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How To Work Faster And Smarter

How To Work Faster And Smarter

Do you want to work faster and smarter? It can seem like an impossible task when your to-do list is as long as your arm and the work is still piling up, but the reality is that often the common methods we choose when working are not the most productive ones.

Check out 10 tips to help you to work smarter and faster.

1. Avoid Multitasking

Although a small amount of people are great at multitasking, for most people multitasking just reduces efficiency. Doing two tasks at once means you’re more likely to make little mistakes, as your brain is jumping from task to task. Focus on one task and fully complete it before moving on to the next one to produce better quality work in the same amount of time – or less!

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2. Turn Off Your Non-Essential Technology

Nowadays technology is a huge part of most people’s working day, but it can really slow you down. When are you most productive during your working day? Whether it is first thing in the morning or early in the afternoon, schedule two hours to put your phone on silent and switch off your email notifications.
You can ring and email people back once the time is over, but during that time you will work faster because you chose to only focus on your work.

3. Shut The Door While You Work

Many companies have an open door policy at work to encourage openness. However, if you want to work faster, close your door for at least a few hours during the day. Interruptions and distractions are much more likely to happen if the door is open, so cut out the temptation if you want to have an extra productive day.

4. Create A Personalized Structure

Most people tend to work faster and smarter if they have a structure. Remember that everyone is different; something that works well for your boss may not work as well for you.

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Think about when you are at your most productive, and try to plan your working day around that time. Remember to plan responding to calls and emails, too; most people simply do this throughout the day, slowing down their work and making themselves less efficient.

5. Set A Finish Time

If you know you will be leaving the office at 6, it will help you work more efficiently until then. Knowing you have a deadline will help you to prioritize tasks, as well as making you less likely to procrastinate.

6. Pre-Plan Breaks

Taking short breaks helps you to stay focused so that you work faster and smarter. If you don’t schedule them into your day, you can end up taking breaks that are too long, or not taking any at all, which can result in you becoming stressed or working to a lower standard.
Try to spend your break productively – stretch your legs and make a cup of tea, rather than logging onto Facebook.

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7. Remember Some Tasks Are More Important Than Others

Many people feel like they have put too much effort into a meaningless task at work at least once. Try to remember this when you decide how important each of your jobs are; some are career-changing and some will never be noticed.

If a task only takes 10 minutes, don’t try to make it amazing and spend half an hour on it – it won’t become any more important. Instead, focus on the tasks that you know matter.

8. Set A Bedtime And Keep To It

As well as a work schedule, having a sleep schedule for the days you work will help you to work faster and smarter. You will work more efficiently if you have slept well, so set a bed time that means you get enough sleep, and turn off the internet on your phone so you stick to it.

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9. Keep Your Desk And Laptop Clutter Free

The less clutter you have, the less stress you will feel. This especially applies to work when your stress levels are often higher. Keep a clear desktop and desk to make it easier for you to find anything you need, so you don’t have to waste time and you can keep a clear head.

10. Make Sure You Have Everything You Need

Planning ahead and making sure you have everything you need will help to save you time and help you to work faster. Before you start your working day, make sure your phone and laptop are charged, and that you have all of the equipment you need. Having to look for a pencil, or charge your laptop could take quarter of an hour out of your day, and you may struggle to refocus on work afterwards.

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Amy Johnson

Amy is a writer who blogs about relationships and lifestyle advice.

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Last Updated on August 6, 2020

Why Working 9 to 5 Is Outdated

Why Working 9 to 5 Is Outdated

Bristol is the most congested city in England. Whenever I have to work at the office, I ride there, like most of us do. Furthermore, I always make sure to go at off hours; otherwise, the roads are jam-packed with cars, buses, bikes, even pedestrians. Why is that? Because everyone is working a traditional 9 to 5 work day.

Where did the “9 to 5” Come From?

It all started back in 1946. The United States government implemented the 40 hour work week for all federal employees, and all companies adopted the practice afterwards. That’s 67 years with the same schedule. Let’s think about all the things that have changed in the 67 years:

  • We went to the moon, and astronauts now live in space on the ISS.

  • Computers used to take up entire rooms and took hours to make a single calculation. Now we have more powerful computers in our purses and back pockets with our smartphones.

  • Lots of employees can now telecommute to the office from hundreds, and even thousands of miles away.

In 1946 a 9-5 job made sense because we had time after 5pm for a social life, a family life. Now we’re constantly connected to other people and the office, with the Internet, email on our smartphones, and hashtags in our movies and television shows. There is no downtime anymore.

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Different Folks, Different Strokes

Enjoying your downtime is an important part of life. It recharges your batteries and lets you be more productive. Allowing people to balance life and work can provide them with much needed perspective and motivation to see the bigger picture of what they are trying to achieve.

Some people are just more productive when they’re working at their optimal time of day, after feeling well rested and personally fulfilled.  For some that can be  from 4 a.m. to 9 a.m; for others, it could be  2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

People have their own rhythms and routines. It would be great if we could sync our work schedule to match. Simply put, the imposed 8-hour work day can be a creativity and morale killer for the average person in today’s world.

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Productivity and Trust Killer

Fostering creativity among employees is not always an easy endeavor, but perhaps a good place to start is by simply not tying their tasks and goals to a fixed time period. Let them work on their to-do list at their own pace, and chances are, you’ll get the best out of your employee who feels empowered instead of babysat.

That’s not to say that you should  allow your team to run wild and do whatever they want, but restricting them to a 9 to 5 time frame can quickly demoralize people. Set parameters and deadlines, and let them work at their own creative best with the understanding that their work is crucial to the functioning of the entire team.

Margaret Heffernan, an entrepreneur who previously worked in broadcasting, noted to Inc that from her experience, “treating employees like grown-ups made it more likely that they would behave the same way.” The principle here is to have your employees work to get things done, not to just follow the hands on the clock.

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A Flexible Remote Working Policy

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer famously recalled all her remote workers, saying she wanted to improve innovation and collaboration, but was that the right decision? We’ve all said that we’re often more productive in a half day working from home than a full day working in the office, right? So why not let your employees work remotely from home?

There are definitely varying schools of thought on remote working. Some believe that innovation and collaboration can only happen in a boardroom with markers, whiteboards and post-it notes and of course, this can be true for some. But do a few great brainstorms trump a team that feels a little less stressed and a little more free?

Those who champion remote working often note that these employees are not counting the clock, worried about getting home, cooking dinner or rushing through errands post-work. No one works their 9-5 straight without breaks here and there.  Allowing some time for remote working means employees can handle some non-work related tasks and feel more accomplished throughout the day. Also, sometimes we all need to have a taste of working in our pajamas, right?

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It’ll be interesting to see how many traditional companies and industries start giving their employees more freedom with their work schedule. And how many end up rescinding their policies like Yahoo did.

What are your thoughts of the traditional 9-5 schedule and what are you doing to help foster your team’s productivity and creativity? Hit the comments and let us know.

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