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7 Easy Ways to Increase Efficiency in the Workplace

“Life moves pretty fast; if you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it” – Ferris Bueller

In today’s fast-paced world, it can sometimes be difficult to stop and smell the roses. Between 40+ hour work weeks, kids, friends, family, pets, and personal needs, there’s just not enough time in the day or week to get everything you want done.

What if you could save some much-needed time during your workday? Try these quick efficiency examples in the workplace to shave some time off your day, giving you more time to take care of important tasks – or, allow you to take a deep breath and enjoy life’s simple pleasures.

Visualize your to-do lists

About 65% of people consider themselves visual learners. If you’re one of them, visualizing your to-do list can greatly increase your ability to check off tasks and get things done more efficiently. Take your to-do list out of your head and turn it into something tangible. This can be done on your computer’s word processor, your phone’s note taking app, or the old-fashioned way with pen and paper. If you have a software system like OptimumHQ, it can also be your real-time task list within your company Portal. Whatever works for you to see your tasks and help you crush them one by one.

pink highlighter checking things off a list


Too many of us are busy being a jack-of-all-trades, trying to do everything ourselves. This cycle can quickly lead to burnout in even the best employees. Don’t stretch yourself too thin. Utilize your teammates, hire interns from the local university, reach out to freelancers, consultants, and others to help you get the job done. It doesn’t all have to fall on you, even when sometimes it feels like it does. It takes a village!

Utilize technology

Humans are not robots, so why do we still have humans doing robotic work like data entry and manual reporting? It’s not efficient to waste hours per week on tasks that aren’t contributing to your company’s bottom line. It’s time to leverage your technology to assist with these menial tasks, if you haven’t already. Implementing a software like OptimumHQ that assists with automation can be a lifesaver. In fact, one of our clients raised their workforce productivity by 32% after implementing OptimumHQ – that’s 232,960 working hours per year they’ve freed up that can now be spent on more important things.

man with a computer with OptimumHQ logo on the screen

Eat the frog

Mark Twain once said “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.” (Learn more about this in our blog "How The Most Successful Business Owners Manage Their Time.") Keep this (somewhat silly) advice in your mind when looking at your task list. Even though it might seem to make more sense to tackle all the small things on your checklist first, you want to take care of the biggest and ugliest task first (your “frog”). Otherwise, all the little stuff might pile up and keep you procrastinating your frog, which is the most important. Be like Mark Twain and eat the frog first.

Keep it all in one place

Organization is huge in order to stay efficient and on top of everything. People who have a clean and tidy house, car, desk space, etc, normally work better than those who have to keep sifting through the clutter. Keep your space and mind clutter-free. Another way to look at this is with your software. You wouldn’t keep your kitchen supplies in different rooms throughout your house, right? You want them all in one place, where you need them, when you need them. Why should your software tools be any different? It’s less efficient to jump between several software applications throughout the day to access the data you need to run your business. Instead of storing your data and business information in all these disparate apps, put them all in one place – in a software tool like OptimumHQ.

computer screen that says 'DO MORE'

Say no to unnecessary meetings

Do you feel like you’re always getting dragged into unnecessary meetings? Only about 45% of an employee’s day is spent on their core tasks, while the other 55% gets eaten up by interruptions, meetings, and administrative burdens. Although it can be difficult, you may need to start saying “no” to some meetings. Ask yourself if this meeting is really a good use of your time and if you are actually needed. If you only have a small role to play, pop into the meeting only to present your information and answer any questions. If you find that you just can’t get out of certain meetings, request a standing meeting (it’s exactly what it sounds like – everyone stands instead of sitting). This encourages everyone to get right to the point and be brief.

Reduce email usage

Did you know that the average person spends 4.1 hours checking their email every single day? While there’s no doubt email is a powerful communication tool, it can easily overwhelm your workday. In particular, sending inter-office emails is a huge time suck. What if you could track the real-time progress of an internal project without having to email your colleagues about the status? With OptimumHQ, everyone on the project can have full visibility of the status, what department is currently working on it, and any other important updates, all from your web browser. No email chains required.

Take these seven simple tips, incorporate them into your daily workday, and see what happens! What other efficiency hacks do you use to save time at the office?

Related reading:
Clean Off Your Desk Day Step-by-Step Guide