Make efficiency your friend.

Overcoming inefficiency doesn’t only mean you’ll be more productive. It also means you’ll have more time for all the fun stuff in life.

For some, achieving a healthy work/life balance seems almost effortless. They meet their deadlines and still have time for other activities in their spare time. Others feel like they never leave the office or their desk and have absolutely no time left to do anything outside of work.

So how do you become the one who gets all their work done on time and still has time for a little chit-chat every now and then? One word. Efficiency.

Structure your mind. On paper.

Who doesn’t know the feeling of when you’re deep into a project and then something else comes up that seems even more important? Chances are you’ll end up forgetting about the task you were working on previously.

End your day, project or unit by putting together a to-do-list for the tasks ahead. It will become your visual reminder of all the things you need to get done. If you can, also prioritise every task to make sure you hit tight deadlines first, get a move on bigger projects early and have some variety in what you’re doing.

And, most importantly, tick tasks off your list once you’ve competed them. There’s nothing more rewarding than a to-do-list full of ticks and crosses.

One brain. One task.

It’s tempting to think that you can do multiple things at a time. And do all of them justice. However, in reality nothing kills efficiency more than multitasking.

Use your to-do-list as a guide and focus on one of the items on your list at a time. This doesn’t mean you have to complete a full task before moving on to the next item on the list. Instead, think about how much time you should spend on one project, set yourself a timer and move on to the next task once your time is up.

Go cold turkey.

By now, we pretty much get notifications for everything. Email, messages, social media, news and even the weather pop up on our phones and in our inbox.

To improve your efficiency, the best thing is to turn these distractions of for a certain amount of time. The best way to do this is to turn your phone off while you’re studying or working and keep your emails on lockdown.

And finally, if you belong to the very popular club of procrastinators, have a look into installing Cold Turkey. This app will block your access to a set of websites and programmes you specify. After the set amount of you’ll gain access again and can go back to your procrastinating self.

Be the smart worker, not the hard worker.

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