Improve Your Efficiency: Work Smarter, not Harder


Modern technology has radically changed the way we work, making some jobs obsolete and creating new ones. Connectivity created the current work trends, which expect availability round the clock. Deadlines are expected to be fulfilled immediately. Juggling projects, business relationships and internal matters has made our generation (hopefully) cash rich and (sadly) time poor.

In the reality of the modern workplace, working hard to earn and keep your pay is a given. In order to meet work demands, staff need to work smarter by combining efficiency and effectiveness, in a calm, professional manner.

Goal-oriented successful executives adhere to sound management principles. The old adage ‘failing to plan is planning to fail’ is as true now, as ever. Planning and prioritising are cornerstones of success. A reality check here is also needed; good quality trumps perfection. There’s no point in writing the perfect report, in the latest design-trends format, with lengthy infographics if you’re a week after the deadline, particularly when a two-page word document was required. While going an extra mile will impress your boss, going overboard will only show that you are unable to understand the context of your work, or that you have far too little on your plate!

Start the day by checking your inbox to identify urgent priorities. Armed with this information, draw up a to-do list for the day and organise yourself to achieve your daily goals. While replying to emails promptly can be understood as a sign of efficiency, you should not let emails of no importance interrupt your workflow. Take control of your inbox so as to avoid every ping ruling your day!

Time management is a key discipline to master – your calendar, together with project management software are invaluable tools in this department. Break down projects into smaller manageable tasks and ensure you have the resources available to accomplish them. Set deadlines and communicate them, allocating tasks to specific team members. Leave room for flexibility, to enable you to cope with issues which will inevitably crop up.

People skills are required for working with and leading teams. Keeping good relationships with co-workers makes work-life easier, creating a positive, pleasant environment. This feel-good factor encourages co-operation and information sharing. Modern offices are capitalising on the productivity of brainstorming, by designing common, open, fun workspaces which encourage interaction and creativity.

Equally important is the availability of quiet-thinking and productivity time. While keeping an open-door policy may be beneficial, you also need time to yourself to strategies, write important reports and answer delicate emails. Sometimes, this quiet space is also all the respite you get, on those crazy busy days!