I really believe in a Work SMART not HARD philosophy. Sometimes we look at successful people and wonder how they work for so little hours but still manage to get the job done. They work SMART!
Think about this for a moment. Everyday we are building new tools and technologies and creating more effective strategies to carry out work, so why would most us not apply this to our everyday lives? Why are we doing the same old thing we did yesterday when we have so much available to us to do better? Working hard is trying to light a candle by knocking two stones together, working SMART is using a matchstick instead. See?
If we just created a more focused mindset, did more of the tasks that actually gave us results and used the right tools and methodologies, we would all be working SMARTER. Isn’t that what we all want?
So how do we even begin to get into the SMART vs HARD mindset?
- Take a break! Has it been hours and you are still getting no where? Go for a walk, its been proven to help you be more productive.
- Identify your distractions and get rid of them. Social Media? Cellphone? Games? Chit chat in the office? When you are trying to get something done, remove the distractions or remove your self from the distractions.
- Identify your main tasks that need to be done and ignore low priority ones, until they are completed. If it can wait, let it wait and properly assess whether you even need to respond on it. Not every email needs to be responded to!
- Get a routine in place. Once you know where your focus needs to be or if there are important daily tasks, make it a habit. As soon as you add a little more structure you can eliminate a whole lot of unnecessary stress.
- Block out your calendar. Set specific chunks of times to complete larger tasks and make sure to take breaks. A 5 hour chunk is not productive, rather split it into 3 or 4 easier to handle sessions.
- Use your lunch breaks and commute time to catch up on things you enjoy, like listening to an audio book or watching a video. This also means there is a higher chance of this not distracting you during your work sessions and you get to do a few things that are not work related, but still helpful in your life.
- Use your strengths to your advantage. If you know you are good at a certain task that gets you your desired results, then do more of that!
There are many more other ideas you can try to achieve a more productive day but these are great starting point. Now go out there and work SMART!
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