Every employee in the world has heard this at one point or the other. In a lot of cases, it is like a red rag to a bull, there’s nothing more patronizing or condescending than suggesting someone work smarter. However, there is a bit of truth in the idea that you should work smarter rather than harder, and there are plenty of ways you can pull this off.
Firstly, what does work smart even really mean? It’s going to be different for each person as we don’t all have the same jobs, but essentially it is all about identifying priorities and learning how to take care of those first, know when to ask for help, and build your strengths. With all the tips you can work on any place on the earth. US, UK, Australia, Canada; find the world’s best workplaces for yourself. Today Working in Australia is perfect for many according to the survey by Sydney Morning Herald and Business Insider.
Here is how you can work smarter:
1. Walk Away
Getting stuck into a complex project is great, but sometimes being able to walk and take a break will make you a more productive person. It’s easy to get bogged down in the detail and stressed out by the task at hand. Give your brain a break and allow it to download everything thus far. When you come back to the problem you will feel more focused.
2. Eliminate Distractions
It sounds obvious, yet we all fall prey to distractions. For example, you have multiple tabs open and one of them is email or social media. You open that tab when you get a notification, and okay it’s only for 30 seconds, but that breaks your focus which means you have to restart (or find) your train of thought, so it takes more away from your day than you realise. Then multiply that by every distraction and suddenly it becomes clear how much time distractions waste.
3. Ditch The Low-Priorities
Low-priority tasks tend to just add to your burden and clutter your to-do list. For example, you’re knee deep in a vital project and you get an email asking you to do something else. Now, the task will only take a few minutes, but it’s distracting you from the more important project and it’s adding to your stress. When you’re working on something important go dark by working offline and let your co-workers know that your mode is now do not disturb.
4. Create Routine
Once you form a habit it just happens naturally, it’s part of a ritual and you do it automatically without even thinking about it. If there are certain important tasks that you have to do on a daily basis you should do them at the same time each day so that they form a habit, it allows you to do them without thinking and stressing about getting them done.
Working on a major project? Break it down into milestone goals to allow you to remain productive. You’ll be stressed out if you look at the project as a whole, breaking it down into chunks isn’t just a great way to manage your stress, though, it’s going to make you more productive, too. Short bursts keep anxiety at bay and your mind focused and fresh.
It’s a bit like eating an elephant, you can only do it if you do it a bite at a time.
6. A New Way To Multitask
Even at your busiest, your day will likely have blank spaces in it, so fill that part of your day with multi-tasking. Not the typical multitasking, though. For example, on your drive to work why not listen to a podcast or an audiobook that will set your day up for success? At lunch, you can check in with social media and text your friends. When you go to the gym you can listen to audiobooks, podcasts or even catch up with your voicemails.
7. Strengths & Weaknesses
Provided you are self-aware, no one should know your strengths and weaknesses better than you. Leverage your strengths at every opportunity and learn how to work around your weaknesses, it could be that you delegate that type of work to others in your team so you can stick to what you do best.
There is no shame in knocking back extra work that you genuinely don’t have the time for. You can only handle so much and by taking on more and more you affect your overall performance on the tasks that really matter. Know when to say no.
You can also develop your personality and work smart by reading self-help and productivity books which will definitely help you boost your performance at work. You can buy online books, DVDs and Magazine from Booktopia which is one of the best online book stores. Don’t miss out on the amazing Booktopia discounts at OZCodes – shop hard, buy smarter. There’s a lot to be said for working smarter, as long as the words don’t come from your boss’ mouth as they settle behind their desk to play solitaire all day while you do all the work. Tired of working hard and smart at your job and not getting any recognition? Why not check out the jobs on Peerlyst and change your career path?