Whether you are just starting your business or have been running one for years, it is important to know how to work efficiently. Working efficiently allows you to streamline your business, make room for new growth, and free up some of your time, so you don’t suffer from burnout. Here are some ways that you can start working efficiently to gain these benefits.
If you can be automating more in your business, then you should be switching to automation. Automation helps you to take mundane and routine tasks that would normally eat up a chunk of your time and replace the manual work with that done by an app or some computer software.
With so many tasks that it takes to run a business, automation is not a luxury, but rather a necessity if you are going to run an effective business. Using automation will save you and your employees time that they can then use on other tasks that need a human touch or critical thinking skills. Monotonous tasks are usually boring and will cut down on productivity for other tasks as well. Allowing employees to focus their efforts on more challenging tasks keeps them invigorated and motivated for more of the day.
It may take a little extra time and money at the beginning to set up an automation system for things like delivering pay stubs to your employees or receipts to vendors, but in the long run, it will actually cut down on your costs and will give you more resources to grow your business.
Encourage Direct Communication
When it comes to working as a team, there needs to be a lot of communication between team members. It may seem more effective at first glance to send an email or chat message to a coworker, but it can often have the opposite result.
While emails and chats do have their place and can be extremely helpful, it is also helpful to encourage your employees to talk openly when resolving problems with a project or deciding on a course of action. If the problem being solved is at all complex, then the back and forth of asking and answering questions and clarifying statements can take much longer over technology, than it would have a short conversation.
Deal With Interruptions
Even though most people think that they are excellent multi-taskers, that is not true. Your brain can only focus on one thing at a time, and the time it takes to switch between tasks, though a relatively short amount of time, adds up and tires your brain more than necessary. One key component of learning to work efficiently is to ditch the multi-tasking and get rid of as many interruptions as possible.
Constant notifications from emails, chats, and software programs will interrupt your chain of thought every time they alert you. You can use tools or apps to help keep your work distraction-free so you can focus on your work. You can also block out times during the day to check your email and notifications from other sources, so it is all lumped together. You can also use software like Gemini 2 to clean up your computer and make finding documents much easier.
The way you are structuring your day may look like you are efficient, but really it can be leading to more interruptions than necessary. Having meetings strewn throughout the day with breaks in the middle of them will make it hard for your employees to complete tasks efficiently. The constant interruptions of going to meetings, going back to the desk, and checking the time to see when the next meeting is will really take its toll.
Structure your week, so all your meetings take place on one day, so that is what the day is dedicated to. You should also block out time that is solely dedicated to uninterrupted work. This will help your mind really focus on the work instead of waiting for the next interruption.
Meetings are necessary for a lot of instances to keep everyone in the loop, celebrate accomplishments, and set goals for the future. While they may be a necessity, most meetings are much longer than they need to be. Try holding a daily meeting that lasts no longer than 10 minutes. That may seem impossible at first, but once you get used to shortening the meetings, you will see that it really is more effective.
If you do need longer than a 10-minute meeting, always designate an amount of time in which you are going to conclude the meeting. This helps keep the meeting focused and on topic. You should also avoid impromptu meetings because they are big time eaters. Asking someone if they have a minute to go over a few things never ends after a minute. The lack of structure and direction eats up time and accomplishes very little.
Have a Process
Trying to reclaim time by cutting corners and speeding up a current process on a project very rarely actually saves time or money. Deviating from the process in order to save some time usually means that things get missed. When things are missed, then later it will cost more time and money to fix than it would have to do it right the first time. Things will go smoothly and quickly if you have an established process and stick to it.
When the need to change the process does come, do it deliberately, not on a whim. You should make a schedule and a plan and have a reasoned change to the process before you begin. Everyone should be on the same page, and there should be a lot of communication to avoid any problems.
There are many software programs that will allow you to manage your tasks effectively. Programs like Trello or Asana will help your team stay on the same page and communicate effectively about what tasks are done and what still needs to be done. You can track progress, stay on task, and communicate seamlessly.