How To Work Fast and Efficient and Become A Better Version of Yourself

How to work fast and efficient, two work attributes that can get you hired and promoted. While efficiency is largely influenced by years of work experience, being able to accomplish tasks faster is something that can be learned early, whether from home and school. In such a fast-paced and purely competitive workplace, how do you acquire these skills and become a better version of yourself? Today I want to share with you some of the best work habits I have learned from all these years of working in various companies such as pharmaceuticals (sales and marketing management), medical supplies (sales and marketing management), healthcare (sales and marketing management), nursing, to name a few. High-stress. Mentally demanding. Physically exhausting. I had to learn to swim on my own, fight adversity or lose the battle altogether. 22 years of work experience from the time I graduated from college at age 21. Gen-xer here, sandwiched between old school and modern technology.

How To Work Fast and Efficient and Become A Better Version of Yourself

To work fast and efficient, learn to prioritize. One strategy I have learned all the way from high school to my MBA,  from entry-level job to management is to list down and separate easy from difficult. Easy could be as simple as returning a phone call, responding to an email, or even faxing a document. Anything that only requires common sense is categorized as easy. For example, out of 20 tasks you have lined up in a day, 15 can be accomplished very easily in one hour; that means you have practically knocked down 75% of your tasks which gives you more time to devote to the remaining 5 which will probably require critical thinking. Critical thinking is forming an objective analysis and thorough evaluation of certain task(s) that will significantly impact a business decision. For example in marketing, it involves sales forecasts (monthly, yearly, 5-years, 10-years, etc) while taking into considerations the various internal and external factors that will form part of your marketing strategies. This cannot be accomplished in one sitting, it may take several days to weeks or even months of continued planning, pencil-pushing and re-calculations. Same mindset can also be applied if you are running your own business, most importantly if you are self-employed because you are the department yourself. Are you receiving insane volume of emails? create sub-folders to group them so it’s easy to track down communications and follow-ups. For example, I have specific folders per supplier, per department, etc.

To work fast and efficient, learn to prioritize, but know what is urgent versus non-urgent. For example, if you work in the healthcare setting involving direct patient care, being able to triage and prioritize needs require both common sense and critical thinking. We receive large volume of calls at the clinic (family practice side), our front desk staff/ medical assistants are trained to evaluate urgent (i.e hospitalist calling another doctor regarding mutual patient admitted in the hospital), non-urgent, and emergency cases (patient’s compromised airway/breathing/circulation). In business, urgent means drop whatever you’re doing at the moment and switch your focus and/or resources that requires your full attention. In blogging, urgent means finishing a paid sponsored post on or before deadline, non-urgent means some press samples that were sent to you for feature consideration.

To work fast and efficient, re-learn to write down notes and create a quick cheat sheet for tasks you have not mastered yet. Special emphasis on re-learn because ever since computers ruled our lives, the art and science of writing is nearing extinction. Unless you are gifted with super powers of being able to remember everything including newly-introduced ideas and concepts, I highly encourage everyone to reach that ballpen again and write all important points that can make or break your day at work, then transcribe it somewhere (create a folder in your computer), that will be your cheat sheet until you have mastered a procedure. In the medical field, we strive for precision so even if I already know by heart the reconstitution ratio for injectables, settings for laser procedures, I still have my one-page sheet in front of me. When I was still doing taxes for our clinic before (which was totally unfamiliar ground for me), I have drafted a step-by-step how-to in each of the taxes we needed to do every month, quarter, semi-annual, annual. That way, I won’t be missing anything.

To work fast and efficient, learn to delegate. This tip goes out to all managers and supervisors alike. You need to trust your staff but they need to know the value of accountability. Establishing teamwork is not as easy as it sounds due to differences in work ethics and personality. I have my own way of getting things done fast and efficient but if a staff member has his or her own way and it will deliver the same exact results I wanted, by all means go ahead and implement it.

Finally, to work fast and efficient means you don’t have to work overtime. Work smart so you don’t have to work harder. Quality time spent with either family or friends is very important to me. When I was in my early to late 20’s, I was a crazy workaholic spending countless overtime at the office. I sacrificed my personal life, social life and everything in between which eventually resulted to broken relationships and health issues. That was a rude awakening and from that moment on, I changed my mindset and how I deal with work demands. That new perspective led me to new journeys and amazing opportunities. Work life balance, yes it can happen. You are in absolute control.

How To Work Fast and Efficient and Become A Better Version of Yourself

 

Share:

40 Comments

  1. September 21, 2017 / 6:10 pm

    I love your ideas, great suggestivetoo, I have some of my own that I follow as well simular to your as well. I agree that to be efficient one totally needs to be disciplined in her life as well in her daily operations, this allows thing s to runs smoothly …. but allowing room for mess ups as well.
    God read Kathy!

    • September 21, 2017 / 10:12 pm

      Thanks much Carolyn. Yes, esp accountability! I tell staff to be the expert in their "territory"

  2. September 21, 2017 / 9:58 pm

    My to-do list is never ending and always growing, so I definitely have had to learn to work quickly as well as prioritize what really matter the most "right now". One of the tips I'd like to add is if you are able, try to work with your "critical thinking" tasks during the time when you tend to focus best for it. I don't know about you, but I have the hardest time with these types of tasks first thing in the morning, so that's when I generally do my easy tasks to get the day going. Not to mention, crossing off each line item one after the other in quick succession seems to get me in critical thinking mode even sooner!

    • September 21, 2017 / 10:10 pm

      Yes, easy ones first because it gets the job done faster and efficient.

  3. September 22, 2017 / 12:49 am

    As a college professor, I know all about to-do lists and needing to be efficient!

  4. September 22, 2017 / 7:34 pm

    This is a great post – no matter what field you're in, these tips are useful!

  5. September 23, 2017 / 4:10 am

    This is such a good post for everyone. Priorities shouldn't be simply work related.

  6. September 23, 2017 / 6:01 am

    I don't think fast and efficient are part of my vocabulary right now. 3 unruly and uber busy littles keep me pretty scattered.

  7. September 23, 2017 / 9:07 pm

    This is great. I'm a big list maker, everyday consist of a to-do list, I wish I was better at delegating things though.

  8. September 24, 2017 / 12:33 am

    My motto is to work smarter, not harder. I agree with you. I believe in working in an excellent manner. I like to see my tasks completed. I also like to sit at the end of my workday and wind down. The only way to do this is by working quickly and efficiently. (BTW, I don't do overtime either).

    • September 27, 2017 / 3:04 am

      Yes to no overtime. My husband and myself agreed to not even talk about work when at home because it's our sanctuary 🙂

  9. September 24, 2017 / 6:36 am

    Priority and delegation! I think that's two main points when we talk about work efficiently. I like this article, I have a lot of work to do in a very small time.

  10. September 24, 2017 / 9:46 am

    Fantastic post, I love trying to be as efficiant as possible. I even make a list of my main tasks for the coming day right before I go to bed, starting with the tasks that require the most concertration and attention. This is a very helpful post 🙂

  11. September 24, 2017 / 10:58 pm

    These are fabulous ideas thank you! Even though I have some that I am already applying, I can also see where there is a improvement to make 🙂

    • September 27, 2017 / 3:02 am

      Thanks much! I feel glad we can all work on some improvements

  12. September 24, 2017 / 11:31 pm

    This is not just for work, it is applicable to everything else in life as well. Prioritizing is something that makes everything fall into place.

  13. September 25, 2017 / 4:48 am

    I am a sucker at delegation, I feel no one will do it to my standards, but I love your pointers!

    • September 27, 2017 / 3:01 am

      I was like that before but we need to learn to trust our staff. As long as things get done fast and efficient and will produce the same results, I say delegate. If things don't come out as I wanted it to, I tell them my way

  14. September 25, 2017 / 5:26 am

    Very good suggestions. I feel like notes are the left behind genius of making everything all flow together. I don't know if Millenials write notes as reminders or anything anymore, but they make all the difference to me.

    • September 27, 2017 / 2:59 am

      Hopefully they do. To me it does not matter if one uses a journal, diary, scratch paper or iPhone to take notes, as long as there's one.

  15. September 25, 2017 / 9:47 am

    I so need to take these suggestions on. I am a constant distracter. I flit between jobs and tasks and end up tired at the end of day achieving little!!

  16. September 25, 2017 / 1:01 pm

    You make a lot of good suggestions. I do write things down in a diary. I haven't though of transcribing them into my PC. I think I should give it a try.

    • September 27, 2017 / 2:57 am

      it's my quick cheat sheet/reference when I need to refresh my memory

  17. September 26, 2017 / 1:33 am

    I've been so swamped lately that I really needed this post. I especially know that I have to do what works for me and sometimes that's just writing everything down.

    • September 27, 2017 / 2:56 am

      writing down also gives you focus. anything you write down helps you remember things and keeps you in check

  18. September 26, 2017 / 6:53 am

    Love this post! Prioritizing is a big one for me. Once I know and attend to what's urgent and important, I'm good!

  19. September 26, 2017 / 7:30 am

    Really good suggestions. I'm certainly lacking on the delegation part. I want to do all the work on my own because that's what satisfies me but yes, drain me too. I'll have to work on it I guess. Thanks for sharing.

    • September 27, 2017 / 2:55 am

      I used to be like that too but macro-management is mentally and physically exhausting. It's also counter productive too because you hire people to supposedly make things overall manageable

  20. September 27, 2017 / 9:10 am

    Having a dedicated work area to yourself will help. For me, while a lot of times I will assign and plan, things crop up and I won't be able to complete them in time~

  21. Elizabeth O
    October 3, 2017 / 12:36 pm

    What a fantastic and delegation post. I really like your suggestions. Will definitely pinned this.

  22. October 3, 2017 / 2:50 pm

    I am right there with you having worked for so many years you have to learn to prioritize to effectively work through all tasks. What I also learned was you have to leverage your resources and not do everything yourself. Delegate and trust in the team you work with.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *