Work is a part of our lives, that is necessary. We must complete some tasks every day so as to make progress. This progress can be academic or financial in nature. By digging in our heels and getting things done, we are able to complete some work and grow better in our lives. Due to its hectic, tiring and sometimes painful nature, work is not attractive and many people try to find ways to complete it as fast as possible. This can be accomplished by working smart. This method of working is opposite to working hard in that effort is used as efficiently as possible. Moreover, we get more done while experiencing less fatigue. By working smart, we are able to produce work that is of high quality. Here are 10 powerful ways to work smarter instead of harder.
Plan your tasks as often as you can
One of the ways to work smarter is to plan. You can do this every evening before you go to bed. Make a list of all the projects and tasks that you have not completed yet. After you do this, perform a detailed review of these tasks, categorize them according to importance and identify how much time is required to complete each one of them. After that, generate a to-do list for the next day ranking your tasks according to their importance. Eventually, you will be able to create even a weekly planner. This is one way to work smarter.
Prioritize your tasks
According to the Pareto Principle, 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts. With this in mind, you can easily strategize as you conduct your work. Which are the most strategically important activities to you? These make up the 20%. Once you identify them, direct most of your energy and time towards these activities. Say no to demands that are not important and do not waste time trying to perfect mundane activities. Focus and prioritize and you will be working smart.
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Learn how to delegate
This is one of the most effective ways to work smart. Simply delegate the tasks that you either don't have time to do or are not very good at. This will effectively free up your schedule for more important activities.
Have strict deadlines for major tasks
Major tasks in our lives tend to be large and involving. Due to this characteristic, we are tempted to procrastinate and postpone them as much as possible. This is a detrimental habit. To work on such tasks in a smart way, simply divide them into smaller, manageable tasks. After that, work on each piece at a time. Focus on providing quality over being perfect. This is an excellent way to work smart instead of hard.
Mange your time properly
It is possible to improve your time management skills. One of the ways to do this is to have a timed daily plan. This one helps us to allocate specific periods of time to each task that we should complete. After that, the next step is to eliminate every single distraction. This one maximizes our focus on the tasks at hand. Lastly, avoid multitasking. It gives the illusion of completing more in a smaller time frame but it actually slows you down. By following these tips, you can manage your time better and work smarter.
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Learn how to type faster and use keyboard shortcuts
In the world of today, Information Technology (IT) is a major part of our daily lives. Many of us spend the whole day glued to the screen working on our keyboards. We can actually learn how to work smarter on them. One of these methods is to try our best to use as many of our fingers as possible while typing. This eliminates the time-wasting, two-finger syndrome. Secondly, keyboard shortcuts can assist us to accomplish much more work in a short amount of time. For example, you can simply press CTrL + S to save a document and F2 to rename it. These shortcuts save you time and help you to work smarter.
Learn how to create and use MACROS
Macros are mini programs that you can write and they can perform repetitive tasks for you. They are available in the Windows computer operating system and Microsoft Office environment. You can create macros in programs such as Excel to help you complete repetitive tasks. They save you the time and effort of pointing, selecting and clicking. They are a superb way to work smarter instead of harder.
Call instead of sending messages
During the course of our day at work, we are very likely to send so many emails to our colleagues. These have requirements, requests and follow ups on various activities. After sending them, we have to wait for a reply. This can be prompt or take forever. One way to work smarter is simply to call our colleagues instead of emailing them. This saves us time and improves our communication skills.
Take some breaks
To work smart, you need to be at peak mental and physical condition. Long hours of work can wear us out and reduce our capability on these fronts. As a result, we can work very hard and generate little results. To avoid this, take some breaks as you work. Schedule ten to fifteen minutes of relaxation in between your major tasks. This will refresh your mind and restore your energy to keep going. With a fresh mind and relaxed body, you can work smarter and produce high quality results.
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Divide your work into manageable blocks and complete each one at a unique location
Workstation popcorn is an activity where you complete a specific task in your day at a unique location. Once it is done, you move on to the next task at a different location. The essence of this method of working is that you keep changing your working environment. By doing this, you are able to boost your creativity and keep your energy levels up through the moving processes. Dividing your work into chunks also assists you to produce better quality work. This is an ideal way to work smarter and not harder.
The Important Take Away
It is better to work smart instead of working hard. This involves strategy and results in high quality work and much less fatigue. The tips above can help you to transform your working methods and make them smarter. Not only will you be able to accomplish more in a shorter period of time, you will have lots of energy left over for leisure activities at the end of the day.