How to be more efficient.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Get more done.
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Ways to increase your efficiency.

Do you struggle to get things done? Do you wish you could be more efficient?

Being efficient requires systems and it requires practicing them until they become routine.

Consider incorporating some of these efficiency tips into your daily life.

Get more done by making lists.

Making lists helps you in several ways.  When you try to remember too many things you are likely to forget some things.  It’s easy to get so busy with the day-to-day tasks that important things don’t get done.  Not having something on your list can result in arriving at a deadline without having begun what you needed to do.


You can increase your efficiency by prioritizing things.  Begin with the things that you must do today.  Avoid spending a lot of time on small things which can eat up your day without accomplishing anything.  Some large tasks may need to be broken up into smaller components so that you can do them a little of that time.

Make a schedule.

Efficient people make schedules and stick to them.  Allow enough time for each thing that you plan to do.  Make sure you include in your schedule time to get from one place or appointment to another. In making a schedule, try to be realistic. Do not over schedule. Machines that are pushed too close to their limit breakdown, so do people.

Do the hard things first.

Make it a point to tackle the most difficult thing on your list as soon as possible.  Do the hard things early when you are full of energy. Few people have unlimited willpower. Making yourself do things you don’t want to do requires a lot of willpower. Don’t squander your willpower on minor things use it for the tough chores.

Don’t expect to be perfect.

All aspects of the things you are doing are not equally important.  Get clear on which things you need to do well and which things have room for error.  Spending too much time trying to send one perfect e-mail can result in not getting all the emails answered. Perfectionism is an enemy of productivity. Don’t use perfectionism as an excuse for not getting anything done.

Take time for both short-term and long-term planning.

Investing a little time in planning can pay big dividends in the long run.  Good planning identifies which items will take longer and which things you need to do first.  Decide which things need doing in the short-term.  Long-term goals require setting up a list of steps that you were doing to work towards them. Time spent planning will reduce the time needed to be productive.

Keep your commitments or don’t make them.

If you fail to keep your commitments, you confuse yourself and others.  Be clear on which things you genuinely intend to follow through on. People with too many things on their to-do lists often fail to complete any of their intended tasks.

Take care of your tools – especially yourself, eat, sleep and exercise.

Invest some time in taking care of the equipment that helps you.  Trying to work with broken equipment is unproductive. Self-care is especially important if you want to stay efficient.  You can’t be particularly efficient if you don’t eat when needed, get some exercise and get adequate sleep.

Focus on solutions, not problems; stay in positivity.

Spending a lot of time looking at problems is unproductive.  When facing a problem, look for a solution.  Positive can-do people are much more efficient. Highly productive people look at challenges as opportunities, not obstacles

Make every day Thanksgiving, be grateful.

Approaching things in a positive manner makes you more productive, more efficient, and a lot happier doing the things you do.  Be grateful for what you have.  Remember to express thanks for the good things that happen to you.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

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For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at


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