Consulting Lessons Learned 21: Consulting efficiency hacks
Besides reaching very high quality levels, efficient working should be one of your top targets as a junior consultant. One important aspect of efficient working are personal routines. These become especially relevant because you will have to work in new environments constantly. Therefore, try to always reflect on personal routines and best practices you can define for yourself.
Here is a first selection of my top routines that help me to stay focused and efficient at work:
1. Make sure to stay energized by standing up and walking a few steps at least every 90min. You will be amazed how many clever ideas you will have after just going for a quick walk to the kitchen or bathroom. Especially when facing difficult problems, make sure to leave room for smaller breaks so you can free up your mind a bit and then concentrate again. This is much more efficient than being stuck in your thought process with the same problem for hours.
2. My colleagues often make fun of me for this one, but this is one of my absolute favorites: Ever heard of Ohropax? These are small pieces of rubber you put into your ear to block any outside noise. It’s the perfect item to stay focused even in crowded team rooms. Also, since it’s quite an effort to take them out, colleagues won’t interrupt your work for every small question they might have. Of course, you can also use noise canceling headphones.
3. Personally, I like to reserve tasks that aren’t very difficult to solve, but just take some time for the late hours at night. When working on those, try to listen to some motivating music. While I don’t like music for complex tasks, it’s great to stay motivated with standard tasks.