If you have been looking for a productivity upgrade in your life, there are plenty of things you can do to work smarter instead of harder. From hiring an answering service to honing in your focus to one task at a time, you can get more done and still have time to relax and rejuvenate. Here are eight ways you can improve your workflow and increase your efficiency.
1. Hire Virtual Help
Virtual assistance is a no-brainer these days, with companies like VoiceNation providing excellent and affordable agents remotely. Whether you need a receptionist or agents who are available to answer 24/7, you can find reliable help at a fraction of the cost of hiring your own in-house staff.
2. Increase Your Focus
With smartphones, 24/7 news, and nonstop advertising pulling your focus in different directions all day, it can feel impossible to get the solitude necessary for quality focus. The good news is, focus can function like a muscle, and the more you work on it, the easier it will get. Try cutting out distractions and being more mindful about the task you are working on.
3. Organize Your Office
Whether you work from home or in a traditional office setting, keeping your space organized helps keep your mind clearer as well. Taking a day or two to organize your desk and create a system to keep it organized will end up saving you time in the long run. Here are some tips for getting your paperwork in order.
4. Prioritize Effectively
When you have lots of tasks to do that all seem essential, it is hard to know the best order in which to tackle them. A great trick is to refrain from jumping straight into your email inbox in the morning, instead, write three of the biggest tasks that need to be taken care of. When you work on those tasks first, the most important things get done, and you can answer messages without letting your whole day get away from you.
5. Have Fewer Meetings
A focus on collaboration in the office has been on the rise, but meetings are notorious for taking up a lot of time without accomplishing much that could have been done outside of the conference room. Try to have fewer meetings, and when you have meetings, make sure you organize a clear agenda to get to the point quickly.
6. Delegate Clearly
If you can delegate work to other employees, make sure you know who is best served for each type of assignment. This will minimize unnecessary questions and interruptions for you while getting the work done more efficiently. Make sure you are clear on all instructions upfront, so you don’t have to keep explaining throughout the process. Adding to this, give your employees authority with their tasks, so they are free to make more minor decisions without consulting you. This will leave you time to do the work that only you can do.
7. Use Technology
Taking notes in a traditional notebook can be great, but using online task managers and communication software can end up saving a lot of time and confusion. You can refer back to messages and notes and use automated processes like repeating everyday tasks on your to-do list, so you don’t forget. There are tons of free task-management, note, and communication software available now so that you can improve your workflow at no extra cost.
8. Review Your Workweek
When you are done with the workweek, spending extra time reviewing what you’ve accomplished may seem unnecessary. However, if you make time to examine what works best, you will continue to strengthen your work processes and increase your productivity. Take one hour a week and study what you accomplished, what you could have done better, and what you can change moving forward.
By making the most of your time at work, you can get more done with less stress. When you are buried under mountains of work, taking extra time to be thoughtful and organize your space can feel like yet another task you have to take on. In reality, it will end up making everything else flow more smoothly, leaving you time to do the things you love when you’re not working.