10 Tips For Working Smarter, Not Harder

You’ve heard it many times, right?  Work smarter, not harder.  It’s a pretty common thought, but it can be hard to pull off.  Here are ten tips to help you work smarter and not harder for your business success.

  1. Set a time limit for tasks.  Time Management Ninja says “with great productivity power comes great distractions.”  Setting time limits for tasks is one way to limit the distractions by increasing your focus. Setting deadlines can keep you on task and discipline you to work through to completion.
  2. As far as possible, eliminate distractions.  Anything that breaks your focus will hurt your productivity.  Whether it’s your cell phone, the office phone, or fellow employees, find times and ways to work uninterrupted to accomplish your best work.
  3. Prioritize your tasks and tackle the most urgent and the most important before going after less-important tasks.  Identify what is urgent and complete these tasks first.  Then move on to what’s most important for your business success.  In this way, you’ll meet your deadlines and ensure that you’re doing what matters most.
  4. Create positive habits that will build good work patterns.  For example, if there are daily tasks, set a regular time for them if possible.  Habits can help get these regular tasks completed in the most efficient way.
  5. Break projects into manageable pieces.  This is the old “how do you eat an elephant?”  One piece at a time.  Don’t feel overwhelmed by big projects; break big them down into smaller pieces.  Work the project piece by piece until completion.
  6. Take more breaks.  Somehow, that doesn’t sound right, but it’s been scientifically proven to increase productivity. Tony Schwartz, the founder of The Energy Project, researched productivity and discovered that humans can remain focused for 90 minutes before fatigue sets in.

Forbes cites a study by the The Draugiem Group in Latvia that found that their top ten percent took more breaks than their less productive employees.  Forbes reports, “On average, this high-productivity group worked for 52 minutes and then took a 17-minute long break.”

Another “pulse and pause” suggestion is to work 50 minutes and break for 10 minutes.  See what works for you.  Relaxation is not only good for you and your productivity, it will also let thoughts from your subconscious bubble up when you least expect it.

7. Take care of yourself.  Make sure you are getting adequate sleep, exercise, and good nutrition to be at your best.

8. Don’t use working smarter as an excuse to work smarter AND harder. Burning the candle at both ends is a sure way to burn out fast.

9. How’s your typing?  Internet writing demands typing skills and if you’re hunting and pecking with two fingers you can vastly improve your typing rate by learning basic typing skills.  Here’s a free site that can help you with this:  https://www.typing.com.

10. Resolve to be a lifelong learner.  So much is changing so fast that standing still means getting passed if not stampeded by your competition.  Keep your skills and knowledge base current by keeping up with trends and developments in your niche.

Those are ten solid tips, what would you add?  I welcome your comments and questions, and your likes and shares.

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