Friday Team Talk – 8 Ways to Improve Work Efficiency
Tracy Leung worked in mobile business in Beijing, China before joining the MobPartner ranks as account manager last year. Drawing on her strong time-management and organisational skills, for this new Friday Team Talk post Tracy offers advice on ways to work smarter and stay on top.
“Nowadays it’s common to be overloaded with tasks and not have enough hours in the day to complete them, but it’s a huge cause of stress in the workplace. The only way to correct the imbalance and prove yourself as a vital team member is to improve your work efficiency. But how?
Here’s my advice for streamlining your workload:
1) Determine the right direction
Define what the focus of the work is, what results it’s supposed to achieve, the required steps and finally be clear that you can meet the expectations of the task using this work flow. Talk to your supervisor or your team for guidance and advice if you do not have a clear idea about what is involved.
2) Plan and schedule
• Computer software, such as Outlook calendar.
• Calendar or business journal.
• Simple personalized form.
Whether it’s a one-day plan or a week long ‘to do’ list, prioritising tasks in order of urgency will give clarity and manageability. Assess how long each element will take and decide how to allocate the time. Remember, the most important thing should be tackled in the period of the day when you are most alert and able to focus with minimal distractions.
3) Think systematically and categorically
Systematic thinking and dealing with similar categories of work at the same time will speed up your work rate. Here are ways to get time on your side:
• It is vital to complete work in sequence from highest to lowest priority.
• Decide on the time to invest depending on the importance of the work.
• Solve tasks of the same nature/category at the same time whilst your mind is on that topic.
• Constantly think about whether there are more efficient ways to work.
• Avoid using plenty of time to achieve small results – this is wasteful, save it for the important jobs.
4) Constantly pick up new knowledge and skills
The working environment nowadays is changing fast, so it’s necessary to constantly learn new knowledge and skills to stay on top. “Hard work” is important, but it does not guarantee eventual success. We have to work smart. Keeping learning is the only way to enhance efficiency and innovate.
5) Cultivate creativity
Innovative thinking is the key to finding new ways to solve problems. Always assess the good results achieved through creativity, it’s a happy and interesting way for everyone to contribute to successful working methods.
Here are ways to foster creativity:
• Be open-minded and always aware of the things surrounding you. This will offer the key to finding new ways to solve old problems.
• View all the possible scenarios positively. Don’t let negative comments such as: “impossible”, “childish”, “nobody has ever succeeded” or “never heard of that” make you give-up.
• Open up to your sixth sense, relax, use your inspiration and focus on breaking through thinking restrictions.
• Find the essence of the various solutions, define the relationship between each one and decide whether its derived from a new perspective, etc.
6) Use appropriate e- tools
Generally used e-tools, including computers and all kinds of management software, backup systems, e-mail, Internet (including online services, global information network, bulletin boards, etc.), personal digital assistants (PDA), mobile phones, scanners, etc all improve work efficiency. Even telephones, fax machines, tape recorders, etc have some features which can help to provide shortcuts.
7) Manage emotions
Every job creates stress and the key to coping well with stress lies in the management of our own emotions.
The following steps describe the five components of emotional intelligence at work, as developed by Daniel Goleman:
8) Use appropriate rest to eliminate stress
Many people have a misconception that working hard without a break will produce increased and better results. However, when people are exhausted, they tend to make more mistakes. Choose to rest one day, perhaps you will work more efficiently the next day. This is another important way to improve work efficiency and keep a handle on stress levels.”
Originally from China, Tracy joined MobPartner as account manager almost one year ago after building a career in affiliation and mobile business in Beijing. Bringing with her all the time-management and organisation skills the role demands, Tracy is also an excellent communicator, who speaks Chinese (of course), English as a working language and French.
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