Everywhere you look, businesses and people are working to become more efficient. Of course people have different ways to define efficiency but here is the way I see it: efficiency is the art of doing the maximum with maximum efficiency in the minimum amount of time. Now, that is a bit of a mouthful but hear me out. It doesn’t matter if you are trying to complete written work or are a factory trying to produce as many cars as possible, efficiency will make your life easier.

As you can see, I think of efficiency as a form of art. Some people are naturally efficient and some are not but everyone can be taught to pick up the art themselves. The biggest thing to remember here is that efficiency is definitely not the same as speed. It is no good doing something remarkably quickly if the end product is not good. With that in mind, let’s move on.

The first thing you must do is find your distractions. Constantly, we are told how in the 21st century we are surrounded by distractions. This may be true but I can tell you that this isn’t a completely bad thing. As long as you can find what specifically distracts you, you are able to minimize the level of distraction. If your phone distracts you then you must make sure you do not use it during the times in which you want to be efficient. This is easier said than done but try some strategies and techniques that you think will work for you. Of these techniques, the most common is splitting up periods of work. For example, work for 20 minutes and then spend a few minutes on your phone. The beauty of this technique is that the time can be separated in any way you like.

Notice how I only said to minimize distractions? This is because I believe some forms of distraction can actually increase productivity. Take music for example: music, especially classical music or music designed specifically to aid concentration, can really help in improve your efficiency level. I enjoy listening to music while I work. As well as music, I enjoy listening to motivational talks/speeches. I understand that people say that in the long-term these types of motivational videos are not effective at actually getting you motivated however, I find they really help me push through a long task that I don’t particularly enjoy. Recently I have been listening to Earl Nightingale and while a lot of his ideas are old-fashioned, I think he was a great orator and even greater motivator.

I could give the classic piece of advice to enjoy what you’re doing and it won’t feel like work. Despite the great element of truth within this statement, it simply isn’t that easy for many of us to love what we do. You are truly blessed if you have a job where you are going to love every task involved with its daily schedule. For this reason I would have to say that it is not as important that you enjoy what you do but that you enjoy how you do it. You  must develop methods and ways of thinking that you enjoy using. Unfortunately,  there isn’t a set method for everyone so this point will have to remain pretty vague. However, what I can say is don’t overload yourself. If you do nothing but work you will work slower due to fatigue. You must rest and allow for a bit of leisure time or you will never be able to get anything done.

To sum up, becoming efficient isn’t easy. It is why business men and women are willing to pay people great sums of money to improve the operations of their companies, even by a little amount. You must learn what works for you and this isn’t something that anybody else will know. If there is one thing I would like you to take away from this post, it is that you must not work for too long and exhaust yourself. Never push until you can no longer go on because this can be detrimental to your long run efficiency. If a machine works 24/7 eventually it will break down and probably much quicker than if you used it more reasonably. In the short term it will seem like you’re being amazingly productive but in the long run your productivity will drop, not to mention the money you’ll have to pay out to replace it.

Thanks for reading! Are you efficient? What methods do you use?