Posted by: jmwilsonmga | April 5, 2011

10 Ways To Be More Efficient

Did you ever notice that one person in your office (maybe it’s you?) that always has a clean desk, and they are never behind on their work?  Managers know exactly who this person is, and often times this person is the “go to” person for managers and peers alike.  You may ask yourself, how do they do it? 

Here are some tips on how to be more efficient.

  1. OHIO – This acronym stands for Only Handle It Once.  The efficiency in handling something only once is through the roof, as is the accuracy.  If you have something that needs to be done that maybe has a few steps to it, do all of it at the same time.  If you do the first step (maybe the most important one) and then leave the rest to do “later,” you will find that this is less efficient than doing it all at once.
  2. Do It Right the First Time – When you rush through your work without checking it, you are more likely to make an error.  Yes, that item may have been done by you very quickly today, but it will come back to bite you tomorrow if there was an error.  It takes up to ten times longer to fix an error than it does to double check your work so that it’s error-free from the start.
  3. Know Your Body Clock – Most of us can say that there are certain times of day that we have a higher energy level.  Those “morning people” are fresh and alert right off the bat, but by 3:00 they may be dragging a bit.  Others start out the day a little slower and peak in the late afternoon.  Whatever your peak time is, use it to perform your most complex tasks.  On your non-peak times, it can be a great feeling to get through some of the more monotonous tasks that you can quickly accomplish without straining the cranium too much.
  4. Group Tasks – When you are reviewing your to do list, see how many items are similar in nature and do them as a group.  Don’t do just one endorsement, do a bunch of them in a row.  You can gain efficiency this way.  If you have five phone calls to return, do them all one after the other.  Sometimes it’s the little things that help you to manage your time.
  5. Prioritize – If you can prioritize your work constantly throughout the day, you will be able to be much more efficient than just grabbing something here and there according to your mood at the moment.
  6. Don’t Procrastinate – Procrastination is dangerous.  In order to avoid it, do just the opposite and start your day with the ugliest tasks to get them out of the way.
  7. Vacation Desk Syndrome – Did you ever notice that someone can have lots of backlog until that magical day before they leave on vacation?  On that day, suddenly all of the backlog disappears and the person walks into the vacation sunset with no items on their desk.  What this tells me is that it is always possible to have vacation desk, even when you are not going on vacation.  Instead of working with a backlog of, for example, 20 follow ups that aren’t done, get your follow ups to “vacation desk” mode at 0 and work from there each and every day. 
  8. Limit the Clutter – If your desk is cluttered and filled with piles of papers and whatnot, it can make you feel stress.  Just looking at the piles can increase your blood pressure.  In today’s technological world, it’s so easy to be better organized with electronic copies of your important reference materials instead of using them as wallpaper.  Hint – if you have a piece of paper where you write down the passwords to every site and system that you work with, try putting those in a Word document.  That way, you can easily update it without having to look at the scribbles and you can even password protect the document for extra security.  Doesn’t that look nicer?
  9. Take a Walk – A key to being productive is moving your body, at least occasionally, throughout the day to get some energy going.  If you are sitting at your desk for an hour or two without moving, be sure that you get up and walk around.  You don’t need to go far, just take a few steps and shake things out.  You will feel more invigorated so that you can be even more productive.
  10. Make Lists – Efficient people are often list makers.  Lists are useful in your work life as well as your personal life.  The best part of a list is crossing off what you have done.  I will sometimes do something that I forgot to put on my list, and after the fact I will add it to the list just to cross it off.  Lists are usually made at the beginning of the day.  I would strongly recommend that you review your list at the END of the day as well.  That gives you a chance to pat yourself on the back for a job well done!

About the Author : Jeanne Callan, Illinois Branch Manager

Jeanne has been a member of the J.M. Wilson Team for over three years and currently serves as the Illinois Branch Manager.  She works closely with her team of underwriters to give our retail agents the resources that they need to write business.  From underwriting to training to motivating to marketing to answering the phones, Jeanne does whatever it takes for her team to succeed!  Jeanne loves that there is never a dull moment in her position. She loves the variety.  She also admits to being a bit of a sap – she loves insurance!  In her free time, Jeanne enjoys experiencing live music.  She has seen over 160 artists in the past ten years – some of them more than once!

Connect with Jeanne on LinkedIn

Disclaimer :  This article is for informational purposes only.  There is no legal advice being suggested or proffered.  The author assumes no responsibility or liability for the actions taken or not taken by the readers based upon such information.  This article is the opinion of the author and is not supported or endorsed by J.M. Wilson.  It should not be relied upon and may contain inaccuracies or content may have changed over time, contact your underwriter for the most current and accurate information.  Any comments or responses are the opinions of their authors.  Content on this site is believed to be covered under Fair Use.

Copyright 2011 J.M. Wilson Corporation

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