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Last Updated on August 28, 2018

How to Be More Efficient at Work in 3 Simple Steps

How to Be More Efficient at Work in 3 Simple Steps

Since the Great Recession, many professionals have been facing more challenging schedules and more daunting to-do lists. This makes it all the more important for professionals to be able to get their work done quickly and effectively.

So  how to be more efficient at work? Here are the three steps that I consider most critical to be more efficient:

1. Establish your priorities

The first step might be the most important. You should take some time to literally write down a ranking of your major goals and tasks—for the next year and for the next week. As I have written previously, don’t just think about the supply side: what you’re good at and what you like to do. Also consider the demand side: what the world, your organization, or your boss needs most from you.

Here’s a great Lifehack article that can help you set your goals:

How to Use SMART Goal to Become Highly Successful in Life

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2. Clear away your low priorities

When you write down your goals, you’re likely to find a multitude of small tasks that need to get done, but really aren’t that important.

Tasks like these might include writing a status report, attending a routine meeting, or responding to a slew of emails. If you’re not careful, these low-priority assignments can take up your entire day—leaving you with no time to deal with your higher-priority goals.

The best way to clear your docket of low-priority tasks is to avoid having to do them at all. If you can graciously bow out of attending a boring meeting, do it! If you can decline an assignment by explaining your impending deadlines, great! One less unimportant task for you to do.

Of course, you can’t decline every small task. However, you should recognize that very few of these small tasks need to be perfect.

You don’t have to agonize about the phrasing of every email. You don’t have to spend hours perfecting the formatting of every internal report. For a lot of your low-priority tasks, “B+” is good enough.

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Along the same lines, you should be quick to delegate tasks like these to any employees that you manage—even if there’s a chance that the result won’t be “perfect.”

You still need to put in the hard work of establishing goals and metrics for the project, occasionally checking in, and offering feedback. But you can avoid the time-consuming process of actually doing the entire project yourself—giving you more time to spend on your higher-priority goals.

Lifehack’s CEO Leon Ho has some great advice on how to delegate work:

How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

3. Start at the end

For your higher priority goals, you obviously need to make a strong effort to create top-notch results. However, in my experience, many professionals could still achieve these results more efficiently.

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As a senior lecturer at Harvard Business School, I sometimes assign complex research projects to students or research assistants. Quite often, their first step is to spend days or weeks gathering facts about everything and anything related to the topic. After these days or weeks, they sit down, look at the information that they have gathered, and try to make sense of it all.

Although they’ve certainly learned quite a lot of information, how much of it is relevant to the underlying research question? Not much.

Here’s a better approach:

After a day (at most!) of basic research, try to establish some tentative conclusions for the project. That way, you have to quickly think about the issues most central to the project—allowing you to focus the rest of your research.

Of course, your tentative conclusions may turn out to be wrong. And if you don’t realize the error of your ways until the end of your project, you will have wasted a lot of time.

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So I advocate making a “mid-flight check”: around halfway of your project, take another close look at the evidence that you’ve discovered to see whether your conclusions need to be revised or even scrapped completely.

There you go, 3 simple steps you can start taking now to be more efficient at work and achieve more in less time!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Last Updated on February 15, 2019

7 Clever Goal Tracker Apps to Make the Most of Your Business in 2019

7 Clever Goal Tracker Apps to Make the Most of Your Business in 2019

There’s nothing more fulfilling than the sense of accomplishment you get by achieving your business goals.

Gone are the days when you used pen and paper to take notes and manage your work day. As millennials are relying heavily on technology to manage almost everything from finances to their personal fitness, goal tracking apps are also becoming increasingly popular.[1]

In this piece, we will shed some light on 7 such goal tracking apps that you can use to streamline your operations.

I have handpicked these apps from a software rating web services site Best Online Reviews. Industry experts review software on these websites and help businesses to find the right solutions to meet their various, unique business requirements.

1. Aha!

    Aha! is a California-based roadmap software provider and offers excellent goal tracking app that lets you define goals and objectives for projects. The app also lets you list out primary tasks and allows you to focus on them.

    Hosted securely on the cloud, the app offers enhanced communication tools for sharing updates through emails with select colleagues or the entire organization.

    Aha! is available on multiple platforms such as the web, Android, iOS, Windows, etc. and starts from $59 per month per user.

    Available for Web

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    2. Asana

      Asana is one of the more popular project management apps available for businesses. It lets you organize all your team’s work, such as setting up and tracking goals, creating tasks, sharing files and notes, etc.

      Asana also allows your team to organize all their tasks and focus on urgent priorities. Moreover, the app offers a delightful user experience that makes task management simple and easy.

      Asana is available on multiple platforms from PCs and Mac to iOS and Android. Multi-channel adaptability makes Asana the perfect choice to track your goals anytime, from anywhere.

      Available for iOS | Android | Web

      3. Basecamp

        Basecamp is an excellent tool to manage all your team’s projects and keep your activities organized. It opens a new thread for every task and that task is visible by the whole team.

        With Basecamp, you can schedule tasks, add to-dos, discuss tasks by adding comments, add files and attachments, and much more.

        The app is available on both mobile and desktop platforms and costs $99 per month. It is available on the web, Android, and iOS platforms and offers excellent multi-channel access.

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        Available for iOS | Android | Web

        4. Forecast

          An efficient tool for successful task management, Forecast is also a popular goal tracking app. Apart from effective milestone tracking, the app also offers convenient status reporting.

          Forecast uses project history to let you know the status of your current work. Moreover, it uses the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to provide high-quality assistance. It is a robust app for small teams to track goals and time.

          Forecast is available for free and comes with Android and iOS app support. The premium version of the app starts from $19 per month per user.

          Available for Web

          5. Wrike

            Wrike is a cloud-based collaboration and project management app that successfully manages projects from start to finish. It lets you create tasks, track work progress and retrieve reports with ease.

            The app also gives real-time work updates and helps team members to understand their work priorities. A custom report builder helps you to generate in-depth reporting.

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            Wrike’s premium version is available from $9.80 per month per user and is available on multiple platforms.

            Available for iOS | Android | Web

            6. Todo.vu

              Todo.vu is a unique platform that delivers enhanced customer relationship management (CRM), task management, time tracking, and billing functionality in a single app.

              According to Capterra, it’s an ideal app for freelancers and consultants, who are looking for tools to improve efficiency and transparency.

              Although the app is free to use with basic features, the premium plan starts from $5 per month per user. The app also comes with calendar sync and task reminder functionality to keep you on track, always.

              Available for Web

              7. Flock

                Looking for a tool to simplify task management? Try out Flock.

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                Flock comes with enhanced goal tracking and additional features like instant messaging.

                Moreover, Flock offers tons of integrations with tools such as Google, MailChimp, Jira, Dropbox, etc. It is a powerful tool that’s packed with robust features such as reminders, notes, polls and to-dos.

                Even though you can use the tool for free, the paid version of Flock is available from $4.50 per month per user.

                Available for iOS | Android | Web

                Conclusion

                Businesses need high-quality project management tools to streamline collaboration and operations. Enhanced goal tracking apps make it easy for your team to improve productivity by keeping its tasks organized.

                But it’s essential that you choose an app that meets your unique business requirements. You can choose from the above-mentioned apps to streamline operations and improve the productivity of your team.

                Featured photo credit: Alvaro Reyes via unsplash.com

                Reference

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