8 Tips to Work More Efficiently
In the past we have told you about different ways there are to make money online. Working from home and trying out new working and contract concepts such as for example working as a freelancer or taking paid surveys as a side hustle all depend on the capability to self-organize. You must learn to make the most of your time, not let yourself get distracted, and work efficiently even when your main desk is right in your bedroom. These are our 8 main tips to work more efficiently.
- Preparing your workspace
- Work regular times
- Prioritize tasks efficiently
- Plan ahead
- Focus and eliminate distractions
- Take breaks
- Go outside and move
- Set realistic expectations for yourself
1. Preparing your workspace
The right preparation is key to work more efficiently, especially from home. An organized desk will help you organize your mind and ideas so you can start every day ready for new challenges. Some tips are to tidy your desk every evening after work. Thus, it will be clean in the morning for you to start fresh.
Secondly, remember to keep a clean structure. All your office supplies should have their own space. Keep your folders organized on a shelf, all your pens and pencils together in a box, and do not leave any files flying around in your office. The same goes for digital files and your laptop. Use folders and cloud space to organize recent files and offload old folders. Throw out what you don´t need anymore!
2. Work regular times
Set yourself a regular schedule to get used to regular working hours. Many office jobs offer flexible times to start working, for example, you can come in between 8 AM and 9 AM as long as you fill your 8 hours of work. Usually, working from home works in a similar way. If your first live conference call is not until 10 AM, probably no one will notice if you start working at 9:50.
Flexible working hours seem convenient at first, but you should still try to keep a certain schedule, which keeps you from overworking your mind and your body. Regular routines help your biological processes to wake up naturally and focus more easily. Furthermore, a rather strict schedule makes it easier for people in your close social circle to get used to your working times and plan their day around yours.
3. Prioritize tasks efficiently
Do you know which of your tasks is most important, most urgent, or completely irrelevant right now? We hope you do! Sorting and prioritizing your tasks is incredibly important in order to work as efficiently as you can. There are different ways you can sort and organize your tasks. If you like to use a task manager such as monday.com, Smartsheet, Wrike, or Jira; there are many online options available. On the other hand, some like to write every task down on a to-do list and prioritize via color due to:
- urgency: finish today, this week, when you have time
- importance: very important, less important
- time-consuming: needs a lot of time, can be done fastly
- fun: a task you love to do, a task you are unwilling to do
4. Plan ahead
Our fourth tip to work more efficiently is to simply plan ahead. As easy as it sounds, sometimes everyday work can be so overwhelming you forget the bigger picture. For example, if you plan to go on holiday in three weeks, try finishing tasks early starting now! The earlier you begin planning ahead, the less stress you will be exposed to when being confronted with major events or big decisions. Do a little bit more everyday to be more relaxed in the end.
5. Focus and eliminate distractions
Focusing on one task can be incredibly hard. Whether it is half an hour before you can leave the office, some construction workers are too loud outside or the task is simply boring. These arguments make it even more important to learn how to focus properly and blend out all distractions.
Firstly, keeping your desk clean as we mentioned in tip number 1 will help you minimize distractions in your field of view. Put away your mobile phone as long as you do not need it for work and set aside all private documents. Secondly, train your mind to focus consciously and effectively on one task at a time. Multitasking is a myth that is not going to help you be more productive. Instead, work through your tasks according to their priority and take a small break every time you finish something.
Distractions in an office building and at home can be very different. Sometimes, just saying “no” might be the solution – whether you need to deal with an annoying coworker or your children want to play while you need to work. Someone is too loud in your surroundings? Simply put in some headphones and you will be good to go! Do not use external distractions as excuses to not get your work done.
6. Take breaks
7. Go outside and move
Whether you work at an office or at home, you probably need to sit inside for long hours every day. Try to compensate for this by going outside in your breaks or after work! Some great ways to get outside are doing sports like running, yoga, or simply getting a coffee at the park to catch some sunlight.
Your body and mind will thank you for every minute spent outside and every hour you do some sports per week. You probably already know this feeling: When you feel too lazy to work out, but still do, you will feel so much better afterward! A good goal could be to try to move for at least one hour daily – at best outside.
8. Set realistic expectations for yourself
Our last tip to work more efficiently is to stay realistic and not overwork yourself. Some situations trigger us to want to do more than we can; for example starting a new job, beginning to work from home or at the office, or taking on new responsibilities. Especially in these situations, you should remember to keep calm and trust in your own capabilities. Setting realistic expectations for yourself and meeting (or even exceeding) them will feel much more satisfying than setting completely over-the-top goals and never reaching them.
Always be honest with yourself when it comes to how much work and stress you can handle – because in the end, your personal health and happiness are more important than the number of hours you have been working this month.
Some of our tips relate closely to working from home, especially regarding people wanting to make money online. What do you think about our ideas to work more efficiently? Which of these strategies do you use in your everyday work life or do you have other tips you would like to share? Tell us in the comments below!
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