How To Work Faster (With Tips and Examples)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated March 16, 2021 | Published December 7, 2020

Updated March 16, 2021

Published December 7, 2020

Time management is a valuable skill in the workplace and at home. To manage their time better, some employees apply techniques to increase their pace and achieve their tasks in less time. Employees who work faster are often more productive and valued by employers. In this article, we explain why it is important to work faster and review 10 tips to increase your efficiency at work.

Why is it important to work faster?

Time management is a crucial skill in today's business world. Employers value the ability to work faster, and employees benefit from this skill as well. When people talk about working faster, it doesn't only refer to speed. The objective is not to finish your work quickly at a lower quality but to be smarter when you work. Working smarter is obtaining the best results in less time while wasting less time and energy. This strategy requires taking a minute to think through your work habits and reflect on ways to be more efficient in the same allotted time.

When you work faster, you can finish your obligations earlier and have more time for your personal life and hobbies, like spending time with your family and friends. It also contributes to improving your self-esteem. When you're able to complete more work, you might notice a growing sense of accomplishment that benefits your well-being and improves your outlook on work and life.

How to work faster

Here are 10 tips for working more quickly and efficiently:

1. Use a timer while you work

You can use a timer or a stopwatch to track how long you work on each task. When you set a pre-determined amount of time to perform each assignment, you attempt to beat the clock and work faster. According to the business concept of Parkinson's Law, "Work expands to fill the time allotted for it." If you don't set a definite time to complete a task, you might take longer to complete it. So, try setting specific timed goals for each assignment to speed up your work throughout the day.

2. Make a plan

When you plan out your workday ahead of time, you can save time between tasks. Here are three steps to help you plan your work:

  • Write down everything you need to accomplish during the day. This will help you remember the tasks you need to complete and avoid overbooking yourself. Just make sure your plan is realistic and achievable. You should be able to accomplish everything in your plan during the allotted time.

  • Prepare a to-do list with only the big tasks that take time. If you also add micro-tasks, it will overload your to-do list. Cross off each assignment as you finish them.

  • Plan for the long term. Consider any future deadlines and vacation days in your plan to make sure you complete your work on time. If you plan ahead, you can enjoy your breaks without thinking about work. Put reminders in your calendar to keep you thinking about the future.

3. Organize your workspace

Creating a calming workspace can help you be more efficient. Throw away trash and papers you don't need anymore, and file away any documents that you don't need to keep on hand. Keep your computer desktop clutter-free too. A clean workspace helps you keep a clear mind and stay more focused.

Arrange your study or work materials on your desk in an easily accessible way. Avoid piles, and organize your documents so that you know where everything is at all times. This way, you won't waste time hunting through files or piles on your desk, so you'll be less distracted throughout the day.

At the end of every day, take a little time to put your work away and clean up your desk so it will be ready for the next day.

Read more: 7 Steps To Organize Your Paperwork and Declutter Your Desk

4. Minimize distractions

Try to minimize distractions while you work. For example, you can turn off the television or the radio unless it's for music that helps you focus. You might also consider turning off your cell phone or putting it on vibrate while you work. If you work from home, shut your door if possible to avoid being disturbed by others, and if you work in an office where people like to talk, explain to your colleagues that you need to focus, and socialize only during your breaks.

5. Prioritize your tasks

When you assess your workload and decide which assignments are most important, you can organize your time more effectively. Prepare a schedule that specifies what you need to complete first so that you don't waste time wondering which task to do next. You should consider the importance level and deadlines of your tasks to make this schedule.

Starting off with your most difficult or important tasks first can help you feel more accomplished. It may also boost your productivity since you will get to work through more manageable tasks later in the day.

Read more: How To Prioritize Tasks in the Workplace

6. Divide your life into smaller parts

There are two main ways to divide your life into smaller parts to make things more manageable:

  • Divide your work: When you have a big project, you can find the confidence to tackle it by making it look smaller. Divide your work into small, manageable tasks to make it feel less overwhelming.

  • Divide your day: Divide your day into time increments. Then, assign specific tasks during each portion of your day. For example, you could schedule short tasks in half-hour increments and longer assignments in two-hour increments.

Whether you divide your work or day into pieces, it may be beneficial to set a few alarms to help you move on to the next task on time and stay organized throughout the day.

7. Group similar tasks

Organize your activities by grouping them into similar tasks. When you focus on related assignments, you spend less mental energy switching between different tasks. For example, you can dedicate a set time to respond to all of your emails or schedule a list of phone calls in succession.

If you have a lot of assignments, it can help to write them all down first to avoid being sidetracked or missing something accidentally. Then, go over each item at the end of your task to make sure you accomplished what you needed.

8. Put an end to procrastination

Procrastination means putting things off, and it can affect your productivity. According to psychological studies, people who wait until the last minute to accomplish work often make more mistakes and get less done.

So, instead of putting things off, use positive reinforcement and encouragement to complete your work when you need to. For example, you could treat yourself after you complete a task on time or earlier, such as by getting coffee or a snack. Having something to look forward to may motivate you to get your work done.

Read more: Tips To Help You Stop Procrastinating at Work

9. Take time to disconnect from work

Setting aside personal time to disconnect from work can increase your productivity. Schedule some break time during your day and week, and focus on doing something you like during that personal time.

For example, you could dedicate the first hours of your day to something you care about, like doing yoga, taking a walk or playing with your kids. This should help you clear your mind, put you in a better mood and stay focused during work so that you can work faster.

You should also try to switch off from work-related thoughts during the weekends so that you can return to work refreshed and ready each week. It might help to set up separate email accounts for your personal life and work or school to limit your access to professional messages during the weekend.

10. Finish unimportant tasks within 10 minutes

It is best to limit the time you spend on less important tasks to avoid worrying about them later. Unimportant tasks are the ones that don't help you deliver results and can keep you distracted from more important work—for example, writing emails.

Try setting a timer for 10 minutes while you take care of these tasks. Finish them quickly, and save the majority of your time for more critical work. Working this way can make you feel accomplished and productive.

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