How to be Efficient at Work
Discover 4 ways to be efficient at work for a healthier working style
Today we are discussing work life and how to be efficient at work. While it might not be our pastime, we have to admit that we spend lots of hours at the office. Working is a big part of our life and our biggest source of income – unless you were born a Royal baby. In fact, the average Joe works about 90,360 hours or 3,765 full days in his entire life. Crazy, right? Because all these long, long hours that we spend at the office, it is important to keep our office space or desk clean and organized. Following a minimalistic style with your office décor and your stationery will keep chaos and stress away and will lead you into a more efficient way of working. In the end, that will boost a healthier work environment and better work-life balance.
Excelling at the adoption of a minimalist approach for your office desk is most of the time easier than you might think. Think about your first day at work for a second: clean desk, very little stuff on the table, zero chaos. That’s our goal. As humans, and especially if you have your own desk at work, it is easy to fall into the habit of adding more and more things that are “necessary” into our office desk, which only create a mess. If you have a disorganized office space but you are not sure where to start off, here are LANGRIA's recommendations to be efficient at work:
Cut paper out of your daily life
The nickname of office chaos and clutter is paper. Lucky for us, and for the environment, there is a growing trend for paperless offices. Look at your desk and imaginarily remove all the paper, half of the mess is probably gone. This is why we start with paper in order to be efficient at work. Review your paper pile and question yourself why that piece of paper is on your desk in the first place. By questioning everything, you will be able to toss much stuff away. Another way to tackle paper is to sort it by categories, then, execute: old paper needs to be tossed away, complete tasks paper needs to be filed, and pending tasks paper needs to stay. It is very human of us to procrastinate. Don’t do it with papers, otherwise, your pile will grow without you noticing. Instead, act immediately. If you know what to do with papers, don’t wait for the pile to grow. Think of ways to reduce paper too. There are many office printers that can scan paper super-fast and then email the documents as a PDF file. This is an extraordinary way to start going paperless. Instead of physically filing documents, scan them and store them online. Do the same with pending tasks, and if you run into papers that you don’t know what to do, scan them and save them into a different folder that you can easily retrieve when the time is right.
Automate basic tasks to save you time
In order to be efficient at work, the automation of some of your daily tasks is highly important. By streamlining some of your tasks, you are not being careless or lazy, on the contrary, you are becoming efficient. Automating can make you win minutes and even hours that you can invest in new challenging tasks and projects! Getting started is the most difficult part of it, as it is time-consuming. However, when your automation process is all set, you will not believe how fast you can get basic things done. A way of automation is creating a macro in a spreadsheet. For example, if part of the emails you reply is repeated questions, compile an FAQ template with those popular questions and the answers. Another example: automate your appointments. Stop wasting time contacting people back and forth to schedule a meeting. Instead, use software that can synchronize people’s calendars, like for example Google Calendar.
Question the things you do
Take this tip in small sips, we don’t want you to question everything your boss asks you to do. We think is important to question some of your tasks and how you do them. Companies, especially large companies, oftentimes follow long procedures that dictate the steps to get things done. The problem with these procedures is that is long (and time-consuming and nobody likes them) and in many cases, they are reinforced at the beginning but slowly fade away because they take too much time. If you don’t question yourself on some of the things you do, and you just do them because that’s what they trained you to do, then, it is time to change your mentality. By simply questioning and asking people involved around, you might be able to cut some of the things that are no longer needed in a certain procedure. You will be able to effectively cut the time required to do certain tasks, and that, my friend, is the way to go
Improve your managing time skills
This is the last tip to be efficient at work, although it is so important that it should be the number one to follow. If you don’t know how to manage your time, it is very likely that not only your work life is messy, but also your life in general. It is important to learn how to manage your time and there are tons of tools to do so. Simply choose the one that fits your lifestyle better. One of the problems that most people encounter at managing time is that we forget to manage the in-between time. What is this? I am referring to managing not only the meetings that you have at 9.30 am and 11 am, but also the blocks of time before and after. The time to get to the office, prepping time for the meeting, the time it takes you from meeting A to meeting B, lunch time and so on. Now that you know how to manage your time and create a schedule, you have to stick to it. This second part is sometimes harder, as there are many distractions in the way; people calling you, new emails, etc. But it is important that you get the priorities sort out and learn to say “no” if necessary.
What do you think of these techniques to be efficient at work? How do you organize your office? Are you going to use any of these new tricks? Read more about organization in our article "Simple DIY Organizing Ideas for a Clutter-Free Home and Life"