So, how can you work smarter instead of harder? As with most things, this is a choice that you can make. Here are some tips to help you. These are the foundation pillars of how to start a regime that’s focused on working smarter, at the end I will tie them all together resulting in a the start of your working smarter game plan.
The Importance of Prioritizing
Before we can think about how to work smarter, we first need to take a good look at what we’re already doing. And then, we need to work on breaking down the job/project into its component parts and then identify the most important tasks that we can complete within the allotted time, not every task needs to be important or urgent; however, those that are most important should be in the top priority list.
Working in Burst/chunks/Phases
Most people work in these three-month, nine-month, and yearlong deadlines, and still fall short. Something that is three months away can be easily be rationalized as something that can be put off. Now for some breaking things down in larger chunks work, but for a lot it does not. If the goal is to work smarter not harder ask yourself some of these questions
Start by asking yourself- “ Do you always feel like you’re in need of that physical refreshment at the end of the day, especially if you’ve been working at the same routine for a long period of time? “ “Do you feel utterly exhausted at the end of your work day? “ Are you experiencing feelings of guilty when you come home knowing you have
If you answered yes to any of these questions perhaps it’s time to look at how you’re operating on a day-to-day basis and begin breaking tasks down to smaller chunks of time. When you break tasks down into small, achievable, daily, weekly, and monthly objectives, you’re much more likely to finish what you start.
Those of us that are working from home or those that work in a forward thinking office space should try working in burst of time. Working solidly on one task for 30 mins at time. Regardless on whether the task is completed step away from your work space and spend 10-15 mins away from work station. Take a walk, get some water, or read a chapter of a book. Return to your workstation and commence a new task. Repeat and rinse and do this for a month, at the end of the month ask yourself the same questions. You might start to find that, instead of feeling exhausted at the end of the day, you feel refreshed and ready to start the next day. For me, taking breaks every thirty minutes really does have a significant impact. It gives me a little time to relax, recover, and reset my mind. When I do this, I’m more productive and have more energy to keep working.
Learn To Say “No”
Another lesson to learn is that there will be times when you need to say “no” to things that aren’t important to you. This means getting comfortable with saying no to requests that aren’t going to help you achieve your goals. You shouldn’t say “yes” to every volunteer opportunity that comes your way. If something doesn’t contribute towards your greater goal or if an opportunity arrives that may be very low on your current priority list then saying no is the right course of action.
The Power of Listening
Listening to others is one of the most powerful ways to find the information you need to make better decisions and improve performance. It’s also a great way to learn more about how to get more done, so when an employee asks you to work more, listen to them. Listening to our employees, coworkers, or partners with an open and receptive mind to new ideas is one of the most powerful ways to find the information you may need to make better decisions and improve performance. It’s can also be the catalyst to adopting a different way of doing things that could bring you closer to your goals that anticipated.
- Make a complete list of all the things you want to achieve.. From the big to the small. Spend a couple of days on this, if you like break it into workplace and home.
- Break each entry down into a small chunks of time. I suggest no more than 5 years for Longterm goals
- Within each grouping being the process of prioritization.
Now, just because it is possible to work smarter doesn’t mean it will be easy.. Working smarter is working more effectively, it allows your focus to shift from doing a specific task, to completing the task more effectively. Whether that means focusing on the big picture or being mindful of the task at hand, you will likely be able to accomplish more in less time. Working smarter is a skill that all of us should work to develop. It will make you more efficient and less stressed. It will also help you to become a more productive, creative, and overall successful person. Even if you only have a few hours each day to work, the impact on your life can be enormous. In addition to helping you to spend less time at work and more time doing what you love, you will be able to take better care of yourself and your loved ones and be much more successful with your time, finances, and life.