6 Secrets of Efficient Work Behavior
Proven work strategy of highly productive people
We all want to know how to be more efficient at work.
Getting a task done in an efficient manner doesn’t just look good, it also make you feel good. It lowers your stress level and helps you do better work, to keep on top of things, and to meet your deadlines, which all translates into much better prospects for your future.
Edwin Louis Cole said, ”Mediocre men work at their best; men seeking excellence strive to do better.” This is a powerful quote. To truly succeed you must not be satisfied where you are, and not be complacent with what you have, but always strive to improve yourself and learn to work efficiency.
One of the key mistakes people make is assuming labor performance can be improved just by improving your attitude.
Now, nobody is going to object a go-getter, but motivation alone isn’t enough to boost your work efficiency. What you need is to establish the intent of improving your work efficiency and to develop patterns of behavior that are proven to help increase efficiency. In short, you need good work habits.
Here are six keys to developing those good work habits that will influence your behavior in a positive way and help you improve your work efficiency for the long term.
1. Always Have Deadlines
This might not seem like the most enjoyable thing in the world, but to train yourself to handle deadlines you should give yourself as many tasks that can be accomplished and as appropriate as it should. Make them a part of your daily routine, not just at work but in your personal life as well.
The consequence of this will be that you get used to having deadlines, and as you meet more of them you will find it easier to figure out how best to approach each one. As deadlines become normal and meeting them becomes habit you will stop having to think about them and they will just get done.
It will take some time to get used to, and it is admittedly a bit of a daunting habit to adopt, but it’s a central way of helping yourself improve your work efficiency.
2. Focus on the Hardest Task
Sometimes the only answer to a difficult situation is to grab the bull by the horns. If you’re facing a tough task it’s natural to procrastinate and put off the hardest parts. There are, however, two big problems with leaving the hardest part until last:
First, the difficult part will loom over the rest of the project, which will be both distracting and disheartening. Second, the most crucial part is the one that will most likely to throw up problems and delays the goal to get the task resolved. If you leave these parts until last, you may run up against your deadline while you are trying to solve these problems.
So you definitely want to get the hardest tasks out of the way first, as it makes the rest easier to tackle and gives you more leeway with any really serious problems that might arise.
3. Split a Large Task Into Smaller Ones
When you’re faced with a particularly big task, one of the best methods of tackling it is to split it up into a number of smaller tasks that you can then tackle one at a time.
Some of us do this sort of thing naturally, but you can train yourself to do it as well.
The major benefit of this approach is that it helps you to wrap your head around what you are facing and to come up with a plan to get everything done. It means you get things done in briefer periods of time, and because the tasks are small, there is less incentive to procrastinate.
Many people use the Pomodoro Technique to help them with this, breaking tasks down into chunks that can be done in about 25 minutes each, taking a five minute break after each one. This helps ensure you maintain high work efficiency and stops you from being overwhelmed or overworked.
4. Avoid Multitasking
Multitasking is always tempting and in today’s connected world it’s never been easier. With your work open in one window, a website in another, your smartphone on hand, and a colleague to converse with, there are a lot of possible distractions from your work.
That’s just what they are though: distractions. The more you are trying to juggle at once the harder it is to focus and concentrate on your task, and that means deadlines are much harder to meet.
Try to cut these distractions down as much as you can so that you are as focused as possible on your work. Concentration without distractions means you’ll get your tasks done much faster and your work efficiency will soar, giving you more time in the end anyway.
5. Evaluate Your Work
Suppose you’ve taken the above advice and are starting to form productive habits that increase your work efficiency. All well and good, right?
Not quite — you need to take stock of what you are doing and how much you are doing before you can be satisfied.
Evaluating your work is vital because you have to see where your strengths and weaknesses lie if you are going to improve your productivity. After completing a task, look back and evaluate yourself. Did you complete it by your assigned deadline? Does the work meet the required standards? We're there any unexpected difficulties and if so, how can you anticipate those in the future?
Assessment and evaluation is critical to the ongoing task of improving business productivity. Without it you cannot even learn that improvement is needed, let alone plan how to improve.
6. Follow a Strict Schedule
The final piece of the puzzle brings us full circle back to the first. You must establish your schedule and stick to it — remember that the goal is to create habits. This cannot happen if you are not disciplined whilst trying to create them. You may stumble, but as long as you pick yourself up and keep putting in the effort, the habits will form and your labor efficiency will improve.
This outlines the best practices of the top performers. To bring these points together into a final, productive solution is the key to improving work efficiency in the long term.
The secret to efficient work is, at its very heart, that it is not something done out of inspiration or even motivation, but because of the intentional creation of habits and adhering to a strict schedules. It can be hard to get started but the results are more than worth the investment, and will serve you throughout your life.
How productive are you in your workplace, do you always manage your time well and meet deadlines? Share a personal experience in the comments below.
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