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How can I stay efficient at work?

Time management can be the difference between a productive day, and one that was less successful.

Running my own business I have found that it is important to be less involved with the low priority things and really take a full grasp of the high priority tasks that need to be taken head on. It’s difficult to decide what needs doing now and what can be left until later, experience is the key teacher in this skill so always think before starting your day: Prioritise, prioritise, prioritise.

At Jackie Kerr we believe self management can be the key to a well structured day, here are some of our top tips:

  1. Get up early, start strong – Your day starts at home, make sure you get a good night’s sleep with an early start. Beginning your day in a rush always reflects on your appearance and attitude, this could clutter your day and affect your mood.
  2. Mix the good with the bad – Use your strengths and weaknesses as a template to structure your day, if you are good at something and you know you can get it done quickly, keep that in mind when prioritising, doing all of the jobs that don’t particularly stimulate you can make you bored, tired, and cause a lack of motivation.
  3. Aim High! – Set your target for the day, what is your ideal outcome? How would you like to feel when you leave work? What would you like to have achieved? Set these goals high and stay motivated, give yourself a challenge and do your best to reach it, this way if you come up short you’ll still have done well.
  4. Re-charge – Taking breaks in moderation is good. This can help us gather our thoughts and think about what action is best to take next, or how to word that next email or telephone conversation. Offer to make the tea and get away from your desk for ten minutes. Think re-charge, stay motivated and stay focus. Like anything in life we all have a certain amount of energy and steam.
  5. Monitor your progress – Take a look at how you are getting on in the day, make a note of what takes you more time to do and what you thought you can do quickly (but efficiently). If you are behind, don’t be afraid to ask for help, it’s not a weakness but strength to ask for support.
  6. Have a natter – It’s healthy to build rapport with those around you, having the right atmosphere can help motivate and boost morale within your work environment, it doesn’t have to be work related, in moderation a good natter about something other than work can improve communications between employees, this reflects in day-to-day work activities and getting to know someone can be key to treating others correctly.
  7. Keep the clutter at bay – A messy desk can surprisingly lead to a messy mind, keep things neat and tidy up after yourself, keeping it clean means your mind has one less thing to worry about.
  8. Be a finisher – Complete your work. Starting something and becoming distracted can cause half work. Get in the flow and finish what you started, find a quiet place away from your phone and get into the zone.
  9. Don’t Worry – There is always tomorrow, finish the day how you started it, strong and motivated, don’t worry about tomorrow or that job you couldn’t get round to today, prioritise for tomorrow and carry on.
  10. Don’t be caught out – If you receive a phone call and you are not particularly ready, ask them if you can ring them back. It’s better to have a close estimation than a wrong answer; being flustered and taken under by a question can make you look un-efficient and weak. Take the number and continue what you were doing, respond when you are ready.
  11. TGIF – We all love Fridays and that weekend feeling, but remember anything you leave half finished will have to be completed Monday, do the extra work and make your Mondays easier by prioritising Friday. You don’t want to pick up the pieces on Monday.

Have any more ideas? What works best for you? Please share your tips and comments!

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