Being productive at work while not struggling is the best feeling that everyone longs for. In order to get things done, many people decide to work longer hours and push themselves to exhaustion when faced with six dozen tasks simultaneously. In truth, this isn’t the best way to accomplish the task.
Rather than working harder, it’s time to learn how to work smarter, not harder. There are many ways to accomplish this, so some companies set aside time for coaching services for more detailed and advanced techniques to be taught to their company.
Managing your time better, knowing what to do and when, and using tools that keep you on track are all ways to work smarter and not harder. But before discussing how to make your work easier, let’s find out what it means to us.
What Does It Mean to Work Smarter, Not Harder?
Working smarter rather than harder means making the most efficient use of your time and effort in the workplace. By prioritizing your work, you can identify the most important tasks and prioritize your work accordingly.
If you think you’re working right, you might be wrong because something is missing in what you’re doing that’s why you’re struggling. You can raise your concerns with executive coaching services so they can give you the right advice, especially regarding modern methods or tools you can use to make your work easier and more productive. Aside from that, they provide tailored leadership development and executive function training for motivated, achievement-oriented professionals who desire to excel in their current or future roles.
Learning to work smarter can also lead to the following benefits:
- Increasing self-esteem: The more effectively you work, the better the product you will make, which increases your self-esteem.
- Saving energy: You can accomplish challenging tasks with more energy and produce better results if you work in short bursts.
- Making you more valuable: The ability to accomplish more with less effort can make you more valuable to your company.
- Increasing motivation: Positivity can be induced in the workplace, among colleagues, and in oneself.
Now we will discuss the methods that will help you make your work easier. Here are 10 ways you can consider:
1. Prioritize High-Impact Tasks
There is an excellent possibility that you have a very long to-do list in front of you now. Instead of focusing on achieving everything, prioritize the activities that will have the greatest impact in the long run. Put your energy into activities that will help you be more productive at work and contribute to the company’s overall success.
2. Recognize When to Give Up
Shutting down your computer at the end of the day may seem counterintuitive, but it’s essential. When you keep reading the same sentence over and over, your mind wanders. Perhaps you feel stuck, and writing an email takes you half an hour. Even though it might seem tempting to burn the midnight oil, picking up projects the next day will result in more accomplishments.
3. Perform Tasks in Batches
The purpose of this strategy is to increase productivity by tackling tasks in sections. Instead of responding to each email as it arrives or being reactive, schedule time blocks throughout the day to check and respond to emails making you proactive.
Another option is setting back-to-back meetings or blocking out time on your calendar for activities requiring thought and concentration, such as research, writing, and brainstorming. The reasoning behind this is that it takes time to establish a rhythm. If you repeatedly start and stop this process, you will waste time resuming where you left off.
4. Make Use of Your Body’s Natural Clock
I’m sure you heard the words “timing is everything” before. Some types of work are more effective at certain times of the day. But it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution because everyone’s internal clock is different.
When Daniel Pink, author of When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, looked into the productivity patterns of people over a day, he found that everyone goes through three distinct phases of productivity: peak, trough, and rebound.
Our peak performance period is right before and during midday when our attention spans are at their shortest. That makes it an ideal time for analytical work. In contrast, creative tasks are best done at our lowest points (the trough).
5. Become a Better Communicator
Excellent communication skills will take you far in any line of work, whether you’re an independent contractor, an entrepreneur, or the chief executive officer of a company. Enhancing your capacity to communicate will be helpful not only to you but also to the people around you.
When a superior or colleague is able to convey their thoughts concisely, they not just help save time for everyone else but also save time for themselves. Your improved ability to make decisions is a direct result of the increased focus that you have placed on communication that is both concise and understandable.
Try showing interest in other people and keeping your conversation to one topic at a time. You should make sure that any email or instant message that you send is concise and straightforward. Your productivity will increase if you spend less time responding to inquiries and asking new questions.
6. Disable Your Notifications
You shouldn’t receive Facebook or Twitter notifications while attempting to work. It only distracts you from the essential tasks at hand and wastes time. And if you are awaiting a response to a message, you may find it harder to concentrate.
Turning off notifications for non-work-related apps increases productivity. Most smartphones have Do Not Disturb features that limit notifications or DownTime, which prevents you from using social media or unproductive apps during predetermined hours.
7. Limit the Number of Tasks on Your List
Adding an unreasonable number of daily tasks to your to-do list can result in disappointment if they are not completed. Maintaining a concise list makes it more manageable and useful.
Try to assign a priority to no more than five tasks that you must complete. Everything else is a bonus.
Thus, you will end the day with the satisfaction of having completed all of the day’s important tasks. In addition, making your to-do list more manageable enables you to slow down and be more deliberate in your work. You will not be required to take shortcuts or rush to complete an impossible task list.
Planning your work several days in advance is also advantageous. Consider the upcoming week and make a plan at the start of each week. Schedule your most productive hours for tasks that require more concentration and effort. The remainder of the day should be devoted to less taxing routine tasks. Your best effort will be devoted to your most important tasks.
And if there is software or automation that can handle these busy, repetitive tasks, they may be candidates for elimination. Consider investing some time in the enhancement of these processes.
8. Don’t Be Afraid to Say “No”
If you have high-priority tasks to complete and a coworker requests assistance on an unrelated project, explain your availability. Understanding your priorities and the most effective means to achieve them can assist you in establishing limits and allowing you to focus more on them.
Consider explaining why you cannot assist and indicating when you will be available to maintain a positive rapport with your coworkers.
9. Initiate Early-On Questioning
Instead of waiting until the last minute to ask questions or seek advice, act as soon as possible. It assists you in identifying and resolving problems you may encounter in the future.
In addition, you don’t want to exhaust yourself trying to solve it alone if you know your manager can assist you. Thus, you will complete tasks more quickly and not waste time searching for solutions.
If the question is about a routine or repetitive task, the answer will also improve your future efficiency.
10. Stop Waiting for Motivation
The Zeigarnik Effect explains one of the most straightforward strategies for working more efficiently. According to the Zeigarnik Effect, failing to complete a task creates mental tension, which keeps it in mind. The only way to alleviate this tension is to finish the task.
Beginning a project is typically the most challenging step. If you can concentrate on a task for a few minutes, the brain’s desire to finish it should take over. Therefore, the next time you feel like delaying a task, take the first step, and the rest will follow.
Working is difficult to perform. However, if you use your intellect while working, you will find the task easier. Especially if there are coaching services that will help you improve and make work less complicated.
The people who give up on their jobs are those who feel burnout, so you should be aware of your obligations. Congratulations, and you’ve reached this point. Now you won’t have any difficulty in your work because you’ve learned the correct methods to make your job easier.