How To Work Faster (With Tips and Examples)

Why is it important to work faster?

Time management is a crucial skill in today's business world. Employers value the ability to work faster, and employees benefit from this skill as well. When people talk about working faster, it doesn't only refer to speed. The objective is not to finish your work quickly at a lower quality but to be smarter when you work. Working smarter is obtaining the best results in less time while wasting less time and energy. This strategy requires taking a minute to think through your work habits and reflect on ways to be more efficient in the same allotted time.

When you work faster, you can finish your obligations earlier and have more time for your personal life and hobbies, like spending time with your family and friends. It also contributes to improving your self-esteem. When you're able to complete more work, you might notice a growing sense of accomplishment that benefits your well-being and improves your outlook on work and life.

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10. Make Sure You Have Everything You Need

Planning ahead and making sure you have everything you need will help to save you time and help you to work faster. Before you start your working day, make sure your phone and laptop are charged, and that you have all of the equipment you need. Having to look for a pencil, or charge your laptop could take quarter of an hour out of your day, and you may struggle to refocus on work afterwards.

3. Collaborate wisely. 

There’s a reason “that meeting could have been an email” has become such a popular phrase, and even a meme, in the past couple of years. In a CNBC study before the pandemic-influenced shift to remote work, 67% of workers said excessive meetings keep them from getting their work done. And even in today’s remote work environment, Zoom fatigue is a real problem. 

Excessive meetings are just one example of inefficient collaboration at work. There are also problems stemming from internal chat systems, overwhelming email threads, and even just confusing “next step” assignments. Especially today, with many teams working remotely from distributed locations, it’s important to improve transparency and minimize excess communication. One way to do this is with a collaboration tool, like Hive, which brings all of your team’s communication systems, documents, and assignments to one centralized dashboard.

7. Exercise Visualization When Listening To Your Subliminal Messages

The subconscious mind operates on an image-based system and does not think in words. 

Instead, it sees our world through the lens of a movie, and as you practice visualization, it loses sight of the difference between the imagined and actual worlds. 

As a result, you are persuading your subconscious mind that your image is correct. The more you expose your subconscious mind to the artificial construct, the more it accepts its actuality and alters.

Begin picturing the words and images in your affirmations before you fall asleep and while you’re listening to your subliminal messages. First, consider yourself in the image and imagine the phrase completed.

If you want to lose weight, see yourself at your target weight while listening to subliminal messages that describe the weight reduction transition. The clearer the objective and conclusion, the faster these subconscious impulses will become the reality you created.

3. Use Binaural beats in the Theta Frequency Range (4 to 8 Hz) and accelerate your subliminal results

A binaural beat is an auditory illusion generated by the brain when two tones with slightly different frequencies are listened to simultaneously. Binaural pulses produce the same mental state as meditation but much more rapidly. 

Binaural rhythmic patterns:

  • reduce stress
  • enhance relaxation
  • promote a positive attitude
  • enhance creativity
  • aid in managing pain

Related: Binaural Beats Deep Dive

To maximize the effectiveness of your subliminal messaging, use music and playlists that have binaural beats. The binaural rhythms allow messages to bypass the brain’s normal sleep hormones and initiate a more rapid entry into the subconscious state. 

Related: Best Way to create your subliminal messages with binaural beats.

Additionally, you can increase your success rate by listening to subliminal messages with binaural beats for at least 45 minutes every day. Although the conscious mind is not necessary to sleep, the subconscious mind is triggered when you expose it to those messages.

Theta Wave Range

You can also enhance the process by listening to binaural beats in the theta range (4 to 8 Hz). It facilitates the normal processes occurring in your brain, enabling them to happen more quickly. 

When Do Theta Waves Occur?

While sleeping or dreaming, theta brain waves occur. They do not occur at the deepest stages of sleep. They may occur while you fall off to sleep or are suspended in the light period of sleep shortly before you awaken.

Theta brain waves may even occur when you are awake but in an extremely relaxed state of mind, a condition that some refer to as “autopilot.” However, if you have a high amount of theta waves when awake, you may feel sluggish or disoriented.

According to experts, theta waves are necessary for information processing and memory formation. And, when researchers get a better understanding of how they operate and how they relate to various forms of learning, this information may prove useful in choosing the most effective approach to assist individuals in learning.

While your mind is in the theta state, your subconscious mind is immediately imprinted with your subliminal instructions. If you wait for this to happen organically, you might be wasting 15 to 30 minutes of potential subconscious time.

When your brain activity is in the theta brainwave state, your conscious mind changes, opening your subconscious mind. When your brain reaches this frequency level, your subconscious mind is awakened and ready to be stimulated with the subliminal messages of your choice. This is a normal shift that occurs just before we go to sleep at night.

Related: Brain Wave Deep Dive

Limit notifications from apps

If you’re not distracting yourself by visiting the wrong websites, your computer could be distracting you with notifications. Sure, it’s nice to know that Adobe Reader just updated itself or that you just received an unimportant email, but when those alerts pop-up on your screen, they bring your train of thought to a screeching halt.

Fortunately, Windows 10 provides ways to limit or even eliminate notifications from apps. To turn all app notifications off, just navigate to the action center and toggle the Focus Assist to on.

You can also automatically enable Focus Assist at particular times and in particular situations (ex: while doing a presentation) by going to Settings->System-Focus assist. If you want to control which apps can send notifications and which cannot, navigate to Settings->System->Notifications & actions and go through the list of all apps that are notification-capable.

And, if you’re tired of getting notifications from websites in Chrome, simply navigate to chrome://settings/content/notifications and toggle “Ask before sending” to off (aka “Blocked.”).

The concept of Goldilocks tasks

You must have heard the story of the little girl, Goldilocks and her three bears. In the story, Goldilocks likes the porridge which is neither too sweet nor too bland.

Likewise, to increase your speed, you must aim for stepwise progress.

If you believe you are already doing your best, you will stick to your comfort zone. If you aim for a goal too hard, you will give up thinking you cannot ever achieve it.

The right balance is choosing a difficulty level that challenges you to stretch a little without breaking down. The visual below explains how your brain perceives a challenge.

As your skills improve, an easy challenge leads to boredom. While your skills are not quite there yet, a tough challenge can lead to stress and anxiety.

When the challenge and your skill level align such that you feel a challenge but also have the ability to deliver it, you work in a state of Flow. This is the state where you enjoy the task as well as continue improving.

Do you remember an occasion when you started a task, went on with it, look at the clock and exclaimed, “What? Did 2 hours go by already?”

That is what flow does to you. You enjoy the task at hand so much that you lose track of the time you spent on it. Working on the right challenge is the key to motivation and overcoming Monday blues.

The concept is based on the book Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.

5. Find out what your employees like to do

When you take the time to explore the tasks that make your staff feel fulfilled, you’re really trying to find out what they’re good at. While you can’t assign everyone only the tasks they enjoy, it often makes sense to work to your employees’ strengths. If you can balance jobs that feel like drudgery with jobs they love, your employees may be happier and less likely to drag their heels. You don’t have to treat work like preschool, but employees who feel a balance of fulfilled and challenged may be the most productive.

6. Set incremental goals. 

One way to boost productivity and motivation is to set small milestones leading up to the overarching goal. These smaller goals will give you something to work towards in the immediacy, which encourages motivation and keeps you from getting lost in the big picture.

Goal setting isn’t just a best practice for work; it’s psychologically proven to influence success. Studies have shown that we train our minds to think about what we want in life –setting a goal — and then push ourselves until we achieve that thing. Setting goals is like creating momentum for yourself. It helps you identify a point ahead, kickstarting your desire to get there as quickly as possible. 

8. Own Up to Your Productivity

Whether it's working in your own home or a nearby coffee shop, there's another aspect that pushes remote employees to work faster: You're responsible for your productivity. Gone are the regular meetings and brainstorming sessions in "Conference Room 3B," and no more can you pull up a spreadsheet and stare at your screen to appear engulfed in busy work. You now must own up to what you did and didn't accomplish.

That's what motivated Cooper to cut down the time it took her to write a blog post from two days to four hours. She saw Buffer co-founder Leo Widrich churning out posts at a much faster pace than her, so she examined what could be holding her up. Between cutting out excess research and distractions like email, Cooper eventually narrowed in on how to author a quality blog post in the least amount of time necessary—just one morning.

"Now that I've proven to myself over and over that I can write a post in a morning without dropping my quality, they’re a lot less formidable in my mind," writes Cooper. "I think that makes a huge difference to how I work."

Personally, I've recently found keeping a tally of my to-dos on a Trello board helps me stay focused on what's most important that day. It also saves time at week's end, too, since I use a Zapier integration to copy all the cards in the "done" Trello column to a Google Doc, which I pull out each week. The average time it takes me to write my weekly recap for our internal blog instantly went from around 40 to 20 minutes.

It's a stretch to say all remote workers are inclined to be more productive, but the topic itself has become a theme on blogs of remote teams—including Trello's, RescueTime's, and, yes, Zapier's blogs.

5. Cancel Meetings

"Hey, can you hear me?" … "How about now?"

You'd never say that when you've stepped aside for an impromptu meeting, but it's a common occurrence when starting up a video conference call. This annoyance is surprisingly helpful though: You purposely try to avoid putting yourself in that scenario. Yes, as if meetings weren't bad enough, now you have to put up with fussy software that multiplies meeting pain.

So the best thing to do is ask yourself: Do we really need that meeting?

Start asking yourself that question and you'll start earning back dozens of hours monthly. (That's a potential 7,000 hours back for the unnamed organization in a report by Bain & Company).

The team at iDoneThis reconfigured their weekly meeting after giving it a second thought. They knew they wanted to hold a regular meeting for some important face-to-face contact, but the content of their meetings was ineffective.

"Since we didn’t set forth a specific enough protocol or purpose, the Hangouts were unfocused, devolved into rambling discussions about product, and ended up wasting our time," writes former iDoneThis team member Janet Choi. After consideration, they changed up the format to a more effective weekly show-and-tell session.

2. Team up with them

Employees may get defensive when they feel backed into a corner, and that’s the opposite of what you want. It may help to make it clear you’re there to help, not simply point the finger and walk away. Ask, “What can we do to improve this situation?” or “How can I help?” Sometimes the answer is there, you just have to ask the question.

Employees who feel overwhelmed may end up accomplishing very little, but if you feed them tasks a few at a time, they may be able to knock out phenomenal amounts of work.

Bottom Line

The tips above provide just a few of the many ways that you can work faster, with fewer distractions and fewer unnecessary key strokes. Every time you change your behaviors, your computer gets faster because of your quicker input. Your PC is waiting so what are you waiting for?

Have some of your own time-saving tips that we didn’t mention here? Share them in the comments section below.

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