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!
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.
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.
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.
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.