How To Create More Efficiency
A common recommendation for focused goal-setting is to designate a single word as a theme for the year. I’ve never actually done this before, but as I was thinking about what I wanted to focus on in 2022, the same word kept coming up: efficiency. Namely, that I want to create more efficiency in all my processes.
While this experiment is very much a work in progress, I thought I would share some of the strategies and ideas I’ll be working on to create more efficiency both in my work and in my personal life.
Strategies To Create More Efficiency
In my planning processes over the past month or two, I’ve come up with a few strategies I want to try to create more efficiency. Some of these ideas are simple, concrete actions, while others are more abstract, big-picture goals.
1. Designate a singular focus.
Since my keyword for this 6-month planning period is “efficiency,” I decided to structure all of my 6-month goals around this one concept.
To be clear, I’m still using my typical process of setting three main goal categories, each broken down into actionable steps. But throughout those three main categories, I’m emphasizing efficiency as a running theme.
That means each smaller goal seeks to make me more efficient in that area. For example, my “work” category is made up of small goals to streamline my processes so I can accomplish more in less time.
2. Send out one newsletter per month.
Previously, I sent out one email newsletter per week, announcing the blog post I published that week.
Now, I plan to create and send out one monthly digest newsletter, with occasional simple newsletters as needed/desired. This will allow me to put more time, thought, and energy into my content, and to reduce the amount of emails I’m asking people to receive. More efficiency for everyone!
On that note, if you’d like to receive this monthly digest, sign up using the form below! You’ll also get exclusive access to a free library of planning and goal-setting resources.
3. Streamline my processes.
As I mentioned above, one of my biggest, more abstract goals is to streamline all of my routines, operating procedures, etc., across the board. This goal is still extremely vague, so I’ll need to be really intentional in identifying exactly how and when to do this.
One action I’ve already taken toward this goal is to set aside time at the end of each month to evaluate my current systems and make adjustments as needed.
4. Upgrade my skillset and tools.
Constantly learning and investing in higher-quality tools is another way I’m hoping to create more efficiency in my work. As I become even better and faster at what I do, I can provide greater value and also add new skills and services.
Other Ideas for Increased Efficiency
Of course, the above ides aren’t the only way to create more efficiency in your work and daily life.
Here are a few other ideas you can build on:
Let go of something. When you try to do too many things at once, you sabotage your own efficiency and productivity. Examine the commitments you’ve made, and see if there’s even one task you can allow yourself to let go of. It may be difficult in the moment, but it will pay off in the long run. You may even be able to return to that task at a later time, when you are better able to focus on it.
Prioritize. Another cause of feeling overwhelmed is simply not knowing which tasks should hold priority over others. As a result, you bounce aimlessly from one to another — or become too paralyzed to even begin. To get started, try to identify what absolutely needs to happen first, either because it would have the worst consequences if you didn’t do it or because it would give you the biggest feelings of satisfaction if you did do it.
Make use of project/life management tools. The key to efficiency is automation. That can mean forming habits, or it can mean leveraging technology to free up brain space. Currently, I use a combination of a bullet journal, pre-printed planner (for business tasks), and the project management tool ClickUp for my overall planning system. Making use of all these tools together helps me stay organized and remember what expectations I’ve set for myself — without consciously remembering it all.
Outsource. If you’ve tried everything else to create more efficiency, but you’re still overwhelmed by your workload, it may be time to outsource some of those tasks. Letting someone else shoulder part of your workload can free up valuable time and energy that you can put to better use elsewhere. (Looking for assistance with writing/editing, podcast production, or basic admin tasks? I may be able to help! Check out my list of services and rates here.)
Create More Efficiency One Step at a Time
As with most goals, once you’ve decided to create more efficiency in your life, the temptation is to try to change everything at once — to jump headlong into all of the above ideas at the same time. Resist that temptation. You can’t become more efficient by overloading yourself with extra tasks, even if those tasks are designed to help you create more efficiency in the long run.
Instead, choose just one or two ideas that seem most feasible, that you believe would make the biggest difference in the shortest amount of time. Try them out, evaluate the result, and then decide if you want or need to move on to the next idea.
Download the Cheat Sheet
I’ve compiled all the ideas and suggestions from this blog post into a printable cheat sheet, so you can keep it close at hand and remind yourself what you’re working toward.
You can find the cheat sheet in my free resource library. Enter your name and email in the form below to get access!
Did you know?
I offer writing & editing, podcast production, and virtual admin services.