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how to work smarter not harder

Working is not about being busy and filling your time, but it is about accomplishing things. You might think that some work needs a lot of time, but the truth is whatever type of work you do there is a way to make it easier. So how to work smarter not harder? 

Maybe you run your own business and you wanted to have more flexibility and wanted to be your own boss having control of your schedule. But sometimes they might be away from you, and the business is making a lifestyle that you really want where it consumes your time entirely. 

But the good news is that there are new ways to approach tasks that make you both happier as well as more productive. In this article, you’ll learn a few best ways you can do on how to work smarter not harder. 

What is working smarter, not harder?

Working smarter, not harder is often misunderstood by people. It is not about working less, but the real meaning is finding ways to use your energy and time at work more efficiently. This helps you complete tasks more quickly. 

Working smarter, not harder would help to improve both productivity and performance, moreover, it improves and increases overall job satisfaction. Even if you maintain this working as an employee, it will make you a valuable employee to the organization you work for, increasing the security of the job and helping to earn a high salary. 

This can be done using various strategies to prioritize work and help identify important tasks. There are many benefits of learning to work smarter. It can help you increase your efficiency and be more successful throughout your career.

Benefits of working smarter and not harder

How to work smarter not harder? 

Let us have a look at a few effective tips that will help you work smarter, not harder.

Know what you want

You need to have clarity on what you are trying to achieve. It will remind you and will help you know that you are working on the right thing now. 

Your projects won’t help you get to these goals and if you do not know the goals you will not be able to work properly. Getting clear on the actual projects is really important because it is so easy to get caught up in busy work and check your emails and make lists and plan all day. 

But if you know your goals, it will give you a clear view to get those specific things done and lead you right into the next task. 

Create a plan

Create a plan to work smarter

This is really important how to work smarter not harder because this is what is going to get you what you are actually going to do to reach the goal. It doesn’t matter how much you want or how clear it should be. 

Keeping your to-do lists will help you focus on your 3 to 5 most urgent, important, and challenging tasks for the day. It helps you focus on one task at a time before moving on to less critical tasks. When you do, you’ll feel more productive and less anxious.

If you do not have a plan on how you are going to reach the goal, then you are going to waste more time on a lot of things that are not going to progress you. 

Once you have created a general plan and you have an idea of a lot of things on how you can and you think should do in order to reach that aim,  then you need to get clarity on what your main move is. This is what is going to move you forward toward success. 

For example, if you want to spend time with your family, your main move should be to complete your work before the weekend. After working 20 hours each week, you can spend time with your family. 

Measure the results

Most of us measure the time it takes to complete a task. But to work smarter, you need to measure results and not time. 

When you are made to sit at your desk until a certain time, it would create a culture to ignore a few basic laws of ideas.  The brain gets tired and will not work well.  You will begin to hate when you’re forced to do something beyond your capacity because getting an idea should happen on its own term.

If you have a done list,  it will be easy for you to measure results instead of time. You can find out everything you completed in a day.  Keeping this will make you feel more motivated and focused to find out what you have actually accomplished. 

Make productive meetings 

Meetings are often necessary because it is during the meetings, you will be able to plan to be more effective. If you have an outline for what you want to discuss during a meeting and your expected outcome can keep them shorter and more focused. 

Keep the meeting as brief and productive as possible and end with action items to ensure everyone understands what you want from them. This will form a plan on what to do, who should do it, and when to do it. So that it provides you with satisfying results at the end. 

Adjust your attitude

When you have a positive attitude, you could be more effective at work. If you have a good attitude, you will be able to take the initiative whenever you can. 

You will be willingly helping a colleague in need and make sure that the work is done to the highest standards. A good attitude at work will help you set standards for your work. It will ensure that you are taking responsibility for yourself. 

You will be able to make decisions easier since they would be based on your intuition. This can be hard to find in many organizations and demonstrating ethical decision-making and integrity could open many doors for you in the future.

Stop multitasking

focus on the task to work smarter

Some think that working smarter not harder can be gained through multi-tasking but the truth is multitasking is a myth. In fact, it is simply impossible for us to truly focus on multiple tasks that really need real brainpower. 

When you try to do it, you risk sacrificing your mental health. You might feel as if you are successfully managing all of these things but switching between multiple tasks will make it harder to get tasks fully completed.

Instead of multi-tasking, focus on one task at a time. Focus all of your attention on one task until it gets completed or when you reach a natural stopping point in it. You also may be able to schedule your regular breaks around your tasks to help your brain refresh before starting the next one.

Set deadlines

Set short deadlines and not long deadlines for your work, so it can help you focus and consider planning to complete tasks. This increases efficiency while working on your tasks. It allows you to complete them in less time and leave you with more time during your day to focus on other tasks. Sometimes it will even allow you to clean your office space before leaving for the day.

Practice stress management

When you practice stress management techniques like reading, meditating, listening to music, or practicing yoga, they can decrease the stress that can impact your physical, emotional, and mental health. Because when you have work pressure, it can cause stress and will not allow you to focus on work. 

Play sports, attend religious services, spend time with friends and families, get a massage, or go out for a walk to relieve stress. This stress management technique is effective to increase the control of a situation in advance and you can start by planning tomorrow the night before and stick to a routine. 

stress management techniques to work smarter

Following a few techniques to practice stress management regularly can help you focus better and improve your workplace performance. This will also make you feel the desire to work. 

Look for great resources

The greatest resource you have is actually You. So you need to take care of your body and mind if you want to work smarter, not harder. When you put so much time into working, you would not get enough sleep, exercise, and relaxation and this will actually make you less and less productive. 

If you start your day with a good breakfast and a small workout, it will give you a great boost. It is important to remember that you need to take breaks throughout the day. Because it is proven that every brief moment of diversion can greatly improve your productivity.

Take 15 minutes to rest and get fresh air and exercise. These are the best ways to work smarter, not harder, and you’ll improve your mental health along the way and be healthy enough to perform well. 

Track time and review productivity

Maybe you are not aware of how and where you waste time. To find out, you can track everything you do. Follow this for a few days and so it will be automated. Keep a running list on paper of what you do during the day and how long it takes. 

You can even use apps to randomly note what you have done during the day to see what you are up to. You will also be able to identify the trends in what you are doing more. 

Reviewing your progress to identify what is working and what is not. Each week or month set a reminder to go through what you have completed. Take notes of what you struggled with. 

Use a time-tracking app if needed to take care of the heavy lifting tasks for you, and you can even automate the process, so you can start and stop your time tracking whenever things happen in the other apps you use most. 

Get feedback 

get feedback to work smart

Getting feedback by asking the right questions at the right time can actually make you aware of what is right and what is wrong so that you would not waste time doing mistakes. 

It is about gathering the information you need to help in decision-making. This will help you focus on the right tasks for the day and will save you time. You will be able to cut meetings to a minimum by honing in on the important work.

If you ask the right questions, it can lead to positive effects increase by 400%. There are also other benefits in staff motivation and a positive impact. 

Final thoughts

If you go on working harder you will achieve less. Instead, the key to great productivity is to work smarter, not harder. People often misunderstand how to work smarter not harder. They think that working less. But it is not.  

It is about finishing the tasks appropriately through effective approaches. Working smart actually saves time and energy for the things that really matter including life goals, personal growth, health, and relationships.

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