May 4, 2010

Food For Thought | Six Tips To Become More Efficient

Here's six things to think about incorporating into your work day to make you more efficient.

1. Close your office door and concentrate on the biggest toughest project on your desk. Procrastination is a waste of valuable time.

2. Establish "quiet hours" for uninterrupted concentration and make sure people around you know what rules apply. Have all the materials you need so you can make maximum use of the allotted time.

3. Concentrate similar tasks into groups and do them all at once - things like returning phone calls, writing checks, going through mail and periodicals. These activities can often be done more efficiently once you get the appropriate pathways in your brain activated.

4. Keep track of how long you can concentrate on various tasks before being distracted. Capacity will differ depending on the nature of the task. Then set a goal to maintain it a bit longer the next time.

5. Consolidate free time into blocks to create more extended periods for deeper concentration. Maximizing concentration is a balancing act. Switching from one thing to another too often is inefficient because disconnecting and re-focusing both take time. On the other hand, trying to maintain focus for too long can be counterproductive because the mind naturally tends to shift depending on the sense of urgency.

6. Delegate effectively.

1 comment:

KirAsh4 said...

My biggest issues are:

a) some of my projects are large enough that I need to work on them right away to finish in time, however some of the other ones are also due at the same time, or require an extended period of time as well.

b) personally, when I get enthralled in one project, and things are moving along at a good clip, I don't stop. Consequently I don't "time-share" well.

c) and because of item (b) above, I end up overworking myself, not taking appropriate breaks (and let me tell you, sitting behind the computer for 18 hours a day is NOT healthy), or, as the case was this past Saturday ... forget to eat all together.

Actually, I didn't forget, I just ignored it because every time I wanted to get up and eat, I ended up accomplish another step in the project, made myself feel accomplished ... moved on to next step. Before I knew it, the sun went down, my stomach was still empty, and I was now a whole day behind on another project. That other project was supposed to get submitted Sunday night, instead it went in Monday, just before midnight.

Am I happy about it? No. Did I accomplish something? Well, I did finish one project, right? That has to account for something ... and now I can concentrate back on the initial one.

But, at the same time, I have another one sitting there, stewing ... It. needs. to. be. addressed.

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