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Efficient is the new Smart

becoming more productive, becoming efficient, smart efficiency
Being efficient at work opens up many opportunities: increased productivity, more money, extended downtime and less stress. If everyone approached their work with efficiency in mind, everything will move along faster and people will be stressed out less. Imagine a world looking like that.

There are many ways to be more efficient at work, and it starts with your online habits and ends with your workstation. By streamlining your your online activities, you can have more time to focus on what’s more important to you.

Keep all your files in the Cloud

Services like Box, Google Drive and OneDrive let you upload all your files online, which you can then access using any smartphone or computer with an internet connection. This way, you can take your work with you anywhere you go. Their basic plans are free and should be more than enough for small files and documents. Choose only one service though, because choosing all of them and dividing your files is a bad idea and you’ll end up looking at multiple storage folders instead of one.

Use Google Docs or Microsoft Office Online

Both of these services allow you to create word files, spreadsheets and presentations online. The best part is that you can invite people to view, comment or edit what you made for real time collaboration that can save time and money. Both these services are free, but Google Docs ups the ante because everything you create online using their service doesn’t count to your online storage quota on Google Drive. Everything you upload that gets converted into their format won’t count as well.

Search like a Prophone-918633_1280

Search engines have evolved to provide accurate answers based on what you type, unlike in the past where it just showed everything containing all keywords in your query. Use this to your advantage by typing exactly what you want. If you’re looking for “tree sap” for example, don’t just type “sap” on the search box because you’ll get results for SAP (Systems, Applications and Products in data processing). Type everything for best results. This also works for more complicated queries such as “automated testing for SAP applications” or “trees that have a lot of sap” . Adding extra words can help get you exactly what you need. That’s the beauty of organic search and you should use it to your advantage.

Make a List

Lists can help you get things done, period. The best apps to help you organize your workday are Evernote and Wunderlist. Both of these service are free and very easy to use/configure. Forget post its. If you work with a computer and have a smartphone, these apps can help you organize your schedule and workload.

Keep your personal files and work files separated

More often than not, personal files somehow manage to get mixed up with professional ones. Designate a home and work computer. If you only have one, make sure you have separate folders and storage options for personal and office files. For example, you can have all your personal files on your computer, but all office related stuff is stored online or on a thumb drive.

Declutter your Workstation

One of the biggest timewasters is looking for a file out of a pile of documents or trying to find a working pen. A cluttered workstation reduces productivity, so if your own desk is in disarray, it’s high time you cleaned house. Remove all unnecessary items from your desk such as old post it notes, receipts, paid bills, old files, pens that don’t work, deformed paper clips, spare change and other distractions that clutter your space.

Don’t do Social Media at work

Social media and work productivity don’t mix, so don’t be tempted to even take a peak during your lunch break. Everything is probably going to be the same whether you check in or not, so just do it after your workday ends as a sort of reward (if you’re really into social media). Videos of fat cats and sneezing pandas can wait until after you get home, too.

That’s it! Being a bit more efficient at work is a piece of cake. If you work smart, everything else will become easier and you can get your work done faster.

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James

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