1. Technology is a great tool and there are a never-ending array of new methods to improve efficiency. For example, video conferencing tools such as Skype can reduce meeting times as there is no need to travel.
2. Emails can decrease your efficiency therefore either check and respond to them for set amounts of time throughout the day or outsource email management to a professional assistant.
3. Separate your inboxes. If you have regular contact with certain people, then create an inbox for each.
4. Sort your mail. It is easy to read an email and then forget about it. Sort it as soon as you receive it – to act, to read, to file or to delegate.
5. Create a workflow for tasks. Once a task arises, ensure you follow a set procedure.
6. Store reference materials online for future use. This will make it easier for not only yourself, but for colleagues to access any online reports or research.
7. Have regular breaks – this will improve focus and efficiency.
8. Walk around the office every so-often. This will the promote blood flow around your body.
9. Boost morale by sharing team objectives and goals.
10. Use common terminology. This will help to create a shared culture within your team.
11. Act on your phone messages promptly. Smaller tasks can mount quickly, decreasing your efficiency for the rest of the day.
12. Organise your tasks each day, starting with the higher priority tasks.
13. Keep to the schedule of your meetings. Once a meeting over-runs, it can impact on the rest of your colleagues’ and your own day.
14. De-clutter your office - if you don’t use something regularly then you are unlikely to need it.
15. Put all items back where they belong.
16. Organise your own desk. You will feel more productive.
17. At the end of each day, organise your desk again, ready for the start of the next day.
18. Before you leave the office, write a to-do list for the next day whilst all your tasks are still at the forefront or your mind. You will also find it easier to relax when you get home.
19. Establish “work zones” for different types of activities.
20. Create a meeting folder, separating “items to be discussed”, reports that are due and items that need to be handed out.
21. Create a “waiting on response” folder for items that cannot be completed until someone else responds or acts. Check every this few days for anything that needs to be followed-up.
22. Create a “reading folder” for reports and research you want to read but are not urgent