The key to greater productivity and bigger results is to work smarter, not harder. Learning to work smarter, not harder can improve your productivity and performance. Working smarter helps you increase focus and work more effectively on your most important projects.
If you want to be more productive at work, it’s important to stop working harder and start working smarter.
Working smarter, not harder means having a clear strategy to prioritise your most important activities so you end each productive day feeling satisfied rather than overwhelmed, overcommitted, frustrated and overworked.
Everyone has their own definition of working smarter, not harder, but for me it means using your time effectively to achieve bigger and better results in the simplest, easiest and most productive way.
When it comes to being able to work smart, not hard, there are some simple time management tips you can use to work less and be more effective.
These time management skills include prioritising, managing your time more effectively, cutting back your to-do list, increasing focus and eliminating distractions.
In this article I’ll share 7 proven productivity strategies for working smarter, not harder.
To work smart, not hard it’s essential to have clear goals to work towards. When you are clear on your goals, it becomes easier to identify your most important activities.
When you stick to a schedule you can focus on one task at a time. To start working smarter, create a simple to-list of your three most important tasks to work on each day. This will ensure you stop working on too many things and avoid multi-tasking.
To start working smarter, not harder set better boundaries, eliminate distractions and become laser focused on only a small number of activities that will really help you be more effective and productive.
It’s important to work smarter, not harder if you want to take control your time rather than letting time control you. Working smarter, not harder saves time and energy.
Learning to work smarter, not harder can make you more effective and productive. When you work smarter you reduce stress and procrastination and increase focus and effectiveness.
By working smarter on a small number of crucially important activities, rather than trying to do everything, you can prioritise better and improve your time management.
To start working smarter, not harder, use these 7 ways to work smart.
If you find yourself with more work than you can actually achieve in a day, it’s important to prioritise and reduce the amount of activities you do each day.
Being able to work smarter, not harder is about setting up your day so you’re clear on your most important priorities and identifying your number one priority and then using time blocking to focus.
Remember Parkinson’s Law where work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.
If you give yourself a full day to complete a project, you will spend the full day on that project.
“There are no impossible goals, only impossible deadlines” – Dan Sullivan
We often give ourselves impossible deadlines to complete projects and tasks forcing us to continually work harder.
If you want to work smarter, be realistic about the specific deadline required for each task and try to give yourself just that little bit of extra time to complete the work in.
Set effective smart goals to be more realistic and timely about how you manage your time.
When you are clear about your unique strengths and the results, you’re best at delivering, you get better at learning to say no more often.
Rather than working harder and having a long to-do list, start working smarter by creating a list of activities that only you should do and find other people to work with or on the other activities.
Many people waste valuable time on activities that are not essential and that they’re simply not very good at.
The key to working smarter, not harder is to understand your capabilities and leverage your time to spend more time using them.
Work smart, not hard by understanding where you’re most productive and focus on being effective rather than efficient.
It’s easy to spend extra time on making everything perfect.
Perfectionism can cause you to work harder, not smarter by constantly making perfect things that could be done in half the time.
To avoid perfectionism, focus on making progress towards your goals instead. Do the work to do the best of your ability and move on. Alternatively, do the first part of a project that you’re great at and find other people to work with you on the rest.
Weekly planning and daily planning make it easier to work smarter, not harder. Creating an effective evening routine that includes daily planning will help you identify your biggest priorities for the following day and free up huge amounts of time.
Rather than starting the day, and wasting hours, without a clear list of priorities, focus areas and action steps you know exactly what to do.
Having clear direction and focus every morning helps you work smarter, not harder.
Following up with setting up each day the night before compounds that focus and increases effectiveness.
If you do not get enough sleep, exercise and relaxation, you will find that your work becomes less and less productive. If you feel tired all the time you simply won’t be productive or effective. You may begin to work longer hours, which is the exact opposite of being productive and effective.
Working less, getting better sleep, eating healthily and creating more time for rejuvenation increases productivity and is one of the best ways of working smarter, not harder.
When you’re working, take regular breaks, learn to time block to reduce multi-tasking and take time to walk or exercise if you’re having a particularly stressful day.
These are some of the simplest ways to work smarter, not harder and improve your work-life balance.
When it comes to productivity many people are focused on the time and effort taken to complete a project rather than the result itself.
Focusing on achieving a specific result helps you leverage time because you become fully focused on the result.
If we can achieve a result quicker than expected, then great.
This result mindset cuts through inefficiency and improves confidence and motivation.
When we are working on a bigger project that may take a week to deliver, some people get to the end of a day and think about how much more there is still to do.
When you understand that time management is important it’s easier to work smarter, not harder. By setting measurable goals and identifying your most important activities you can simplify your time and be more productive.
To work smart, not hard the key is to less stuff and focus more on your biggest strengths and opportunities. It is about being more effective, not efficient.
Use these tips to work smart, not hard today. They will help you make the progress you want towards achieving your goals.