Make the Most of How You Work
Forget everything you’ve ever been told about how to complete your work efficiently, instead make the most of how you work naturally.
Using your natural ways of working will make the workload feel easier and you will also complete items quicker (and with a lot less angst).
You may already be aware of your natural ways of working but if not follow these steps to discover or refine it for yourself.
1. Let go of the need to follow an approach you have been instructed in, heard about, read about or have been told is best practice (if it isn’t working for you). Not following a particular approach doesn’t make you a failure (it only means that particular process doesn’t suit you). For example, if you work well to deadlines then structure your workload this way – don’t feel guilty if you’re not an early planner.
2. Read, listen, google, talk to people and find out how others work. There are plenty of guides for working efficiently but again choose one that works for you. For example, I know the best place for me to get inspired and write my blog is in a cafe surrounded by noise – not at my desk!
3. Experiment with your preferred approaches. How does each approach feel (ie: does it help you get things done or does it feel like hard work and are you still spending lots of unproductive time procrastinating?). Keep testing new approaches until you find one that fits.
4. Pay attention to timing. Discovering when you are at your most productive involves finding a time when your most important and detailed work is going to be done accurately and quickly. This varies for each individual and you may find that your best time is late at night or very early in the morning (rather than during usual office hours). It may not always be possible to do tasks at these times but use it when you can and you will find you are more productive.
5. It can be helpful to discover more about yourself. Personality assessments (depending on their nature) can highlight how you like to work. You may like to use them to discover or confirm your own impressions of your natural working style.
6. Still struggling to find something that fits? It may be that you need to develop something more customised and/or need someone objective to discuss it with you. Finding an approach which maximises your results is the key to being productive, so it’s worthwhile continuing the search until you discover it.
How you achieve your tasks can be as creative and personalised as you are. And remember you don’t need to demonstrate your value by how you’ve done something – demonstrate it instead by what you’ve achieved!