How Can I Work Smarter and Not Harder?
Many people mistake being busy with being productive. But being productive means that you deliver results in a timely manner. If you want to be more productive and focus on impact without working harder, you’ll need to keep your focus on deliverables and the impact of what you’re doing.
Focus on Deliverables
A deliverable is a result you’re shooting for when you make your plans. It could be a report, a slide deck, or even an experience like a ski trip – when you focus on the result you want to create from your work, you’ll eliminate most of the busy work during the planning process.
Chunk Down Tasks
Every task has many steps that need to be done to call the task finished. Chunk each task down to these smaller steps so that nothing seems like too much work. When you have chunked down tasks, you can take five minutes to do portions of any one project rather than having to do it all at once.
Organize Your Space
The best way to work smarter is to start with an organized area to work in. You will waste a lot of time if you have to constantly look for the tools you need to work with. Even if you have to get them all out to start over, you’re less likely to do it. Set things up, so it’s easy to do so that you have no excuses.
Get Rid of Distractions
When you start to work on anything, it’s always better to focus 100 percent on the task at hand. Turn off the TV, turn off the radio, find a way to focus the time you set aside 100 percent of the task, and you’ll find you get done faster and more accurately.
Use the Right Tools
Don’t try to do things without the right tools to save a buck. The truth is, you can likely find the tools at a good price second hand and save yourself a lot of struggle. When you use the right tools, the task gets done faster without mistakes.
Sometimes to motivate yourself, it helps to delay gratification for yourself. For example, if you know, you need to create an outline for your next blog post, but you hate outlining you may set yourself up to give up. But if you set up delayed gratification that if you outline that blog post, you can have a cup of coffee or go for a walk or do something you really enjoy, you’re more likely to get it done.
Eat Right and Exercise
It’s hard for anyone to work with proficiency and speed if they’re not feeling well. If you don’t eat right, exercise, and stay hydrated, you may be wasting time being sicker than you need to be. Place a priority on your health so that you can focus on the good things in life and not illness.
Always set your schedule to include refreshing breaks. Check out the Pomodoro Technique, which incorporates 25-minute work sessions with five-minute breaks, and then every three “Pomodoro’s” you get a longer 30-minute break. Anyone can do any kind of work for a short time.
The thing to remember about working smarter and not harder is that there is no productivity without the product. The product is your desired result that you set when you developed your goals and objectives, whether the deliverable is 100 pounds lost or a finished novel doesn’t matter, it’s the intentional planning and delivering that is important to avoid extra work.