We’re all familiar with the phrase, “work smarter, not harder” but trying to implement this rule can be a little difficult. First of all, every morning when we log onto our computers, the first thing that greets us is an inbox full of emails that require our immediate attention, our phone starts ringing, and the mail shows up. With all of these things going on throughout your workday, how can you possible find a way to do it smarter?
The hard to face reality for many of us is that our regular ways of handling our daily activities may not be as productive as we think. When you fail to plan your day accordingly, you will likely spend time performing tasks that really aren't producing any positive results. When you do this, you will discover that you have likely spent a lot of time performing tasks that weren't in need of your immediate attention, or could have been taken care of in a more effective way. To help you discover the art of working smarter I have put together some tips to get you started.
- Structure – The most
successful people understand that including structure into your schedule
will help you develop a routine of success. If you find yourself continually running
around throughout the day, trying to take care of every little thing, you
will discover that have fallen behind and are starting to feel burned
out. To have the most effective day
possible, you need to put some kind of structure in place.
Scheduling time to perform specific tasks throughout the day will help keep you focused on what needs to be accomplished. If you break this structure, and start performing tasks willy-nilly throughout the day, you will end up wasting a lot of your day. When you schedule your day you will be able to prioritize what needs to be done first, and delegate what doesn't require your personal attention. Accepting the importance of structure in your day, will make you smarter and more effective individual.
- Avoid Multitasking – It may be possible for people to successfully multitask; but for the majority of us, it is not possible. The human brain is not designed to focus on two different tasks at once. When you attempt to multitask, you end up wasting more time trying to fix what went wrong during the attempt. When you focus on one thing completely, you will be able to do it right the first time and avoid the need to have to correct any errors you may have made trying to multitask. This will also help you gain time throughout your day that you can then spend on other tasks.
- Breaks – This may sound a little counterproductive, but when you include breaks in your daily schedule, you will experience a greater amount of success. When you are constantly rushing through the day trying to get as much done as possible, you tend to burnout towards the end of the day. But, if you set aside time for breaks, you will discover that your mind relaxes and you have enough energy to make through the day. You shouldn't feel guilty about taking breaks, they are designed to keep your mind and body rejuvenated, which will lead to working smarter and not harder.
- Power Off – Many of us tend to rely on our cell phones throughout the day. Whether we use them stay in contact with clients while we are on the go, or to check emails, they can be rather distracting when we are trying to focus on our work. To work smarter, it is recommended that you turn off your phone and focus on what needs your immediate attention. Every time our phone vibrates or alerts us to a new email, we are distracted from the task at hand. To be more productive throughout the day, schedule time where you allow yourself to check messages and respond; other than that leave your phone off.
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