Health care workers often find themselves overwhelmed with responsibilities. When the facility is understaffed, workers end up wearing multiple hats simultaneously, limiting productivity and causing many to burn out. Fortunately, there are ways to improve work performance while lightening your workload.
The key to juggling many different responsibilities at once is efficiency. That is, getting things done faster without compromising the quality of your work. This means you need to find ways to limit the number of things you focus on at any given time and understand how to make the most of every working hour.
Here are three ways to improve work performance by increasing efficiency and decreasing the number of responsibilities on your plate.
Invest in Automation
One of the best ways to improve work performance is through automation. The more tasks and processes you can automate, the less information you have to remember and the more efficient you’re able to be.
Examples of automation tools you can use to increase efficiency include:
- Project management software: When you have multiple tasks on your plate, it can be easy to lose track of what needs done when and what’s already been completed. Project management software helps you keep everything in one easily accessible place.
- Online CPR training platforms: Ensuring your staff stays up to date on training and certifications can be overwhelming. CPR training platforms like ProTrainings can help you not only keep track of everything but also automate the entire process from training to certification and recertification.
- Standard operating procedures (SOPs): For recurring tasks, SOPs help increase efficiency and reduce the risk of overlooking important steps. An SOP tells you and your staff exactly what steps to take and in what order, making the whole process easier and faster.
- Lists: Don’t underestimate the usefulness of a simple list. Studies show that writing things down is one of the most effective ways to improve work performance because it helps you remember tasks better than typing on a computer or phone. Taking a few minutes to write a quick to-do list can help ensure you don’t forget anything later.
Whatever form of automation you use, make sure it’s working for you, not the other way around. You might need to try a few different tools to find one that makes the most sense and doesn’t just give you extra busy work or things to remember.
When you allow yourself to be pulled in too many directions at once, either by tasks or by other people, your efficiency and productivity decline. Setting boundaries is one of the best ways to improve work performance because it protects you from taking on too much and helps you prioritize what matters most.
Prioritize & Delegate
Setting boundaries doesn’t just mean saying no to certain tasks — it also means saying yes to the tasks that really need your time and energy. Get into a habit of evaluating each of your tasks and asking yourself:
- Is this urgent?
- Is this really important, or is it just something that would be nice to get done?
- Is this something I personally have to do, or can I delegate it to someone else?
These questions will help you organize your to-do list according to which tasks need your attention first, which can wait, and which don’t actually need to be done at all.
When you have a lot to do, it’s tempting to start multitasking. In reality, multitasking is one of the least productive ways to improve work performance because it actually slows you down and makes you more likely to commit errors. Instead, it’s better to focus on one thing at a time, or at least to batch similar tasks together so your brain isn’t switching gears as often.
Try setting aside specific blocks of time for things like answering emails, and tell your team you’re only available for calls or meetings during a set time frame. If you have many quick tasks that will only take a few minutes each to complete, give yourself an hour or two and try to get as many of them done as you can in that time.
Or, if you have a longer, more intensive project, set a timer and eliminate distractions during that time so you can focus on the task without interruptions.
Track Your Time
Sometimes, time seems to get away from us simply because we have no idea how long we’re spending on certain tasks. If you find yourself asking “Where did the time go?” at the end of the day, you might need to take a step back, evaluate how you’re actually spending your working hours, and find more effective ways to improve work performance.
As you go about your day, take note of how long you spend on each task. Then review your notes at the end of the day and again at the end of the week.
Are certain tasks consistently taking longer than you expect them to? You might need to adjust your expectations. Are you routinely wasting pockets of time throughout the day? You might need to reorganize your to-do list to take advantage of those 15- or 30-minute blocks.
Small Ways to Improve Work Performance Add up Fast
Trying to do too much at once not only puts you at risk of burnout but also decreases the quality of your output and can place additional stress on those around you.
There are many ways to improve work performance, all of which start with a conscious effort to reduce the number of tasks on your plate and to increase efficiency. The more you practice automating your workflow, setting boundaries, and keeping track of how you spend your time, the more efficient and productive you’ll be.
Looking for more ways to lighten your staff’s workload while still providing the certifications and training they need? Contact us today to learn more about how ProTrainings can help make getting your staff CPR certified easier and more efficient.