may help you to redesign your office for maximum workplace efficiency.
2. Set Your Own Deadlines
Not having clear deadlines for tasks makes you take longer to complete them, making your work inefficient. This is known as Parkinson’s Law.
Make sure your deadlines are achievable so that you can stay motivated. If this is something you struggle with, try to break your bigger tasks down into smaller, more achievable ones, and set deadlines for those instead.
3. Make Use of Your Productive Hours
Some people are more productive in the mornings, and some work better in the afternoons and evenings.
The key to staying focused at work is understanding when your most productive hours are, and using that time for more complex or creative tasks.
4. Plan Your Day Effectively
Do you have a clear plan for what you should be doing each day? Before learning how to be efficient at work, you need to be planning out your day. Be productive first thing in the morning by planning out your to-do list the night before.
Your to-do list is not just about what you’re going to do, it’s also about when you’re going to do it. If it works for you, scheduling your day with calendar blocking can help.
5. Allow Yourself Breaks
Do you struggle with procrastination? That’s usually a sign you need to be taking more breaks.
Taking short 10-15 minute breaks every couple of hours can actually make you more efficient because it gives your brain the break it needs to think creatively and get more done. The pomodoro technique is an easy way to implement this.
6. Try Time-Tracking Software
Figure out where time is being lost in your day by tracking your time. Most people don’t know where exactly their time is going, and having an understanding of this is a great first step to being able to manage your time better.
Time tracking software creates more efficient employees and helps them to analyze data and pinpoint tasks that are taking too long.
7. Eliminate Distractions
Try to work in a space that’s free of things you find distracting. Put your personal devices to the side, and consider using an app to block personal or recreational websites while working on tasks.
Understanding How to Be Efficient at Work
It can take time and practice to learn how to be efficient at work, and different people work best at different times of day and in different environments, so it can be a personal thing.
Remember it’s okay to have unproductive days occasionally — you don’t have to be as efficient as possible every day, and taking breaks is important.
You can find more tips on productivity and efficiency in the business section of our blog.