3 Simple Ways To Increase Your Work Effectiveness

How To Be More Productive At Work

“Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.”
- Peter Drucker

Every day, we go to work and hope to be as efficient as we can. We try different ways to increase work effectiveness so that we can eventually accomplish more tasks. However, do we really understand how to work effectively?

Working effectively is not just about knocking off tasks. It's about finding ways to work smarter rather than harder. Basically, the point is to get everything done a efficiently as possible.

For many of us, it may seem impossible. There always seems to be an endless amount of work to be done. We make ourselves believe that we need to suffer extra hours just to keep on top of everything. However, this is not true. There are ways to tick everything off our to-do list without our tasks burying us.

Here are 3 simple tips:

1. Plan your day ahead.

woman writing down what she needs to do to increase work effectiveness

Before you go to bed, start listing down all the things you need to do the next day. You can also do this in the morning if you get up earlier. Be realistic - don’t set yourself up for failure by allocating too many tasks for one day. Set deadlines and prioritize the urgent ones. Also, schedule the complicated tasks when you are at your most alert. Finish them off first so that you still have the energy to work on other things.

Plan your meetings so they don’t overwhelm you. You won’t be productive if your whole day is spent just sitting in on huddles. Though they are essential, they can be counterproductive sometimes as they absorb the time you should be using for work. Ask yourself if you really need to hold a meeting. Maybe you can just send out an email about the things you want your colleagues to know. But if you still think it's necessary, make sure to have a clear agenda. Keep the meetings short. Everyone should be able to go back to their tasks as soon as possible.

2. Avoid distractions.

Our lack of focus is probably our worst enemy when it comes to working effectively. It’s so tempting to start scrolling through our social media feeds. But we can’t afford to do that. So, put away your smartphone for a while. In addition, make sure to turn off all notifications so you won’t feel obliged to respond immediately.

person checking his phone while on Facebook

Another thing you should put aside is your email. Yes, it is crucial to check your emails as your colleagues may have sent you something important. However, they can still disrupt your momentum and make you lose focus. You don’t have to ignore them all day. You shouldn’t be working 8 hours straight, either. Allow yourself regular 5 to 10-minute breaks and use this time to check in on work-related messages. You can also take this as an opportunity to stand up from your desk and stretch your legs with a short walk.

3. Know your limitations.

You don’t have to do everything yourself. In fact, you can’t. You can only do so much. When you feel like your plate is already too full, say “no” to additional tasks. It’s better than accepting them and resorting to multitasking, which will just cause you stress and potentially result in costly errors.

You can also delegate some of your work. It may be unsettling to let go of it, but trust that your colleagues will do a good job at it. You can reciprocate when you have more time on your hands. What is important is that you can free up some of your schedule to focus on important tasks only you can do best. You can finish them faster when you tend to them one at a time. But if things get too much, step away for a bit and clear your head. Don’t force yourself to finish everything. Take a breath!

woman taking down notes while on her laptop

There are many more ways to increase your work effectiveness, but you can start with these steps. They may be difficult to apply at first, but you’ll get used to them. The key is to manage your time well. Don’t jump onto the “busy bandwagon”. It’s not true that you’re only efficient when you're always busy. True effectiveness is when you can get everything completed during regular working hours, while maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

“The effectiveness of work increases according to geometric progression if there are no interruptions.”
- Andre Maurois

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