FAQ: What Are Some Tips For Efficient Work?

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 5 July 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Employers often encourage professionals to stay productive at work, as this is the most cost-effective for the company. It can also ensure that the organisation can meet its operation goals. If you want to improve your productivity level at work, it's helpful to learn about new practices you can try. In this article, we explain what efficient work is, review the answers to frequently asked questions about this topic and provide tips for you to follow so you can perform your daily tasks more efficiently.

What is efficient work?

Efficient work describes a working style that professionals use to optimise their time and accomplish more throughout their day. Efficiency can be the most effective and quickest way to achieve a goal. Companies often prefer to hire professionals who complete their work in an efficient manner because it can save the company time and money. Sometimes, working efficiently involves finding simpler ways to complete a task, such as setting up automatic functions on computers or separating a large task between a group of employees.

Related: Common Shortcuts in Excel to Help Increase Efficiency

Efficient work FAQ

To learn more about working efficiently, review the answers to these frequently asked questions:

What are the benefits of working efficiently?

Working more efficiently can provide you with the following benefits:

  • More time: As you work more efficiently, you may complete tasks in a shorter amount of time.

  • Increased productivity: As you streamline your work efforts, you can complete more projects in a given time frame.

  • Greater job satisfaction: Increasing your output and the quality of your work can help you feel more satisfied in your job.

  • More professional recognition: An increase in efficiency can lead to recognition from peers and supervisors, including awards and promotions.

  • Enhanced creativity: When you work more efficiently and don't feel consistently behind schedule, you can begin to add more time into your day to be creative, which can lead to innovative ideas and new professional ventures.

  • Reduced costs: Employers can save money on overtime and additional expenses related to extra working hours when employees perform effectively and efficiently.

Related: 9 Signs You Need a New Job and What to Do About Them

What skills do efficient professionals have?

If you want to work more efficiently, consider developing these skills:

  • time management

  • organisation

  • ambition

  • communication

  • quick learning

Related: Effective vs. Efficient: Definitions, Comparison and Examples

What are some tips for working more efficiently?

Follow these tips to learn how to perform more efficiently at work:

Prioritise tasks

Decide what tasks are most important and what tasks are the most time-sensitive. These may not always be the same duties, so this exercise can help you plan your day and further into the week and month. Planning to complete the most time-sensitive tasks first can help you feel more productive and reduce stress, as you may not worry about deadlines as much.

Related: How to Prioritise Tasks in the Workplace (With Tips)

Clean your workstation

Make sure your workspace is clean, well-lit and organised before beginning your work. Looking for papers or supplies can waste valuable time. This practice can help you reduce your stress levels at work, which can allow you to be more productive. Also, consider an ergonomic chair and desk so that you can be comfortable for long periods of time.

Schedule small tasks

Set a schedule for smaller, routine tasks that you complete daily. For example, you might designate a time each day for responding to emails and returning phone calls. This can help you focus on tasks that require more effort throughout the day instead of spending too much time on less vital tasks.

Use technology

Consider incorporating technology to help streamline your responsibilities. You may benefit from the following tips:

  • Create a checklist for common procedures that can be shared with others.

  • Make documents shareable so all relevant parties can edit them, rather than wasting time sending them back and forth.

  • Use scheduling software to streamline coordinating dates and times for meetings and events.

  • Consider software or applications that can complete repetitive tasks for you. Use spreadsheet functions rather than individual entries and learn keyboard shortcuts.

  • Improve your typing speed to help you work faster.

Attend fewer meetings

Attending meetings can sometimes inhibit your energy and focus and it may be difficult to regain after the meeting finishes. Try to filter through your meeting request to determine which are mandatory and which you may be able to skip and receive meeting notes for. Consider how you might contribute to the meeting and if you feel you have nothing to add, ask permission to miss the meeting. This can help you maintain focus on your more important tasks. When planning meetings, consider if the message you want to convey can work as an email instead.

Related: How to Conduct and Manage Successful Planning Meetings

Make long-term plans

Make long-term plans concerning your work schedule to help you accommodate larger projects with less-immediate deadlines. Doing this can help you keep a productive and efficient schedule for longer. It also helps you begin larger tasks early so you don't feel rushed closer to their deadline.

Create a to-do list

Creating a to-do list with all of your daily tasks can help you organise your schedule and ensure that you prioritise the right tasks. As you complete tasks, consider removing them from your to-do list to give yourself a sense of accomplishment. This can help you feel more confident in your productivity and motivate you to complete more tasks.

Related: How to Work Faster and Boost Productivity (With Tips)

Take breaks

Take breaks throughout the workday to help you rest and reset your mind. This can help you regain stronger focus when you return to work. Consider taking a break that allows you to physically step away from your work so you may rest both physically and mentally. You might take a walk around the company's campus or take a snack break. This can help you prevent burnout and may allow you to maintain your energy throughout the day.

Reduce emails

Rather than an email exchange that takes four to five email exchanges to arrive at a solution, consider crafting emails with more information upfront. It can be useful to be clear and thorough, explaining your precise expectations instead of giving vague, open-ended ideas. This can reduce the number of questions recipients have, helping you spend less time responding to emails.

Related: Effective Channels of Communication to Use in the Workplace

Stop multitasking

Try to limit how many tasks you're working on at once. If possible, create your schedule so that you can focus completely on one project or assignment at a time. This means that while working on a single task, like researching, you will typically not be checking emails, scrolling social media or chatting with a coworker. When your brain is constantly switching between different tasks, it can take time for it to align with the new activity, leading to a possible decrease in productivity every time you switch your focus.

Stay healthy

Try to stay healthy by maintaining your physical and mental health. You can do this by improving your diet, exercising and taking time to reflect and relax. It may also be helpful to find and use stress management practices to help you feel more mentally healthy. Staying healthy can allow you to better focus when you're at work, which can promote more efficient practices.

Related: How to Handle Pressure at Work: Steps and Helpful Skills

Optimise your productive hours

Identify when you feel the most energised and focused. Some people like mornings, while others feel a burst of energy in the afternoon. Schedule your day around these peak hours so that you may have the most distraction-free time during those hours when you feel most productive.

Have a backup plan

Even with the most organised schedule, unforeseen circumstances happen. Be ready to take on these challenges by knowing who can perform what tasks, which deadlines are flexible and how you can work around the issues so that you may avoid inefficiency. It's also helpful to develop change management skills to ensure that you can still work effectively during a change of plans.

Minimise distractions

Minimise the distractions you may encounter during your workday by designing your workspace to keep you focused. Try to use decor that inspires you without causing distraction. You can also limit distractions by silencing message notifications for a short period of time and keeping your personal phone put away at work. Some professionals may prefer to listen to music while they work, but if you feel it distracts you, consider turning off any music or sound machines to help you focus.

Time yourself

Time yourself completing tasks that you regularly encounter so you can estimate how much time each may take. This can help you with planning your schedule. It can also allow you to set time-based goals to try to follow more efficient practices and potentially reduce the amount of time it takes to complete each task.

Explore more articles