We live in a world where technology has made us lazy. We spend our days staring at screens instead of working. We work harder because we’re afraid of losing our jobs.
Technology has given us amazing benefits, but it also makes us lazy. Instead of spending our days working, we spend our days staring at computer screens. This means we’re working harder, not smarter.
If you want to work smarter, not harder, then read on. In this article, I’ll share with readers 8 ways to work smarter, not longer. I’ll walk you though these tips step-by-step, so you can implement them immediately.
1. Capture everything externally
When you capture everything externally, it becomes easier to keep track of things down the road. So, whenever you receive something external, take note of who sent it, where it came from, and what was said. Then, at some point in the future, you can go back and review those notes.
This process helps you remember things better, which makes it easier to recall them later. Plus, it saves you time. Instead of trying to remember everything, you just need to refer to your notes.
Your tool for capture can be an app on your phone, a good old notebook, or even a piece of paper.
2. Stop multitasking
Multitasking is a myth. The truth is, we’re not very good at multitasking. If we try to juggle too many things at once, we tend to do worse than people who just concentrate on one task at a time.
That’s because our brains aren’t designed to handle two things at once. Instead, we should focus on one task at a time. So don’t try to do too many things simultaneously. Focus on just one task until it’s done. Then move onto the next task.
3. Batch similar tasks
If you’re working on multiple projects at once, it’s important to batch similar tasks together. Otherwise, you’ll end up wasting valuable time switching back and forth between different projects.
To avoid this problem, group similar tasks together. Instead of writing one blog post every single day, write several blog articles over the course of a few days. This allows you to focus on each project for longer periods of time.
By grouping similar tasks together, you’ll save time and energy. And since you won’t waste time switching back and forth, you’ll actually accomplish more than if you worked on just one project at a time.
4. Work in Time blocks
Time-managing is something that everyone knows they should be doing, but few people actually do. If you’re not careful, you can end up working too hard and burning out before you’ve even begun.
Don’t try to cram everything into every single hour of the day. Instead, divide your tasks up into smaller pieces. Then set aside specific times to complete each task. This helps you stay focused and avoid getting overwhelmed.
When you finish a chunk, reward yourself with something fun. For example, take a short walk, watch a funny YouTube video, or play a quick game of Candy Crush. These small rewards help keep you motivated throughout the day.
5. Track what you’re wasting your time on
If you’re not tracking what you’re wasting your valuable time on, you’re just guessing. And guesswork isn’t going to help you become more productive.
Instead, track every minute of your day. Then use the information to identify where you spend most of your time and energy. Once you’ve identified which parts of your site need improvement, you can focus your attention there.
To begin tracking your time, set aside 15 minutes each morning to record everything you did during the previous 24 hours. This includes:
- What tasks were completed
- Who was involved
- Where you worked
- The amount of time spent on each task
- Whether you used technology (e.g., email)
- Any interruptions
After recording your activities, review your results. Are there any recurring patterns? Do certain tasks take longer than others? Is one person consistently taking too long?
Once you’ve reviewed your daily log, you’ll be able to determine which tasks require more effort and which ones should be eliminated.
By eliminating unnecessary tasks, you’ll free up more time to work on those that truly matter.
6. Learn how to say “no”
When you say “yes”, you agree to take on something that takes away from your ability to focus on what matters most: your family, friends, health, and career. Saying “yes” means you’re agreeing to put aside your priorities and give others priority over yours.
Saying “Yes” doesn’t mean you must agree to every request made by others. However, it means you need to set boundaries for yourself and stick to them. If not, you’ll end up feeling overwhelmed and stressed out.
Say “no” with kindness, politely & firmly . This is the easiest way to say “no”. Simply state your reason for declining the request. Don’t blame anyone or point fingers at them. Instead, simply state your reasons for declining the request.
For example, instead of saying “no” with anger, try saying “no” with kindness by stating your reasons for declining the offer. For example, “Thank you for thinking of me, but I’m already booked.” Or “Thanks for asking, but I’m not interested in that job right now.”
7. Plan the night before
If you’re planning to work late at night, you should plan ahead. Otherwise, you risk getting too tired to complete your tasks.
To avoid working too hard, try planning out your day the night before. It gives you plenty of time before bedtime to review your daily activities and plan for tomorrow.
If you plan ahead, you’ll always be able to get everything done and stay organized. You don’t want to spend valuable time figuring stuff out during the day. Instead, you’ll spend your time completing important tasks.
This strategy works well if you are usually pretty busy during the week. However, if you’re not organized, you may need to plan out your days several weeks in advance.
8. Ask questions early on
Before starting any project, ask yourself if you know enough about it to be able to complete it successfully.
When you’re working on something new, ask yourself:
- What am I trying to accomplish here?
- What problem does this solution solve?
- How will this help me achieve my goals?
And remember, asking questions helps you learn faster than just reading through documentation. So keep asking questions until you understand everything.
In conclusion, when you work hard, you often feel exhausted. When you work smart, however, you can actually enjoy what you’re doing. So why not choose the latter option? It’s always possible to work harder, but it’s usually impossible to work smarter. And if you’re looking to save time, energy and money, then you need to learn how to work smarter instead of harder. In fact, you might even consider changing careers altogether.