We all have work to do. Daily. No matter who you are – a student, a teacher, a full-time blogger, entrepreneur, employee or a mother – chances are that you want to achieve the best work results in the most efficient way possible.
Ain’t nobody got time for long procedures that give us small results. We want to go big. In the easiest way.
Some say that you need to work hard in order to achieve the desired results. Then some jump in to scream: NO! You need to work smart, not hard. To be completely blunt with you, I dislike this on-going debate whenever we should work hard or smart. The only thing that I truly believe in is that you need to work efficiently.
If you have millions of tasks listed in your to-do list and you are drowning in stress, that my friend, is not a great example of how to achieve an efficient work.
So today I decided to give you a list of few habits that all of you should adapt to in order to master an efficient work ethic and kill that productivity game of yours.
If you find yourself in these situations:
- Never completing your to-do list
- All stressing out about how to do something
- Struggling to balance your work and personal life
- Not sure how to do everything in time
Then you need to read this post and implement these habits into your life ASAP! Without further do, let’s get to 5 habits that will make your work more efficient!
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Habit #1: Prioritise Priorities
You won’t get any work done if you won’t set your priorities straight. And I mean it.
I am not only talking about prioritising which task is more important and urgent for you, I am also talking about setting priorities within your work and personal life. You need to learn to prioritise EVERYTHING in your life. After all, that’s how we make decisions in life – by considering our priorities.
If you will master the art of prioritising, you will make your work life easier and more efficient. Let me give you an example.
Let’s say I have a deadline tomorrow for one of the projects. But I still haven’t finished it and it will most likely take about 6 hours to complete. Few of my friends decided to have a girls’ day and invited me.
What do I do?
I could a) text ‘YAS GIRL’ to my friend and spend the whole day in town with them or b) I could politely decline the offer and finish that important task. This is where my priorities come to save the day.
In this case, that project is very important and urgent for me. I would choose an option b) because at the top of my priorities is ‘PROJECT’ written all over it.
This might sound like a quite an easy example and you might ask: ‘But, Leta, how to prioritise your priorities when everything is your priority?’
That’s a damn good question, pal.
The answer is you make some of your priorities more prioritised. There are always few things that are a bit more urgent or important than others. ALWAYS. You just need to sit down, take out your notebook and answer these questions:
- What can wait a bit longer?
- What can’t be postponed?
- What can be done with the help of others?
You answer these questions – you have your answer.
Habit #2: Say ‘NO’ more
Everyone out there is saying how important and essential it is in life to say ‘yes’ more. But one lesson that everyone in business and work learns is that the word ‘no’ can save the day.
You can’t – and I repeat CAN’T – do everything. Saying ‘yes’ to all those opportunities, offers and invitations can be very tempting. I mean, more work = more money, right?
If you pile yourself with an enormous amount of work and tasks, you will drown in them. You need to learn to be selective and know your limits. Seriously, just take a look at Jim Carrey in ‘Yes Man’! Do you see what I mean?
When you set your priorities, you will know to what you say ‘yes’ and to what you say ‘no’.
Yes, it will be hard. I know the feeling. Just a few months ago I had to decline an amazing opportunity in Scotland. I could have said ‘yes’ and created myself a heck a lot of stress, but I made the decision that was the best for me at that time.
Your friend wants you to go to this party tonight but you have an exam the next morning that you still need to revise for? You might want to say ‘no’ to this party.
You have three important deadlines for this week but you just got another well-paid work offer? Is that money really worth it?
Always consider your abilities, your time, your well-being and your priorities before shouting ‘YES!’ to anything. It’s very easy to become a ‘yes man’ but look how that ended for Jim.It's very easy to become a 'yes man' but look how that ended for Jim Carrey! Click To Tweet
Habit #3: Take Efficient Breaks
Now, this is where I will touch a very sensitive topic for some. You won’t find a single article about a better workflow that won’t include an element of taking breaks. We all stress how important it is to take breaks in between. I won’t argue with that. Breaks are important.
You need to learn to take those breaks in an efficient way. You think working for one hour and then watching Netflix for another is a great break taking way?
The answer is no. Learning to take breaks that will actually help you is crucial in maintaining a good work ethic.
Try taking shorter breaks but more frequently instead of a few long ones. This way you will keep your balance and it will be easier to get back into a working mode. Raise your hand if you ever felt trouble going back to work after a break you took!
That’s what I thought.
Want to learn how to take efficient breaks? Here’re a few steps to get you on the right foot:
- Take shorter but more frequent breaks
- Use your breaks to do other tasks
- Try to stay away from distracting activities during the break
- Use one of the methods that are time proven
Habit #4: Ask Questions
One of the main reasons why we sometimes fail at completing the task in a right way is because we don’t ask enough questions. I don’t what it is about not asking when something isn’t clear enough for us that is so damn hard for us.
I say we because I used to find it hard too.
The earlier you will start developing the habit of asking whenever you need the clearance, the better you will get at your work.
You can’t complete a task and do your work well if you’re unsure about something or you don’t know what exactly you need to do. Let’s be real here, how many of you nodded along with the lecturer or your boss while he explained to you something and said ‘yes, I understand’ but when he or she went away and you had to do the task you were all like ‘the hell am I supposed to do?!’.
Don’t even lie to me. I know all of you at some point in life have experienced a similar situation.
If you want to learn how to work efficiently, you need to start asking questions.If you want to learn how to work efficiently, you need to start asking questions. Click To Tweet
Be that annoying person who asks a lot of questions when needed and who double-checks if he/she understood it in the right way.
Ain’t nobody will hit you on the head for wanting to do your job well. It might feel like you’re about to get hit. You might get some eye rolls. Or sighs. But you will be sure that you know how to do it, where to do it, what to do it and when to do it.
So loose that attitude, my friend, and start asking your way to better work results.
Habit #5: Make Investments Regularly
No, I’m not talking about investing money in a financial way. You need to invest in yourself and your knowledge. What you learned in university 5 years ago about marketing situation is not the same now. Even trends that you learned in your fashion school a year ago aren’t the same. This goes for all the knowledge about everything, any sphere.
We live in a word where information is being transmitted in a speed of light. Everything is changing and developing in seconds. You need to learn to adapt to these changes in order to become an expert in your field. When you are an expert, you can complete the work easily and in the easiest yet the best way possible.
Take online courses, attend seminars, buy books, get yourself a curator, mentor or a guide even. Invest in yourself and invest in bettering your knowledge about something.
Never stop learning and never think for a second that you know it all. I’m telling you – you don’t. There are always more techniques to learn, new ways of doing something and more tricks.Never stop learning and never think for a second that you know it all. Click To Tweet
One piece of advice that I urge you to take: forget ‘I can do it alone’ saying and start investing in some help from others.
Let’s say that you want to write a book. You know how to write but you know nothing about design or the whole process of making this book sell. Instead of buying yourself a heck tonne of courses about how to design, market and so on, get yourself people who are experts in those fields and pay them to do the work.
This way you will have a work done professionally, you will save time and you will make the whole process efficient for your part.
Think about it. If you choose to do it alone, you waste a lot of money and hours in learning all about design and marketing, which might not even interest you, and you probably won’t even make that part of the work as good as those who have experience in design and marketing would.
This is what an efficient work looks like. You chose the best option out of all after measuring your time, money and level of work quality.
Never stop investing in things that will make your work better and more efficient. Take me for example. Once I decided that I want to migrate from Blogger to WordPress and have a relaunch, I took some time to think what is the best option for me:
- Research and do it all myself: create a design and migrate on my own
- Find a professional who will do the migration for me and will provide me with a design
Guess which one I chose?
Yes, the correct answer is 2. I paid money for a person to do all the migration for me and I purchased a new design which was implemented by that person. I regret nothing as I saved a lot of stress and time for myself which I used for writing blog posts and doing other work that was a bigger priority for me.
Adapt these 5 habits into your everyday life and I guarantee you that you will make your work not even more efficient but also better in quality and time.
Do you have these habits? What habits would you recommend?
What makes you work more efficient?