Being efficient at work can help bolster creativity, enhance collaboration and reduce confusion. We are always open to new techniques to work more efficiently, so we asked our teammates to share their insight. Here’s a collection of their best tips so you can work smart and spend more time doing what brings you value!
ef·fi·cient | adjective | achieving maximum productivity with minimum wasted effort or expense
1. Communicate clearly and anticipate questions.
Clear communication will minimize mental energy exerted by you and others. Don’t bury the lead, be succinct with short paragraphs and bullet points, and preemptively answer anticipated questions to save time going back and forth.
— Heather McQuilkin, Senior Strategic Program Manager
2. Reduce repetition wherever possible and take breaks.
Use templates, autofill/text expanders, and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to simplify processes and more easily delegate/share work. Know your capacity to focus is limited, so don’t push through even if it feels counterintuitive.
— Rich Glenny, Senior Interior Designer
3. Block out time for focus work.
Start with a daily task list to plan your day, then set aside time to do tasks that require focus. Don’t check emails during focus time.
— Debbi Wysocki, Interior Project Manager
4. Limit when you check your email or messages.
Create a rhythm for checking messages so when you do you, can collectively address urgent items and prioritize non-urgent requests. This helps to keep you focused and reduce time lost from context switching (aka: switching gears).
— Julie Hecksher, Strategic Project Accountant
5. Make decisions, then ask for feedback.
Avoid asking a large audience to create something from scratch. Instead, bring to the table the “bones” of a process or idea. This approach speeds up production and increases value by quickly getting others onboard.
— Caroline Kelly, Marketing Specialist
6. Use shared to-do lists and estimate time needed for tasks.
This helps prioritize work, clarify each member’s responsibilities, and bolster communication, reducing wasted time that might occur from confusion.
— Nicole Norris, Architectural Designer