Working effectively is not synonymous with working long, arduous hours during the course of a workday. Rather, working effectively refers to the ability to get quality work done within a given time frame.
There isn't an employer out there who would stand to argue against an employee that turns a little less work in and does an outstanding job versus an employee who turns a ton of work in but doesn't do quite as good of a job. That being said, there are some tips for working more effectively, which we will explore.
One of the first ways to start working more effectively has to do with how your office or work space is defined. How is your desk organized for example? Your office and/or desk area should be kept neat and orderly at all times so that you can always find the things that you are looking for. Someone who has a few piles of papers may not recognize the note to themselves about the meeting that they have with a client that day because it is buried beneath a pile of papers. Likewise, when you sit down at a desk or in a space where there is a lot of clutter, it can seem overwhelming and stressful and may actually slow down your ability to concentrate to get work done.
Be efficient. If you know that you have a certain deadline for a project that you are working on, don't dilly dally around it. Plan out how you are going to finish the project and then do it. There is no excuse not to get an assignment done and turned in on time. Too often you hear of employees or even supervisors who are given a task but because it isn't due right away, they decide to put it off. However, when they put it off until later, several other things have suddenly popped up that are due within the same time frame. Getting ahead and staying ahead are always going to be your best options whether you are an employer or an employee as it will keep you out of trouble and on task.
Cut out the distractions. Some distractions we cannot avoid. However, most distractions are easily avoided if we learn how to prioritize our time. For example, if you know that you are going to be doing work between 9 a. m. and 5 p. m. , make sure that you let friends and family know this- especially if you work from home. If you live with someone or have kids who are slightly older, make sure that they understand how important it is to you that you maintain a certain type of atmosphere during those hours so that you can get your work accomplished. Remember that if you work from home, there are simply some concessions that will have to be made so that you can be productive. It may end up that you have to leave your own home a couple of days during the week to go to the library or a cafe so that you can get your work done. So be it.