Job efficiency: 12 ways to improve your personal efficiency

Filofax

Filofax

We are all busy. Work is busy and so is our personal life. So how do we get it all done? Here are 12 tips to improve your efficiency.

  1. Make lists. These will help de-clutter your mind and organise what you need to do into specific tasks.
  2. Spring clean your office space. At work and at home, go through and ditch all the old paperwork in your drawers. Do the filing and create a To Do pile that consists of the relevant information. Make space on your desk and you will find your head clearing.
  3. Streamline your bill paying. Set up direct debits for the common household bills. Organise online banking for everything else and make sure you pay early for discounts.
  4. Shop online. You can get everything online now including your weekly groceries which saves you time (although may cost more). You are less likely to browse online, and you can shop out of hours.
  5. Organise your email. Keep your Inbox for items that need actioning. Archive old mail and delete old stuff. If you use a searchable email system like Gmail and don’t use folders, then make sure you use the Archive function so the Inbox is still actionable items.
  6. Be proactive about your calendar. Whether you use a PDA or a Filofax/ paper diary, make sure that you actively manage your calendar. Put in your regular appointments, birthdays and things to remember. Then plan your weekends, and week nights writing in items like the gym, social plans and business meetings. If you organise in advance, you will fit so much more in.
  7. Be ruthless with your email and phone contact. Limit your phone and email usage to specific times during the day, and do all admin tasks at the same time. This chunks your time into manageable pieces.
  8. Learn to say no.  When asked to do something, weigh up whether or not you really need to do it. Sometimes people get trapped into doing tasks that are not part of their job because they are being nice. But this can impact stress levels and people are often respectful if you say no for good reason.
  9. Find out about job opportunities for flexi-working. In these times of high fuel prices and the need to retain staff, companies are allowing telecommuting and flexible hours. If you can work from home, you can use the commuting time for other things.
  10. Stop procrastinating.  There are always things you don’t want to do, but they need to get done. By putting them off, blockages are created as those items just sit on your list. Stop procrastinating and do them first. At the beginning of the day is always a good way to get them done quickly.
  11. Delegate and outsource tasks. Within a company, see who you can delegate or share tasks with. At home, consider outsourcing tasks like cleaning and gardening to free up quality time for other things. In business, try using a Virtual Assistant or outsourcing to contract labour online e.g. www.Elance.com
  12. Set up Google alerts for targeted information. If you need to monitor specific news or information online, set up Google alerts so you are emailed with the latest updates. This prevents the need for trawling the internet. The information is sent daily. Subscribe to newsfeeds and RSS feeds for the sites you want to monitor.  
  13. Add to FacebookAdd to NewsvineAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to Ma.gnoliaAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Furl

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