10 Essen 10 Essential

Woman juggling various duties at work, multitasking

Are you trying to enhance your work performance and achieve better results for your organization? Are you grappling with the challenge of juggling various tasks as a freelancer? How can you streamline your workflow for optimal efficiency without compromising on quality?

You can unlock your full potential by developing effective habits.

By incorporating several habits for better work performance into your daily routine, you will maximize your productivity and efficiency.

You will also be able to deliver high-quality work and cultivate a habit of achieving your goals seamlessly. Practice these habits as they will help you stay focused and overcome challenges.

Let’s explore the 10 essential habits that have the power to increase your work efficiency.

 Quit Multitasking

Some years ago, multitasking was touted as an essential skill to get ahead in life. But now, years later and with a lot of research, we know better.

We now know that you can lose 40% of your highly productive time when you move from one task to another while multitasking. Handling too many tasks simultaneously is no longer a great work skill.

By performing one task at a time, we make fewer or no errors. When our attention is no longer divided among several tasks, we can perform better and give improved results.

 Sharpen Your Time Management Skills

Time management is a critical skill for freelancers. To manage your time well, set up a routine, demarcate your working hours and create a plan to carry out important tasks first.

If you’re working on a large project, break it down into smaller tasks and set a deadline for each one. Productivity tools help track the time you take on each task, set reminders and always be organized.

 Minimize the Number of Meetings

Though meetings are held to know the work progress, they are a huge time-wasters. It’s not uncommon to find participants playing with their phones or chatting amongst themselves.

These days, with technology at hand, physical meetings are no longer required. For example, you can create small groups on WhatsApp and invite team members to share information for all to read.

Or, you could deliver a presentation on Slideshare, instead of having a largely attended meeting.

Alternatively, you could send out a series of emails providing information of various types to specific groups. This may be time-consuming for you to write, but you won’t waste anyone else’s time.

 Identify Your Long-Term Priorities with the Eisenhower Matrix

The Eisenhower Matrix is a highly effective and productive tool. Also called the Urgent-Important Matrix, it is simple to use and helps you prioritize tasks based on their importance and urgency.

The matrix is designed to consist of four quadrants:

Quadrant 1–Urgent and Important Tasks

Under this quadrant, tasks are urgent and demand your immediate attention. They impact your goals significantly, so deal with them first.

Quadrant 2—Important but Not Urgent Tasks

These tasks do not have the urgency of those in Quadrant 1 but they are critical for long-term success. Here, you would set goals, make a plan or develop a skill.

Quadrant 3—Urgent But Not Important Tasks

The tasks here are distractions. Though they may demand your immediate attention, they are not goal-specific. Delegate the tasks here and free up your time for important ones.  

Quadrant 4—Not Urgent and Unimportant Tasks

The tasks here only waste your time. They can be great sources of distraction, so get rid of them as soon as possible.

By using this matrix, you can focus on tasks that matter. So, prioritize your tasks well and increase your productivity by allocating your time well.

 Concentrate on the Most Important Tasks (MITs) 

The rationale behind the Most Important Tasks is that a typical to-do list will consist of important and not-so-important tasks. By merely checking off items you complete on your to-do list, you will tick off some important and less important tasks.

You could finish checking off these items in a few minutes. Or you could spend all day checking off the easy ones, and working hard on the urgent and important ones.

Instead, at the start of your day, choose the top three most important tasks that you simply must finish by the end of the day.

Bearing the most important tasks in mind, create a to-do list and ensure they all get done.

Practice Deep Work

The habit of deep work, coined by Cal Newport, significantly increases your efficiency level. It does this by letting you focus deep and hard to produce high-quality work in a short span of time.

In this state, you invest intense concentration and work without distractions on complex projects.

Deep Work Strategies:

You can use these deep work strategies to enhance your efficiency:

  1. Schedule dedicated sessions of deep work in your work calendar.
  2. Create an environment favorable for deep work. Look for a quiet corner away from all distractions.
  3. Set up rituals to start and end your deep work sessions.
  4. Prioritize tasks and allot focused time for the most important tasks of the day.
  5. Train your concentration and attention using mindfulness techniques.
  6. With the help of productivity tools, block all kinds of distractions.
  7. As you practice deep work, try to increase its duration.
  8. Set aside time blocks for deep work sessions. Allot about 60-90 minutes to dedicate yourself to your complex project. Eliminate all distractions, work intensely and achieve your milestone.
  9. Break up long work sessions into small 25-30 minute micro-sessions. After each session, take a short break. This helps you return to your work with renewed vigor and you’re more efficient
  10. Learn to refuse

As an efficient freelancer, it’s possible that you may receive several projects or opportunities almost together. The thought of working on so many projects could be exciting, but the reality is that you may bite more than you can chew.

This is the time when you need to refuse some clients, no matter how difficult. This will give you sufficient time to focus on the projects you’ve accepted. You’ll also have enough time for your most important tasks.

When you work on fewer projects, you spend highly productive and focused time on important things. By doing low-value work all through the day, your energy is unnecessarily sapped and you don’t earn enough. Instead, opt for a few high-value tasks, stay productive and earn more.

As you proceed with your freelancing career, you learn your most valuable skill and invest time and effort into doing it best. This means that you practice this one habit to the exclusion of other smaller ones, particularly if they align with your goals.

 Set Up Morning and Evening Routines 

By setting up a morning and evening routine, you develop a habit of doing something productive at the start and end of your day. When your day starts, you can review your mail, write up your to-do list, and allocate tasks for the day on priority.

When your day ends, review your mail, your day and your to-do list. See how much progress you have made so that you can improve on it the next day. Once you set a pattern for this, you automatically become more organized, and spend your time more judiciously and productively.

Keep Learning and Develop the Necessary Skills

Nurture a growth mindset and believe in the power of knowledge. Take courses, attend workshops and acquire new skills. The more you grow your expertise, the better you will be able to handle complex projects and deliver superior-quality work.

Take Breaks and Rest Periodically 

It’s important to incorporate regular breaks and rest periods into your workday. Avoid overworking or burning out. Take short breaks between tasks to recharge, stretch, or engage in relaxation techniques. Additionally, ensure you get enough sleep, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and prioritize self-care. Well-rested and rejuvenated

 Prioritize Self-Care

While you work hard to achieve your goals, it is equally important that you take care of yourself. Instead of sitting for hours at your laptop, take a little time out of your schedule to exercise and incorporate a sport or relaxation techniques in your daily schedule.

Work hard to maintain a work-life balance so that you get the most of both worlds. Socialize and network to widen your ambit of opportunities.

Takeaway

To enhance efficiency and productivity at work, it is necessary to adopt habits for better work performance. By practicing the habits mentioned in this article, you can change the way you work.

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