Time flies when you're having fun and hopefully your job falls into that category. Before you know it, lunch hour rolls around and you turn your head and it's time to pack up and head home. There's lots of work to get done, calls to be made, emails to send, meetings to attend, and more. You get the picture – a workday can be jam-packed, so efficiency is key in order to stay on top of your work in an organized fashion that yields positive results. These tips will help improve your daily workplace efficiency so you are able to perform at your peak and succeed both personally and for the company as a whole.
We all get entirely too much email. It's the nature of modern communication. This doesn't mean you are obligated to check your inbox every single time an email floats in or must deal with pesky spam and other unwanted communication.
One way to block spam and junk mail and prevent dangerous mail from entering your inbox is to use a platform like Sendio. It will improve inbox efficiency and save time from sifting through all the nonsense. Spam and junk won't make it to your inbox so you'll never be bothered by solicitors, ads, or annoyances that would normally interrupt your day.
Another way to get email organized is by creating folders for email categories or organized by people or businesses from whom you regularly receive email. Outlook, for example will allow you to pre-determine your email settings so these emails go directly into the folders you desire for quick access.
Thirdly, don't let email distract you from other work you're doing. Yes, it's tempting to check whenever the mood hits you, but this will decrease your concentration and derail you from staying on task. Set aside a few pre-set times throughout the day that make sense for you to check email. Consider first thing in the morning, a mid-day check, and before you head home but with enough time to respond to pressing issues. Entrepreneur even suggests, "Don't leave your email program open all day long. Alerts and beeps from incoming messages can interrupt your work flow and leave you unfocused."
With your email management under control, you'll see how much more time you have for other work, and soon you won't be so inclined to check email constantly. It's a real stress-reliever!
With so much to fit into a single workday, scheduling can make the difference between getting it all done and falling off track. Plan your day strategically for the most efficient use of your time and resources.
For example, if you know you have a meeting at 10:00am, be sure to arrive early enough to prepare and complete any other work that will need to be done before and during meeting time. If you know you have more quiet time in the afternoon, consider making calls in the morning and leave the presentation preparation and research for future meetings and conferences for that peaceful time. If you're more of an early bird, talk to your manager about coming in early before the rush. If you know you'll be away on business meetings later in the week, clear your schedule during the early portion of the week so you are able to fit in a full week's work in a shorter time.
If you allow yourself to be pulled in various directions and don't follow your plans, you are sure to let important details to slip through the cracks and lose control. Of course, things will come up, but leave room for the unexpected too. As posted on Inc., "Efficiency fanatics create standard routines in their schedule so they can achieve a disciplined approach and be ready for the important events. The more you control the calendar, the easier it is to make room for the unexpected. Efficient people set a time for each of their tasks and work to keep the schedule."
Everyone's got to eat, and by no means should you skip lunch. You need a break and enough energy to make it through the day. But long lunch breaks and too much schmoozing will make it hard to jump back into your work smoothly.
While packing a lunch is a good idea - both nutritionally and financially - do yourself a favor and eat in the cafeteria or step outside. A breather will re-energize you and give you time to reset your brain for new afternoon tasks.
If you do choose to drop by a local diner or café for your break, don't dawdle. Leave enough time to eat and do any errands that must be done during the day and make any personal calls you need to so they don't interfere with your work hours.
If you plan to take lunch with co-workers, keep discussion professional and never gossip. If you talk about work, keep it light and non-controversial. This isn't the time to dish on office politics or complain about the boss. Plus, the less you chit chat, the sooner you can get back to work without the post-lunchtime laziness and loss of focus.
Take Some Short Breaks
Since you've kept your lunch break time to a minimum, this leaves you open to take a few additional brief breaks throughout the day to stretch your legs and clear your mind. While stepping away from your desk may sound like an odd way to be more efficient, it will actually recharge you and prevent your thoughts from getting stale and your eyes from becoming strained.
As posted on Health, "After a morning break, employees said they had more energy, more motivation to return to work and were better able to concentrate. Breaks also were associated with fewer symptoms — such as headaches, eyestrain and lower back pain — when employees returned to work."
Stand up and stretch, walk around the office, or even step outside for a moment. If you need to speak with a co-worker, rather than emailing them, stop by their desk – but be sure it's OK with that person too – we all need to maintain efficiency, don't forget.
After a few minutes away from work, you will be able to delve back in with a boost of energy and some time to sort things through in your mind.