Don’t make work more difficult than it has to be. Work smart, not hard! You will thank me later.

Life is short, so why would want to spend all your time working? I sure don’t want a life like this. Well, work doesn’t have to be a pain in the butt. You can actually work smart, not hard, and still get the job done.

In fact, one of my favorite sayings is, “The work that you love is no longer work at all.” Well, I heard something like that years ago and tried to rephrase it. I think you get the meaning, however.

Let’s think about technology for a moment. Technology companies have created smartphones. This says so much about the work smart, not a hard idea, doesn’t it? Now, think of it on a grander scale, your phone, your car, and your home are all designed to make things easier for you. Hence, there is more convenience in a smarter format, you see.

Why work smart?

You should work smart, not hard because that this is what makes you more productive.

Oftentimes exhaustion comes after hard work. It’s a mental and physical drain which denies you the energy you prefer to have when spending time with your friends and family. So, it just makes sense that you would find a better way…a way to work smart, not hard. Find ways to achieve the same desired outcome, but with less energy.

Not only will you become happier, but the saving effort also saves money. Streamlining process to save costs makes you a more important part of a team and an employer. You will start to feel more confident, more important, and ready to do what you have to do.

Need some tips to work smart, not hard?

Working smart doesn’t mean you don’t work hard. However, when possible, try and work in smaller increments than long hours at a time. Try spending half an hour doing a focused job, and this will give you the energy to push on to the next project. This is just one example of how to work smart, not hard. Here are a few more tips.

1. Delegate

Prioritize what you must do, delegate everything else. Balance your priorities with practicalities. Got a non-urgent job, that only takes 10 minutes? Go ahead and get it off the desk. More than 10 minutes, then schedule it in and give it the priority it deserves.

It is easier said than done, plus, we are all guilty of getting caught up in tasks we shouldn’t be doing. Those jobs then end up taking priority over what we should be doing. However, we should always remember to make our own tasks a priority.

Responsibilities must be met by each person. Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each person is the smart way to get the job done. Even a whole team can work smart, not hard.

Disorganization happens when strengths aren’t recognized and the wrong employees are assigned to the wrong departments. Without proper assignment and details, employees will waste more time not knowing what to do.

Even employers will be confused by how to approach disorganization once it’s reached this level. To put things right, extra work is usually the only thing that works. Work smart, not hard! This will avoid such frustrations.

2. Keep meetings succinct

We’ve all been there. You know, those meetings. The ones that go on and on, you start thinking I’ve got better things to do than this! Never let meetings carry on past the 30-minute mark. It’s best to get to the point in a half hour.

If there’s any doubt about what can be accomplished during the 30 minute period, then maybe you could conduct more than one of these meetings, but with smaller groups of people. Sometimes having one long meeting will fail to get important points across. That’s because these long meetings fail to keep everyone’s attention, unlike shorter ones.

3. Do one thing at a time

A lot of people think working smarter means multitasking, but not always. Never try to multitask if you are already behind. Keep it simple until you see a productive change. Stay focused on the task at hand while you schedule the rest of your day. You might actually find you need to slow down a bit, in order to improve productivity.

It’s actually important to slow down the pace a bit so you can see clearly. Although this might seem ridiculous, it works better than you think. When you rush things, you miss details and forget steps. Forgetting some things can ruin the entire process. Think your steps through carefully and slow down. This one small move will prove productive and efficient.

By slowing things down, you may not achieve productivity, but you can still achieve value. Psychologist Morten Hansen describes a similar concept in his book “Great at Work”. He says that preoccupation with our own objectives (or productivity, “getting things done”), often serves as an obstacle to advancing our agenda.

In other words, working on one thing at a time can still achieve value, even though it is low productivity.

4. Use technology to your advantage

Technology will always be a great tool and a friend to a productive person. There are many departments which aide in productivity including management and sales.

As technology changes, you will have to understand how to utilize these innovations and apply them to the specific departments in order to maximize productivity as well. When it comes to the idea of working smart and not hard, we can embrace technology. After all, technology frees up time and effort so we can move on to the next project.

It is possible to work smart, not hard, in all things you do. If you are finding yourself stressed out with very little time for yourself, you might want to follow some of these tips for yourself!

References:

  1. Forbes
  2. Psychology Today
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