Reply to comment
How to be Efficient in the Workplace
I grew up being a HUGE basketball fan. While I've never been a fan of the Lakers or the Heat, I've always admired Pat Riley as one of the best coaches of all-time. His secret? Efficiency. He has been quoted as saying "a particular shot or way of moving the ball can be a player's personal signature, but efficiency of performance is what wins the game for the team."
This is a statement about basketball, of course, but it can apply to the workplace as well. As anyone who watches basketball knows, there are many players who think that the best way to win is to just shoot and shoot until the ball finally goes through the net. As everyone who watches basketball also knows, teams that rely on players like that usually don't do very well.
I'll break down what I believe are the three most important things to remember when you're trying to get more out of your workday.
"Time management" begins the day before
A high-quality performance, whether it be on the basketball court or in a cubicle, will only happen if a person is efficient with their time. Here at CleanTelligent, our assistant manager at the customer support department, Melissa Hinkson, shares her "tricks of the trade," when it comes to time management:
"Efficiency starts with YOU. A company is only as effective as their worker. It takes discipline to become an effective person. Here are a few tips to start your day right and successfully approach your interpersonal interactions and events.
- Go to bed at a decent hour! It is important for all of your mental and physical faculties to be at their peak of performance. Do yourself a favor and give yourself some well-deserved rest.
- Prepare. An effective worker takes the time to plan out their day. Write down what you expect the day to look like. As you move into the spontaneous nature of the workplace it is easier to take reins on
additional tasks if you have thoughtfully organized your priorities.
- Organize your Space. Like my mama always said, “Everything has a home”. Create a “home” for your work supplies. Create labels, get folders for your filing cabinets, and if you use a computer make sure that your main programs and files are easy to access (beware computer clutter!). Once items are their place, the overall mood of your environment will relax.
- Understand the expectations. Every job plays a clear and distinct role in the overall company machine. If you are unclear about the mechanics of your duties then clearly outline your weakness and discuss it with your leader. Remember, it is far more impressive to approach management with an understanding of your problem (and possible resolutions) rather than advancing with complete incompetence.
With a few tweaks to your lifestyle and approach you will be well on your way to more recognition, less worry and stress, and overall a more effective work day."
Combine similar tasks
Elizabeth, an assistant manager here at CleanTelligent, believes that it becomes much easier to take care of any tasks or responsibilities you have if you combine alike tasks into groups.
"This is something I learned when I waited tables. For example, if you take a new drink order, check your other tables for other drink requests before going back into the kitchen. That way, you can take care of all those similar tasks at once rather than making separate trips."
Another thing that has helped Elizabeth manage her tasks is the acronym 'OHIO' (Only Handle It Once). She goes on to advise people to "take tasks as they come, and finish what you've started, instead of shuffling the task from place to place, waiting for the 'perfect time' to get it done."
It can get really easy to get burdened down when trying to handle multiple things at once, which leads me to my final point....
Multitasking is a good thing ONLY if you do it right
Many people seem to believe that taking on multiple unrelated tasks is a good thing because it means that you can "multitask." Here's what I think of that:
(image courtesy of http://saturnfiveblog.com)
I do think that a person can get multiple things done at once, but it can only be done if you set limits for yourself. Our marketing director, Suzanne, recommends that you "Dedicate your time wisely. Set boundaries for yourself; don't be afraid to put your IM on 'busy' or your phone on 'do not disturb.'"
Just because you can handle 3 tasks at once doesn't mean that you should leave the door open for someone to come and drop another one at your feet.
In conclusion, efficiency in the workplace is vital to the success of any company. Whether you're a CEO or an intern, you'll be able to handle your responsibilities better if you pay attention to time management, if you combine similar tasks, and if you do multitasking the right way.