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Top 5 ways to work more effectively

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Employees and employers are always looking for ways to make their working day more effective.

Many people feel like they have a heavy workload and can struggle to find enough hours in the day to complete their duties. However, by developing a system that is as efficient as possible, people should be able to schedule their tasks in such a way that is much more manageable for them.

This will improve how the office operates day-to-day, while employees should also feel invigorated as they are fulfilling their role within the company.

Here are the top five tips to help your working day become more productive, and hopefully more enjoyable too.

1. Plan your day/week

While it may seem fairly obvious, people are much more likely to be productive if they have a clear plan in place of what they are looking to accomplish in the working week. This can then be broken down to days – and even further if necessary.

Brian Tracy, who has worked extensively in the training sector, thinks that every minute spent on planning saves ten minutes in execution. If workers stick to this mantra, they should find they have plenty of time to get their daily and weekly tasks completed without getting stressed out along the way.

2. Use flexible working

Flexible working can encompass a lot of options, such as working from home, working different shift patterns or sharing a job with someone else. However, one thing’s for sure, the measure is a great way of retaining and attracting the best talent, while also keeping employee wellbeing high.

On top of this, productivity should also receive a boost – a survey by O2 found there was a 15 to 20 per cent increase in productivity when staff were allowed to work flexibly. Because of this, David Sturges, chief executive officer of WorkPlaceLive, said companies are “foolish” if they do not bother to embrace the option.

3. Organise your workspace

No one likes a messy workspace and no one can truly claim that it will help them to work in an effective manner. Take some time out of our day to tidy up your desk and organise it in a way that suits your working style.

For example, file documents so the most recent forms are the easiest to find, while ensuring the only accessories visible on your desk are those that are used every single day. This process should also extend to your email inbox, as making sure this tool is clutter free will make it easier for you to stay on top of any important issues that may crop up throughout the day.

4. Take a break

If people fail to have adequate breaks while they are working, their concentration will slip and they will not be able to perform to their highest level. Daniel Wood, owner of the blog Looking To Business, where he writes about motivation and success, pointed out that stepping away from the computer screen at the right time is essential.

“The best way to save time is by relaxing. To be able to work hard and efficiently, you need to be of sound mind and be able to focus. Take a break once in awhile and go for a walk, drink a cup of coffee or take a nap,” Mr Wood stated.

5. Have a running to-do list

Employees will have various systems for staying on top of their workload. However, a running to-do list can prove to be a very effective tool for people, as it means they cannot only prioritise their tasks, but they will also have an up-to-date list of what is expected of them.

People do not have to waste time working out what the next task they have to complete is, while there is the added satisfaction of realising a job is done. There are a number of different structures that individuals can use – such as organising tasks into mornings and afternoons or in one-hour blocks – but the key is to find the one that best suits your working pattern.