Seven Ways To Increase Your Efficiency

A very simple definition of efficiency reads: Efficiency is the ability to be productive by maximising use of resources.

Everyone wants to increase efficiency, and here are a few simple ways to do so…

1. Track your day – use a time log

A good starting point is to track how you spend your time daily. Keep a time log – hourly or half hourly - of the daily tasks you perform over a period of 2 to 3 days which will help you develop a personal sense of time.

Identify your high energy and low energy times, and your time wasters.

2. Prioritize your tasks

List your tasks and classify them into four: Urgent and important, not urgent and important, urgent but not important, and not urgent and not important.

Focus only on the tasks in the first two categories. From these, generate your to-do lists.

3. Make realistic to-do lists

Make to-do lists that are realistic. Assign duration times against each task. Make sure to leave cushion and buffer times, and time for breaks.

4. Learn to say “no” assertively

Don’t take on more than you have to. Watch out for people who want to dump their own work on you, and learn to say no in an assertive manner.

5. Take breaks

Take breaks. A break of three minutes or so every two hours will increase efficiency. Stand, stretch, drink water – any break is good for the body and mind.

6. Sleep

At least seven hours of sleep will ensure you can perform to 100% of your ability. Studies have shown that even if you believe and think that you’re “just as productive” after a night of insufficient sleep, objective measures of brain activity and productivity show that you’re not. Humans are terrible judges of their own ability to perform cognitive tasks on little sleep, and overestimate how capable they are when running on little sleep.

7. Do not multitask

Psychologists have found attempting to do several tasks at once can result in lost time and productivity. Instead, make a habit of committing to a single task before moving on to your next project.

Remember – “I don’t have time” is an excuse, and not a reason. Time is a great leveller. Everyone has 24 hours – no more, no less. It’s up to the individuals how they use these 24 hours!!