When I was a kid, my mom used to tell me that if I didn’t do my chores and get my homework done by a certain time, she would have to send me to bed without dinner. She wasn’t kidding; when I missed the deadline (which was often), she’d send me upstairs with no food for the night. While it may sound harsh today, this method worked for her because it forced me to learn how to manage my time efficiently—and that’s something we all need in order to succeed at work or in our personal lives.
There are many things you can do when working smarter instead of harder: plan things out beforehand so they don’t fall through the cracks later on; learn how automation can help save time; work on organization skills so everything doesn’t turn into a disorganized mess; prioritize tasks by importance/urgency/frequency (PIF); focus on one thing at a time rather than trying everything at once; start doing small tasks before tackling big ones so they don’t overwhelm you later on; take care of problems before they happen rather than reactively fixing them later down the road. These are just some examples of ways you can boost productivity in your day-to-day life!
Remember: You have a finite amount of time and energy to work with.
You have a limited amount of time and energy to work with. You can’t do everything, so you need to prioritize. The first step is knowing what is most important. Then you can set up your day such that it maximizes the time and energy spent on those things. Once you’ve done that, then you’ll know what isn’t important enough for you to spend your valuable resources on. Last but not least, there are always tasks that are urgent but not important: these should be handled quickly so they don’t add stress or interfere with other items on your agenda—but once those things are out of the way, don’t spend any more time working on them than absolutely necessary (if at all).
Plan your time wisely.
If you’re anything like me, you’re busy. You have a job and a family life, but your schedule is still packed with responsibilities. It can be hard to prioritize what needs to get done and when. One of the most effective ways to stay on top of your workload is to plan out your day ahead of time.
If you’ve never used a calendar before, don’t worry—it’s really not as complicated as it sounds! All it means is setting aside some time for yourself every day or week so that you can do things like eat lunch, relax after work and sleep at night (I’m sure my mother would appreciate that one).
What if I told you there was an app called Google Calendar? Well there is! And if you download this app onto your phone or computer then all those appointments will be in one place so no more excuses! But wait…what am I saying? Let’s just say that there are many different ways to plan out our days including:
Use the power of automation.
Automation can be a great way to save time and avoid mistakes. For example, if you have repetitive tasks that take up your time each day, consider automating them with a tool like Zoho Recruit or another Applicant Tracking System (ATS). By automating the process of posting job ads and tracking applicants as they apply in real-time, you will save yourself hours of wasted time while still being able to track the performance of people who apply.
Another area where automation comes in handy is when it comes to avoiding boredom. When working on projects that require creativity and brainstorming sessions, it’s easy for things to get boring quickly unless there’s some form of entertainment involved. This can lead us down a path where we keep coming back over and over again without making any progress at all because we’re too busy procrastinating or getting distracted by other activities such as social media sites like Facebook or Instagram—and this kind of behavior can lead directly towards stress!
But don’t worry–we’ve got an answer: podcasts! You may think podcasts are just something for those old folks sitting around waiting for their grandchildren during the holidays but did you know that podcasts are actually very popular among young professionals who want more from life than just their jobs?
Embrace getting organized.
A simple way to get organized is to start with the basics. If you have a desk and a computer, that’s enough to get started.
Once you’re in the habit of keeping your space clean and clear, it becomes easier to keep going in that direction. Over time, organization will become second nature and you won’t even have to think about it anymore!
Always have a backup plan.
- Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for a raise or promotion, or if you’re not getting along with your coworker, it might benefit you, in the long run, to transfer out of that position and into one where you can thrive!
Focus on one thing at a time.
This is a simple concept, but it’s surprisingly difficult to keep up with. If you’re like me, it’s easy to get distracted by other things and lose focus on the task at hand.
Don’t let yourself get distracted! Don’t be afraid to say no when someone tries to distract you from working on that important report or project that needs your attention. Instead of saying yes and moving on to something else (which will only cause problems later), stay focused on what you need to do first: finish this thing that’s been hanging over your head for days/weeks/months/years!
Learn to accept the things you can’t change.
You can learn to accept the things you can’t change.
Acceptance is the first step in moving on. If you don’t accept something, trying to solve it won’t work. Acceptance is not resignation; it’s not giving up or being passive. The difference between acceptance and resignation isn’t a matter of degree—they’re completely different things!
If I had resigned myself to working at that job forever and not even bothering to try for another one (which would never have worked out anyway), then I’d have been stuck with that job for years longer than I was; meanwhile, my dream job would still be waiting for me until now…and I’d be older and less attractive as well as less experienced at what I do now!
Look for problems that will repeat themselves later and find ways to get ahead of them now.
Looking for problems that will repeat themselves later and finding ways to get ahead of them now is a great way to work smart. Here are some examples:
- Every morning at work, you have coffee with your colleague who has been talking about her dream vacation for months. She always has an amazing story about the place she’s going next and what she’ll do there, but she never seems to be able to get around to booking it. You are a small-talk ninja and very good at keeping her talking without letting on that you’ve heard this same story 500 times before—and now you’re getting antsy because the two of you were supposed to meet 10 minutes ago! Wouldn’t it be better if your co-worker could actually take action toward planning her vacation instead of just talking about it? Now imagine if every day brought another opportunity like this: how many mornings would pass where your coworker was stuck in the same conversation until someone intervened? By looking ahead at recurring situations like these ones, we can find ways not only to save ourselves time but also help others become more efficient as well.
Say no to distractions (and don’t be afraid to do it often).
Focus on one thing at a time. It’s easy to get distracted when you’re in the middle of something, and it’s even easier when you have a lot of things on your plate. Instead of multitasking, try focusing on one task and finishing it before moving on to another. This is especially important while working, as it ensures that all tasks are completed efficiently so they don’t pile up later and turn into stressors when deadlines are looming.
A good way to stay focused is by setting aside dedicated time for planning: When I start working on an article or presentation, I like to set aside 30 minutes at the beginning just for research and brainstorming new ideas. And then once that first step is finished (and checked off my checklist), I can move forward with writing my draft or editing photos later—without worrying about forgetting anything critical along the way! Plus setting aside shorter blocks of time makes me feel less overwhelmed by big projects because they seem more manageable now; instead of staring down 12 hours straight until bedtime at 3am tomorrow morning (which has happened).
Smart choices are better than trying to do everything at once.
It’s tempting to try to do everything at once. You want to be productive, so you work harder and longer than you should. But it doesn’t always work out that way. Sometimes the opposite happens—you end up working less efficiently because you are spread too thin.
Smart choices are better than trying to do everything at once. When faced with multiple tasks on your plate, focus on one thing at a time. Give yourself permission not to complete all of them today! If there are things that will take longer than others, put them off until later in the week or even next month if need be (unless they’re urgent).
This isn’t always easy—especially when it comes from someone who’s used to putting their nose down and getting stuff done without asking for help—but if it means finishing your projects faster or better quality product, then consider delegating some tasks off to someone else who has more time than yourself (or can simply do what needs doing in half the time).
We’ve seen how to work smart instead of hard, but there’s still one more question: is it worth it? It depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. If your goal is to get more done each day, then yes! By using these tips and tricks, you’ll find yourself saving time and energy that you can use toward other tasks.
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