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05 Jun

Seven ways of working faster

Datum: 2013-06-05 12:00

Sure we need struc­ture and sys­tem­at­ic work­ing meth­ods. But some­times we sim­ply need to work faster. 

If effi­cien­cy was about work­ing hard­er, more intense and with more painstak­ing labor than before, I would not have been a fan of this topic. 

There are def­i­nite­ly things we can do to enable our­selves to do more tasks dur­ing the same time as before with­out work­ing hard­er. Here are sev­en things you can start doing right away. 

Do this

  1. Do as many tem­plates you can that will do half the job for you when you are doing some­thing you have done before. 

  2. Prac­tice the sep­a­rate parts a task con­sists of so that you can per­form them faster but with­out exert­ing more effort. Time your­self, make note of your progress and cre­ate impres­sive dia­grams if this is what inspires and moti­vates you. The vio­lin­ist who holds the world-record for play­ing The Flight of the Bum­ble-bee” (1 minute and 3,356seconds) plays it faster now that the first time he attempt­ed it. He has been practicing.

  3. Make your­self unavail­able so that you do not get inter­rupt­ed as much. Close the door, turn off your phone and shut down the e‑mail. Work else­where than in your usu­al work­space (you can for instance bor­row an emp­ty office on the top floor, so that you will not be found). Tell your col­leagues that head­phones on” means that you wish to immerse your­self in work­ing with a par­tic­u­lar­ly dif­fi­cult task, rather than answer their questions. 

  4. Move things clos­er to your­self, so that you do not have to get up and move far from where you are sit­ting to reach them. Place the items you use fre­quent­ly an arm’s length away.

  5. Get your own copy of a par­tic­u­lar tool (such as a scan­ner, print­er, guil­lo­tine cut­ter etc) that you at present share with your col­leagues (and hence usu­al­ly have to look for or get some­where before you can make use of it). 

  6. Gath­er and do sim­i­lar tasks in suc­ces­sion so that the set­up time between tasks become short­er and few­er. It can for instance be tasks with sim­i­lar time-per­spec­tives. Do the short-term tasks first and re-focus on the long-term tasks lat­er, rather than skip­ping between the dif­fer­ent types of tasks. 

  7. Set­tle for good enough rather than striv­ing for per­fect. While work­ing with a task, gen­tly ques­tion your­self in the sense that you for every new part of the task ask your­self if it real­ly is a nec­es­sary step to per­form if you are just striv­ing to com­plete the task suf­fi­cient­ly. Sure, in order to do a per­fect job you might have to include this part of the task, but if time is short and you want to fin­ish the task as soon as pos­si­ble, you are wast­ing you time if you over-achieve.

Be quick about it!

If you make a con­crete change that will speed up your work-tem­po (when you want it to be faster), you will have more time for the larg­er, more long-termed mat­ters which are often giv­en a low­er pri­or­i­ty in a life char­ac­ter­ized by urgency. If you used to be frus­trat­ed over how lit­tle you man­age to do in a day, you will feel uplift­ed as you notice that you with small means can influ­ence the speed and tem­po at which you work. 

What is your way?

How do you do to work faster? Write a com­ment and tell me (and oth­er read­ers of the blog).