7 Steps to Living More Efficiently and Effectively

steps to more efficient living

Many people can feel tired, overwhelmed, and frustrated with our long to-do lists that never seem to get any shorter. Every day brings its own new set of unique challenges. But, you can boost your own efficiency and accomplish more every day by taking just a few simple steps.

Efficient living isn't just a way to be more productive. There are some great reasons we all should strive to live more efficiently.

steps to more efficient living


The first reason is social. Efficient people have more time to spend with friends and family. Boost efficiency.

Stop excuses for seemingly every social function, by eliminating "I can't, I have to work late." Efficiency is about gaining your life back as you lighten the load of your tasks list.


The second reason is personal. Simply put, efficiency is very satisfying to an individual, and the benefits you can gain from efficiency are significant. Efficient living can mean you work days are less hectic, your work hours are shorter, and your enjoyment of life both in and out of work is higher.


Finally, a major reason for efficient living is environmental. By living more efficiently, we can learn to consume less, to drive less, and to produce less waste. This will diminish your carbon footprint, better prepare you for adversity, improve your quality of life, lower your stress levels, and it's good for the planet, too. What's not to love?

Here are our 7 steps you can take for more efficient living.

1. Consolidate your Mail

Paper mail, e-mail, or whatever sort of mail you have can pile up and become a nuisance. Often, our e-mail inboxes are the polar opposite of efficiency. The mail that arrives in our physical mailbox every day is often thoughtlessly put to the side, left to pile up as well.

For your paper mail, make an inbox and outbox system which makes it easy to sort your mail in batches. Take junk mail to the recycling bin immediately. Leave the rest for later sorting.

consolidate mail for efficient living

For your email, create folders to organize it by subject. Let everything else go to the trash can. You may even be able to create filters to do the sorting automatically, if you're computer inclined.

2. Learn to Say "No"

Many of us who have efficiency trouble are also givers. We are "yes" people. It could be personal advice, extra tasks at work, volunteering locally, or other items. It doesn’t matter.

These extra efforts mean you get less time for you, your friends, and your family. Being more efficient means setting clear boundaries on your time. It means saying "no" when you need to.

3. Exercise and Eat Healthy

If you need to, get up earlier to plan your day. When you do, include time for your health. Incorporate walks, runs, or yoga into your routine every day.

exercise and eat healthy for efficient living

Take some time for meal planning, too. Make sure to include fresh fruit and veggies. Stay away from processed foods.

4. Don't Multitask​

Multitasking may seem like an efficient process. And it can be, if the two tasks are related. However, it can turn chaotic very quickly.

Instead of spinning proverbial plates, try to get into the habit of focusing on a single task at a time. Stick with it until it's finished.

5. Manage your Interruptions

​Your kids. Your spouse. Your co-workers. Neighbors. Distractions and interruptions are everywhere.

Silence your phone when you're working on something important. Sometimes, our own brains are major interruptions. Instead of switching gears to take care of the task you just remembered, write it down.

Finish what you're doing. Then, take care of the new task when you've completed the current one.

6. Technology is a Tool

Our tech can be a burden if we're always texting, typing, looking at Facebook, snapping selfies, or otherwise wasting time. This can lead to efficiency trouble. Give your tech a face-lift.

Remove unnecessary apps that are distractions. The PC you use for work? Make sure only work-related things are on it. Use your beloved gadgets as tools for productivity, not time-sinks and distractions. A great thing about today's technology is that there are systems created for maintaining the safety of your home, such as self-monited home security devices that you can connect to various smart accessories you have at home.

Try picking up some technology that makes you more efficient, like a cheap automated vacuum.

7. Settle for Less than Perfection

If you wait for perfection, you'll wait forever. You can accomplish some tasks with just as much success if they aren't perfect.

Striving for perfection in every task will slow you down. It can also raise your stress levels. Learn how to recognize when "good enough" will do.


We hope these 7 tips on living efficiently help you to take control of your own life, work, and happiness.

About the Author Allen Michael

Allen Michael is the Founder and Editor of Home Viable, a website that he started to provide readers with tips on home efficiency and automation. He draws on his engineering background combined with his family-of-four experiences for his articles.

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