With our busy lives and mounting responsibilities we think that the faster we work, or the harder we work, the more we will accomplish. While this sounds good in theory, it is just not true. When we try to work faster, we may lose focus and this results in taking longer to complete a project. The following tips will help you to work smarter and accomplish more without having to work faster.
* The most important thing to remember is that you do not have a million things to do: you have one thing to do at a time.
* Prioritize your goals. Then make a list of steps that you need to take to reach those goals. Make sure that each step or action on your list is vitally important to reaching that goal.
* Set aside work that can be done at home. Take that work home and work on it at night. Just make sure that you save some time for yourself and your family.
* Do your most important projects in your peak energy times. Everyone has a time of day in which they work better. Identify this time and schedule your most important projects then focus on what matters most and less on staying caught up.
* Use an appointment calendar and avoid letting people just drop in. If people do drop in for something important, see if you can put them in your appointment schedule at a later time.
* Resist the urge to multi task. Trying to do too many things at once just results in a loss of concentration and getting off track.
* Get rid of distractions. Close you email program and your instant messages. You can live without them for the time it takes you to accomplish something on your task list.
* Start each project by asking yourself “Just what do I need to accomplish here?” This question will help you focus and allow you to map out steps to finish the project in the fastest time possible.
* Set a standard for the outcome of each project and stop when you reach that standard. Far too much time is wasted trying to achieve perfection.
* Admit when you are overloaded and seek help when needed.• You do no one any favors by keeping an excessive work load that cannot be completed in a timely manner. If you need help ask for it or ask for an extension on a deadline.
* Use email and direct voice messaging as much as possible to communicate throughout the day.
* Use email instead of phone conversations to help insure clarity. You will have the details in black and white instead of trying to remember a phone conversation.
* Go to work 30 to 60 minutes earlier so that you have quiet time to devote to important projects. This will also give you time to plan your day and gather any necessary documents or information that you might need.
These tips will help you to become more efficient without having to work faster or harder. The person who works smarter will be the person that moves ahead in any business.
By John Benson