How acn you be more efficient?

Published on Friday, 04 November 2011 12:29
Posted by Joanne Harding

The talk at the moment is all about efficiency savings, how much money we need to cut off the budget, how many posts we may need to lose to hit savings targets. The numbers can seem daunting but at the individual level there is always something that can be done more efficiently

So what is the point in you saving 5 minutes when the overall efficiency saving required is in the thousands or even millions? At times like this, it usually means that everyone has to do more for less. So, the more effective and efficient you are the more time you will have to manage your ever increasing work load.

Where could your personal efficiency savings come from? Time management, decision making, being more creative or innovative, managing meetings / performance better.

So what can you do?

1.    Analyse how you do these things, or how you don’t do them!  Observe how you are working now. If you still aren’t sure then ask a trusted colleague.

2.    Set yourself goals. They don’t have to be big but they do have to be owned by you. I have coached managers who have identified that they just wanted be able to go to the toilet when they needed to!!

3.    Identify as many possible solutions for how you could do things differently / better; they don’t have to be big savings or changes, start small and work up. Initially don’t consider if the solutions will work just list as many as you can think of.

4.    What will you do? Of the options identify which ones you are going to try? Make your goals SMART, especially setting time frames. Write them down. If you can’t write them down you aren’t really motivated to do them! You might want to pick a couple of quick win solutions or to focus on an area that you know leads to your greatest inefficiency and hence will give the biggest win once resolved.

5.    Do it! Put it to the top of your ‘to do’ list. Protect time to make it happen. We can all find some time for something we are really motivated to do. Even telling someone you are going to do it can be helpful, especially if they are the kind of person who will challenge you on it later.


6.    Evaluate how well it worked. If it works then keep going, if not, then ditch the idea and try an alternative solution. 

7.    Keep at it. It is really difficult to permanently change behaviour. You have to keep reinforcing the need to work in the new and different way. Use your diary to remind yourself of what you promised you would do and when.

8.    If you haven’t done what you set yourself to do, don’t beat yourself up but don’t let yourself off the hook either. Evaluate why you didn’t do it and see if there is a better solution. If not then try it again.

9.    Make time in your diary to review your efficiency and effectiveness on a regular basis and if you manage staff, do it with them too. You could tie it in with the appraisal and mid-year review process.

10.    Now push for even more!
If you would like further information or support with improving your efficiency or effectiveness please get in touch.

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