Friday, January 9, 2015

How to Increase your Efficiency

     Since we are still in a New Year's state of mind, many of us start to work with calendars pretty close. I am no different. However I discovered that having an large one month as one is no longer enough. It got me thinking how the world has changed. Looking at the calendar, it is exactly the same as it was 300 years ago. A month has about 30 days, there are 7 days in a week and each of these days has 24 hours. What changed is the amount of stuff that we need to fit into these same 24 hours. If we are lucky to have a job, the job is no longer the proverbial 9:00AM to 5:00PM. Now giving up to 60 hours per week is not that unusual. that means about 12 hours a day. Now, the houses we live in are in need of maintenance, which requires time, one needs to be networking, one needs to be social, one has to be a good friend, one has to be there couple times a month for the parents. If one is a parent too, that gives a new dimension to squeezing the minutes. Calendars are the same, days are the same time wise but what we have to fit in these 24 hours has changed dramatically. 

     Create a routine
     There are couple of the daily items that we could make it "automatic." When a task is performed in such manner the efficiency increases. There is a reason why factories have lines and "simple task" performed by one individual. This system allows for increased output. The same is true of McDonald, there is a system in place on how to exactly make the hamburger. This system allows for fast serving of food. These are big companies that invested lots of money to have psychologists Frank and Lillian Gilbreth research how to increase productivity. They found out systems are the answer. System in a private life is routine. I wrote here about how creating a routine can help. Routines are your friend. Even if they if they sound boring they really help save precious minutes to do something else. I have a morning routine done in such a way, that as my daughter wakes up (major struggle) at 7:00 AM, she will have a breakfast, dress, wash, pack the backpack and by 7:58AM we are out the door for the bus. She is not even 6 years old yet, and it wasn't easy but a routine has been established and now mornings are stress free. The additional benefit is, that she knows the routine very well too, so she in in her little way set too. Also, since we have it perfected the morning dance, I can truly think of other things since I am on autopilot anyway.

     There are things in our life that are over-complicated hence they require time. If we manage to simplify them time will be saved. The biggest example I found to be in my kitchen. I had tons of cooking gadgets cluttering my space, making it harder to find things I needed, or requiring so much more time to clean it. After purging all the unnecessary stuff my cooking and cleaning requires less time. The key here is to be very true to the answer: do I REALLY use this? After answering to this truthfully I ended up with 3 pots ( 1 large, 1 medium and 1 small) and 2 frying pans and this is it. I did the same for my pantry. Same could be done with closets, toys, books and cosmetics. I must admit I am working on the books now. However, my cosmetics will stay as they are - first of all, I love using them, secondly I am Avon lady so I need to test some of their product to be able to recommend or not the products. Therefore, my bathroom will stay with beauty excess - hey, no one is perfect :)

     Create a list
     This is my absolute favourite To Do List - you can read about the magic of To Do list here. I do not go anywhere without my list. I have couple of lists in fact. I love them. There are many advantages of making such list. Firstly, once you put everything on paper you will not forget. You can add random stuff that you remembered all of a sudden in the middle of something. Once, all the things in one place, you can group them to gain efficiency. This is mostly visible running errands. Additionally, I cannot stress how crossing the item as done will make you feel. Very often we are running around without visible results. This little piece of paper (yes, I am using the old fashion paper and pen) has crossed lines all over it - you'll feel the accomplishment. Recently, I read something of Brian Tracy where he said that one should have one master to do list, one monthly to do list, one weekly and daily. I already had the master to do list, and daily to do. Now I will try the other two and I will let you know how does it go...

So, here are my little tricks to increase efficiency. They are small tricks but they do reap big results. Try it and please let me know how did it go. Perhaps you have your own tricks that could help me? 
I would love to hear from you in the comments below. 


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