I am a hardworking person, who gives everything at work but it seems I’m not getting along with the job (sounds familiar?). Work smarter, not harder may be the difference between an average job execution and an awesome and superb one.
I can tell you some proven ways to work smarter that helps you improve your productivity.
But first, have you notice people who always are attached to the idea that “staying busy” means you are working hard? and that, increases the probability to be more successful? Well, science prove those people are wrong, that the idea to be “busy” all the time leads you to an stressful life.
This post can also be related to one we wrote before, PERSONAL TIME MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES you may want to review later.
Work Smarter, not Harder
1. Plan your day ahead
Planning your work makes you more effective on the job. We’re also assuming you set your goals to know where to go (review also SMART GOALS EXAMPLES AND HOW TO SET THEM or if you need more help, check our review about Brian Tracy’s GOAL PLANNER).
Accept your responsibility is an action committed to doing your best. Plan your day, with your goals in mind and accepting your responsibility are winning qualities which will give you better, happier, healthier and more secure life.
2. Complete most important task first
If you are thinking about time and personal management, this is your golden rule. Procrastination is the credit card of your time, it can consume you, it can take away your energy… don’t let it happen. Each day, identify one or two major and important tasks that are crucial to complete, and do those first.
3. Take more breaks
One of the best authors of all times in motivation, management, sales, enterpreneurship, etc., Stephen Covey, mention in of his famous books: 7 Habit of Highly Effective People:
Sharpen the Saw means preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have–you. It means having a balanced program for self-renewal in the four areas of your life: physical, social/emotional, mental, and spiritual.
Some breaks may help you to a better physical life (take your time to do some exercise), social/emotional (share time with family and friends), mental (read a good book) and spiritual (go to church, pray, talk to God).
Those don’t have to be long breaks, it would do with some 15 minutes break every day. But take more breaks during the day, 5 or 6, o every 90 minutes can do a lot of difference to clear your mind and improve your thinking.
4. Avoid time-killing situations, learn how to say NO
The thing here is you may want to learn how to say “no” to people around you in tasks they ask your help, but doesn’t benefit you or your career. Yes, it may sound a little bit selfish but I’m not saying you don’t want to cooperate with them when you have time or the task at hand can be resolve quickly.
I mean, for example, when you’re working a task with a definite scope of time and it is really close to be end, if someone asks you to help him/her to prepare a party for a co-worker, come on! do you have to say yes?
5. Check your email two or three times a day
Email can be very time consuming and also, very distracting. I have to admit this is the harder habit I should improve.
Let’s imagine you are very concentrated in the task you are doing right now, you are devoting your entire focus to the task at hand and it happens an email arrive, you know because you see the little red number on the upper right hand of the email icon or because you heard the knock-knock on your phone… you need to know what just happen and it is an invitation to a particular product review event… you then open the invitation, you register and read what the event is about… you loose your concentration and spend some valuable minutes in something that doesn’t matter.
A read a blogpost about “Working Smarter – Not Harder” a few years ago by Zig Ziglar and I want to share with you this little part of it:
When you work smarter your enthusiasm increases and your team members will instinctively pick up the pace. This makes you an “impact worker” or a leader and your value to your company goes up dramatically. Your contribution as an individual is important, but as a role model you become even more valuable. You ensure your own employment as well as that of your fellow employees because increased productivity and profitability help ensure the survival probability of your company.
There are some other key points about working smarter, not harder I’m be sharing with you in the near future.
For now, try to put in practice one, two or all of them so you can improve your sales and increase you income.