5 Simple Ways to Increase Your Level of Efficiency

In the past decades, collective efforts have been made to make our use of energy resources more efficient. Many energy-efficient products (e.g. energy-efficient lightbulbs) are now available on the market. Also, over the years, governments have offered programs to incentivize citizens to make their homes more energy-efficient.

This societal “movement” is very similar to what some experience at a personal and professional level. The ever increasing demands on their lives require that they increase their level of efficiency so that they would get more done in less time and with less effort. With so much weight on their shoulders, becoming more efficient is a must.

Perhaps, you’re one who is becoming more and more aware of the importance of efficiency, as the demands on your life keep increasing. Don’t lose hope. If you have so much to do, but so little time to do it all, here are 5 simple ways you can increase your efficiency.

1. Set Clear Goals

Goals define the tasks and activities your efforts should go into. Without clear goals, your efforts have no focus, which creates waste of time and energy.

Busyness doesn’t necessarily mean you’re taking care of “business”. Activity doesn’t always equate productivity. Without clear goals, you expose yourself to doing busywork that leads nowhere.

Clear goals give direction to your efforts, and this translates your activity into productivity.

2. Master Your Time

To increase your performance, you must master your time and make sure it’s allocated on things that matter most.

Time, your most valuable resource, is fixed: you have 24 hours in a day, no more and no less. The variable you control is what you do with those 24 hours, i.e. the tasks and activities you furnish your time with. Saying “yes” to an activity means saying “no” to a million others. Make sure your time is invested on the right activities: activities that move you toward your goals in the most efficient way.

Without time efficiency, there’s no efficiency at all.

3. Establish Top Priorities

This is the natural consequence of the first two points. Your goals should define what occupies your time. The way you make sure that this happens is by establishing your top priorities.

If you can only perform one task today, what should it be? That is your top priority. If you can only perform one other task, what should it be? That’s your second top priority. And so on.

Priorities should never be at the mercy of trivialities. Establishing priorities is a vital key to increasing your efficiency.

4. Focus on Your Strengths (and Outsource Your Weaknesses)

You’re not good at everything, neither do you need to be. You waste a lot of time and energy trying to perform activities you’re not made for.

To increase your efficiency, you must learn to leverage your strengths—milk them for all their worth—and outsource your weaknesses (i.e. leverage the strengths of others). As such, strive to focus your efforts on a few tasks and activities you perform extremely well. Outsource the rest.

It’s not always possible to outsource your weaknesses, but the more you’re able to do so, the more you’ll increase your efficiency.

5. Use the Right Tools

The tools you use are important. Inefficient tools slow you down and hinder your efficiency. Working with inefficient tools is like traveling from New York City to Los Angeles on a bicycle (when you could be taking a plane), or like laboring to cut down trees with a handsaw (when you could be using a chainsaw).

Don’t underestimate the impact your tools have on your efficiency. Examine your tools to determine if you can improve them. Any improvement in the area of your tools will have a significant impact on your efficiency.