‘There’s an app for that!’ is a phrase I commonly hear from my younger, technology-immersed brother.  Much to the dismay of my fellow Millennials, I rarely use my phone as anything other than a communication tool. However, as I wander down technology lane, I admit that I find myself drawn to its efficiency.

As a child of the ‘Era of Efficiency’ that is today, I find that effective productivity delivers results. Here are a few pointers from a self-proclaimed Task Master:

Plan It: As I reflect on my college years, I often wonder how I made it through without Outlook. From setting tasks to reminders or generally planning the day with the Outlook Calendar, I’ve found that scheduling time (and knowing when your meetings are) is beneficial to accomplishing your priorities. If you don’t make time for something, it’s not going to happen!

Communicate: Ever find yourself composing an email that has somehow turned into a novel? While it may be easier to splatter ink across the page, it’s best to keep it succinct. Make sure that your communication, whether it’s an email, phone call, or IM, includes relevant information in a concise format.  A lengthy email may nail out all the details, but a short one encourages a full read.

Take a Break: When the 2 p.m. mid-afternoon slump hits you full force, sometimes it’s better to get up and get moving! Energize yourself to shake off the nap-time feeling and seize the afternoon. If you start to lose focus and daydream (of course, this never happens), grab a drink or take a short stroll. You’d be surprised what a quick trip to the kitchenette can do!

Cut it Out: The world is full of magnificent things: roses, waterfalls, sunrises, and, of course, computer keyboard shortcuts. When I discovered the simple beauty of Ctrl +C, my world became much more fluid. However, it’s not just copy/paste –rather, any inefficiency that encumbers you. Try using the tab key while typing in fields and saving Favorites so they’re easier to find. By cutting the fat, it’ll streamline your technique and bolster your output.

Stick to It: If you’re a serial snooze-button hitter, this tip is for you. After you’ve planned your day, put it into practice. Getting distracted by the cupcakes in the break room or sidetracked by the latest gossip is a productivity killer. If you find that interruptions cause you to lose your train of thought and throw your schedule out the window, don’t be so available. Go over to the commons area or book yourself a meeting room.  A few minutes of heads down work occasionally fits the bill!

Efficiency looks different depending on the circumstance or situation – find what works best for you. While technology lane can be a bit bumpy at times, its benefits are abundant. Tips or tricks on working efficiently? Share them in the comments below!

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