Personal efficiency: desirable and achievable | Jean-Luc Doumont | TEDxGhent

How to Be Efficient

We're all busy. The brief moments of free time we do have are tempting to fritter away and use on leisure or time-wasting activities. But learning to be more efficient at home and at work will help you maximize the free time you do have, making you more productive, satisfied, and happy. Read after the jump to learn how to get started becoming more efficient.


  1. Develop critical thinking skills.
    • Ask questions. Get a thorough explanation. Communicate effectively. Explore several scenarios before proceeding.
    • Use logic and common sense. Accept and learn from your mistakes. Reassess and ask again.
    • Evaluate alternatives. Ask for help from someone that has more experience or skill. Be adventurous and open to new ideas. Be amicable towards new perspectives.
    • Adapt your skills to the future. Things may not apply at the moment, but they may in the future. Grasp the concept and use it in several different ways.
  2. Think ahead.Speed your process and technique by planning ahead.
    • Make a list of ideas. You may not have time to proceed at the moment, but you may have time to think about the most efficient procedure.
    • Do research online or at the library. Compare pros and cons, risks and benefits.
    • When following instructions, read through the entire procedure before you begin. Highlight or underline important concepts.
    • Start simple and perfect later. Learn the fundamentals before proceeding to the more complicated.
    • Use the proper tools and resources. A simple tool may be more appropriate for certain tasks.
    • Prioritize. What needs to be done first, urgently or today?
    • Be realistic with the time it takes for each step. Set aside time for the unexpected. As you near the end of a step, begin thinking about the next.
    • Complete small portions at a time. Try half hour or one hour intervals. A small project is less daunting and more easily accomplished.
    • Finish the task at hand or finish it up to a certain point and continue another day.
  3. Stay focused.Time can be wasted if you forget a step or get off track.
    • Remove distractions to give your full attention. Appreciate the quiet. It's relaxing. Use ear protectors, if necessary.
    • Do one thing at a time. Do each step well before proceeding to the next. Most procedures are supported by the previous steps.
    • Complete one project before starting another for a sense of accomplishment.
  4. Take a break.
    • Rest to replenish and rejuvenate your body and mind. Gently exercise to increase circulation and oxygen to your brain to think more clearly.
    • Balance what you have to do with things you'd like to do. You may think of more efficient ways to proceed in the meantime.
  5. Analyze your behavior.Keep records of important information. Understand how your behavior and habits influence a situation or circumstance.
    • Time yourself to set aside the proper amount of time to do repetitive tasks. Perspective of time will make it easier to schedule and rearrange your day. Don't overload yourself. Learn to say no.
    • Look for ways to save money and thus spend less time at work. Record and review your receipts and bills. Do errands twice a month and buy in bulk.
    • Replace activities with the inexpensive. Go for a walk instead of watching television. Copies of letters may just need a change of date.
    • Gather information. Refer to your old tax forms for an understanding. Learn to read a map to save travel time. Learn a new language for use at work or with travel.
    • You may be more adept at one skill than another. If something is not working out for you, acknowledge it and move on.
  6. Limit your possessions.All possessions require your time and money. Sacrifice a little to have a bigger whole.
    • Get rid of the extraneous, unused and useless. Do not put things in storage. Do not continue to add more to your environment.
    • Buy only what you absolutely need. Buy time-saving, multi-functional, reliable items. Get the most use out of the resources you have.
    • Take good care of what you have to prevent from buying it again.
  7. Organize the remainder.Make things easy to find and easy to clean.
    • Give everything a home. Hang your coat and purse on a hook. Put your dishes in the cupboard.
    • Put everything away. There's less to dust. There's less to move when you sweep or vacuum.
    • When you clear space, it clears your mind.
  8. Stop worrying.
    • Keep thoughts focused on fruitful endeavors. Be confident with your plans and proceed.
    • Just try something new and innovative. Just do the best you can. Be gentle with yourself. Nothing is perfect.
    • Enjoy your confidence in making good decisions. Take pride in the quality of your work.
    • Education allows you to adapt more easily. Participate to offer your knowledge, skills and direction.
  9. Enjoy your spare time.
    • Do the things you've been wanting to do. Learn something new. Have an adventure.

Community Q&A

  • Question
    How do I make my wife efficient?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    You could try to gently advise her to read this article and maybe she'll pick up on a few steps. Openly communicate with her your desire for her to be more efficient, and help her with it. Don't try to force her to be more efficient or make her feel inadequate for her current lack of efficiency.
  • Question
    What are the benefits of being efficient?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    The benefits are numerous, too many to be listed. All in all, one's whole life will improve in all possible ways and one feels more satisfied, fulfilled, happy; everything becomes more meaningful and just right.
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  • Abraham Lincoln said, "If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend four hours sharpening the axe."
  • Don't spend time doing things the wrong way over and over again.
  • Time yourself with a chess clock.
  • Take breaks at reasonable stopping places, otherwise it takes time to remember what you have done before.

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Date: 01.12.2018, 09:54 / Views: 32493