Efficient work: less effort, more productivity
Whether it’s accounting, manufacturing, marketing, or sales: efficient work is the goal of many people who want to get things done faster. After all, this will allow you to have more free time for meetings with friends, household chores, family or sports. Or another motive: to improve efficiency in the workplace to achieve greater success and climb the career ladder. We want to make you happy – this is not a utopia! Here we will talk about how you can improve your efficiency.
Work efficiently or effectively
Above all, a widespread misconception should be clarified: the two terms “effectiveness” and “efficiency”, which are often used interchangeably in business language as well as in everyday life, do not mean the same thing.
Effectiveness describes the outcome of a (work) process. The question of whether the correct result has been achieved can usually be answered with “yes” or “no.” Here you just need to perform your tasks correctly and boldly answer “yes”.
On the other hand, the term “efficiency” describes how the result is achieved. The focus here is on achieving the goal and the procedure – for example while maintaining profitability or spending time. Therefore, when a little effort leads to the best result, this is efficient work.
As the English proverb says, “Work smarter, not harder”. In terms of working life, this means that efficiency gains are usually only realistic if work processes are optimized.
It sounds complicated, but it isn’t, mainly because, according to many studies, about 20 percent of working time in many companies is not used wisely. This is due to complex processes, time-consuming approaches to work, or terrible management or careless employees. The effectiveness, in this case, is completely different.
Working efficiently will help you be more effective
Anyone who can handle it will always be one step ahead. However, it should be borne in mind that you first need to adjust the performance to achieve the goals before improving performance. For example, asking yourself how much time, money, nerves, or energy you put into a previous project.
A detailed analysis will provide information on which areas can be designed more economically or with less hassle and, therefore, more efficiently. This will increase efficiency by carefully planning particular stages of work or following a well-thought-out strategy. If it takes too much nerve to complete specific tasks, the cause may be inadequacies, excessive demands, problems with clients or colleagues, or stress. Just take a close look at your style of work. It’s worth it!
Create a to-do list
A to-do list as an auxiliary tool is wonderful stuff, but only if the list is organized. Long to-do lists are terribly tiring. Better to create context-sensitive lists or categorize tasks. From experience, this requires very little energy and is a good temporary investment! If you purposefully work with shorter lists and only act in the context that is relevant to you at the moment, you will quickly see that this also has a positive effect on efficiency. If you finish working through individual items faster than expected, you can devote yourself to further tasks.
Try to prioritize work that you can do quickly. But do not forget to always keep the lists up to date!
Focus on what really matters: single-tasking
Very few people can perform multiple tasks at the same time, although many boast of this ability. Various studies have proved this. Research also shows that multitasking is unproductive for high performance, as it overloads the brain and can lead to wasted time, mistakes, and stress.
If you want to work effectively and efficiently, you should devote all your concentration to one task and move on to the next task only after completing the first. This approach results in much fewer interruptions because the brain doesn’t need to focus over and over again.
Time tracking programs such as InspectSystem can help increase efficiency. Thanks to the program, you can optimize your work and clearly understand what kind of project you are currently working on. In addition, you will be able to save visual reports that will be useful both for yourself and for reporting to management or the customer.