How to Work Smarter – Not Harder
Posted: 15 January 2015 at 10:27 am | Author: Laura Morris
Ever had that feeling where there just isn’t enough time in the day? You think you have been extremely busy but just haven’t achieved anything – the chances are you’re right, at the very least you probably haven’t achieved as much as you could have!
Being busy doesn’t necessarily mean you are being productive. By working smarter you can achieve more without have to put in more hours and there are several things you can try in order to achieve this.
Ensure you have a clear idea of what you need to achieve. Decide upon which of your tasks are the most important, grade your ‘To Do’ list by putting A’s through to C’s next to each item.
If the size of your list is overwhelming you then don’t worry you are not alone! Break your list down in to manageable tasks. If you needed to write a book you wouldn’t have ‘write book’ on your list, you would break it into sections such as write the blurb, select character name or write a draft introductory paragraph.
Apply this method to your own to do list. That way even if a distraction does occur you should still be able to cross off a couple of items on your list which in turn makes it easier to return to continue with the task.
Write actions that you are going to tackle on a different day on the relevant day in your diary. That way you won’t have to remember to do it and it will be taking up an element of your concentration that could be better utilised elsewhere.
How many of you go into work first thing then grab a coffee, switch on your computer and check your emails? Your morning ritual means you don’t even necessarily feel like you are working hard, because it is a habit.
By making routine items a habit you will get more done. Need to dial high call numbers? Each morning ensure you make 10 telephone calls by 10am. Write a weekly article? Every Friday afternoon write your blog post. By having particular tasks of your job incorporated into your daily habits you will do more without even realising it.
Break your day into chunks. If 10am – 11am is the time you are most likely to be making cold calls, let your colleagues know so they are less likely to disturb you during this time.
Yes you will have days where everything goes wrong. Unexpected problems occur and failures happen. The key is to minimise the subsequent disruption.
Firstly, when an issue arises – don’t panic! Assess the concern practically, is it actually a problem that needs to be dealt with there and then or is it a client or colleague making an issue out to be of greater importance that it is in reality?
Once you have assessed the severity it is time to revert to the first tip – prioritise. In addition when an unanticipated job arises, don’t be afraid to communicate effectively with your colleagues as it may be that they can assist in reaching a quicker resolution or perhaps relieve you from your current duties so you can focus as required.
If the issue cannot be resolved or a task you have attempted doesn’t go to plan try not to let this impact upon you going forward. It’s natural to be irritated for a short while but it shouldn’t have a long term effect. After all, it can be said that if you don’t fail once in while then perhaps you are just not pushing forward hard enough!
Try a couple of these tips and see if you can fit more into your day – without working harder!