Working Smarter, Not Harder
Everyone is capable of working hard because all it takes is some effort and endurance. Working smart, on the other hand, has everything to do with time and efficiency. Most people who are working smart do it intuitively. Regardless of your job or industry, there aren't always enough hours in the day to get everything done. Instead of putting in those extra hours, you can become more effective at work by focusing on what really matters.
Here are 6 tips on how you can work smarter:
Create and Stick to a Work Routine
When creating your routine, create habits: bedtime habits, eating habits, exercise habits, social habits, work habits. When you develop habits, your brain performs these tasks automatically and more effectively, enabling you to do things without consciously thinking about them. Sticking to these established habits will help you work more effectively.
Prioritize Your Work
The ability to prioritize is a highly valued skill in because it helps you stay aligned with what’s important to both you and your company. Once you identify what needs immediate attention, you can center your focus on those tasks for the day and complete the most urgent tasks before moving on to those that are less critical.
According to the Pareto Principle, 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts. With this in mind, you can easily strategize as you conduct your work. Which are the most strategically important activities to you? These make up the 20%. Once you identify them, direct most of your energy and time towards these activities.
Say no to demands that are not important and do not waste time trying to perfect mundane activities. Focus and prioritize and you will be working smart.
Master Time Management
Easier said than done? Well, no actually, because there are a few simple ways that can really help you to manage time better.
One of the ways to do this is to have a timed daily plan. This one helps you allocate specific periods of time to each task that you should complete. After that, the next step is to eliminate every single distraction. This one maximizes your focus on the tasks at hand. Lastly, avoid multitasking. It gives the illusion of completing more in a smaller time frame but it actually slows you down.
Use Keyboard Shortcuts
People nowadays spend the whole day glued to the screen working on their keyboards. Good thing is, you can actually learn how to work smarter on them. One of these methods is to try your best to use as many of your fingers as possible while typing. This eliminates the time-wasting, two-finger syndrome. Keyboard shortcuts can assist you to accomplish much more work in a short amount of time.
For example, you can simply press CTRL + S to save a document, F2 to rename a file, CTRL + I will put selected text in italic. Taking time to learn these shortcuts save you time and help you to work smarter.
Technology has evolved extremely rapidly in the last few decades. Smartphones today are very powerful than you can imagine.
How can you be more productive using technology? Use it to automate repetitive tasks. Start by listing down all the tasks that you have to do recurrently every week. Then find ways to automate them, either by using apps or building your own system. It doesn’t matter what you do, you’ll always have recurring tasks. You can even create macros in programs such as Excel. They save you the time and effort of pointing, selecting and clicking.
Regardless if your employment status, there will be times when you will have to work with others. As such, you should strengthen your communication and collaboration skills. When you do, you'll eliminate unnecessary rework and wasted time from straightening out any misunderstandings and miscommunications.
You can start by enhancing your active listening skills and staying on one topic when communicating. For example, when composing an email, keep it short and to point. You can even pick up the phone and call your colleague for clarifications to save time.
The tips above can help you to transform your working methods and make them smarter. Not only will you be able to accomplish more in a shorter period of time, you will have lots of energy left over for leisure activities at the end of the day.
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