How to Make Establish an Efficient System?
Efficient (of a system or machine) achieving maximum productivity with minimum wasted effort or expense, preventing the wasteful use of a particular resource. Working in a well-organized and competent way. Performing or functioning in the best possible manner with the least waste of time and effort; having and using requisite knowledge, skill, and industry.
Abraham Lincoln once gave a sound piece of advice regarding productivity. He said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the Axe.”
It is apparent that he means that he can do a much more efficient job with the right tool. On the other hand, chopping away on the tree with a dull Axe might cut it down as well, but less efficiently and probably for a longer period of time. In other words, the best way to make the most of your time is by establishing an efficient system. To be more specific, you should first create the most conducive environment, and choosing the best tools, for the task.
To help you establish an efficient system, there are two main things to do. The first one is to choose the right tools you need to accomplish the task in the best possible way. The second is to organize the space in which you will be doing the task.
Choose the Best Tools for the Task
Can you tell off the bat which tools you need the most to accomplish certain tasks? If you cannot, try remembering the following guidelines:
- The tool should be the most user-friendly.
While this does not apply to all cases, it helps to remember to go back to the basics. Often, the tool that is easiest to use is also the more efficient. It does not require much time to learn how to use it and to manipulate it.
An example of a simple, user-friendly time management tool is the to Do list. It is simple as jotting down tasks on a piece of paper and crossing them out once you are done.
- The tool should help you focus.
Some people who want to enhance their time management skills often tend to buy a number of “organizational tools,” such as planners, calendars, and so on, but then end up not using most of them at all. Worse, some would attempt to use them all at once and end up confused. Therefore, the best solution is to pick no more than one tool you will truly use for a particular project, goal, or task, and then stick to it.
- The tool should be the most efficient and effective.
If a tool requires too much time to set up before you can use it, then it had better be four times more efficient than the other models. Otherwise, you would only end up accumulating wasted time from using it. The bottom-line is to choose a tool that will strike a balance between efficiency and effectiveness by looking at how well it can help you with the task and how quickly it can be used.
Aside from these, other factors you can consider are accessibility, cost, visibility, and so on, depending on the specific tools you need. After all, some tools are to be used for personal goals and tasks, while others are for professional use or team projects. Nevertheless, it helps to keep these three core guidelines in mind before you decide to choose a certain tool for your project.
Organize and Develop an Efficient Work Space
A space that is clean and organized does not just mean it is neat and tidy. Rather, it expands to keeping only the things you need in sight. Everything else that does not serve any purpose to your goal is merely a distraction. This rule applies not just to your physical surroundings, but your digital space as well.
You can achieve this by taking these simple steps:
- Clear all the items off the area first. This will make it easier for you to separate the items and tools you want to use from the ones that only serve as distraction.
For instance, if your computer desktop is cluttered with all sorts of icons and folders, then create a folder and label it “Mess.” After that, move everything into it in one full sweep.
- Re-build or re-organize the area by choosing the tools that you need. Everything else must be removed or stored away more efficiently.
If we go back to the same example, when you are left with a clear desktop, you can then choose from the “Mess” folder the ones you need for a particular project or goal. Everything else can be deleted or sorted out until you can safely delete the “Mess” folder.
- Develop an efficient system for your project or goal.
Now that only the tools you need remain in the area, your final step is to use them to create an efficient system. It is important to ensure that the system is simple, easy to use, and effective, because you may be using it so often it becomes a habit.
Let us say you make a living as a medical transcriptionist. Since your desktop is now uncluttered, you now only have your transcribing tool, a spreadsheet icon of a file that helps you track your progress, and folder of projects on it. Your final step is to systematize how you work so that you can maximize your time and efficiency. It can be simple, such as:
Step 1: Click the spreadsheet icon to monitor and review project.
Step 2: Open transcribing tool.
Step 3: Open project to be transcribed.
Step 4: Put on headset, adjust volume, and start transcribing.
Once your tools and system are polished and organized, it is guaranteed that all the tasks you need to accomplish will become easier to do. All you need to do at this point is to take action.