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

2022 Focus: 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!

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

Create more efficiency for a clearer mind

Of course, the above ideas 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, a 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 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.

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