Work Smarter, Not Just Harder: 3 Steps to Be More Effective at Work
We live in a world that likes to believe that anyone can get anywhere if they just work hard enough for it. The intern that everyone looks down on the first day on the job could, potentially, end up running the company in twenty years if he sticks with it. Surely, he’ll work his way up with lots of overtime and by investing his blood, sweat, and tears in the company.
We are taught that in order to get anywhere in life, we’re going to have to work hard and consistently meet new goals. To an extent, that’s true. The expectation of hard work is drilled into us from the time we start school and there are some things that hard work will achieve: personal satisfaction, sleep deprivation, and work fixation.
It’s time to start working smarter rather than just harder.
Learning how to work more efficiently and productively can help you achieve what you want and be able to enjoy it too! Whether you mow lawns for a living or provide integrated marketing solutions for large companies, using your head to plan and execute simple strategies can help you reach your goals faster.
Do you want to move up to the head of your department? Do you want to keep your small business up and running? There are many ways to work smarter instead of harder to help that happen.
Learn how to delegate responsibilities
If you own your own business or work in any sort of managerial capacity, it is imperative that you learn how to take some of your responsibility and share it. Part of getting the job done smarter is sharing responsibility.
This doesn’t mean getting someone else to do all of your work, it just means to entrust a share of the work that your team or business is doing to someone other than yourself who is a part of that team.
Learn to trade effort for effectiveness
Try taking a break once in a while when you are working hard on a project. Evaluate what you’ve been doing and put that up against what is actually getting done. It’s very easy to work hard and still get nowhere because of as much effort as you are putting in, you aren’t completing the task effectively.
So take a moment and honestly evaluate your work performance. If the amount of work you put in isn’t proportional to your productivity, it may be time to make a change in how you do things.
Learn how to make the most of your time
Time management is something that everyone struggles with at one point or another. Some people struggle with deadlines, some people struggle with getting to work on time. There are many tools out there that help people deal with time management more effectively.
Related: How to Work Less and Get More Done?
One of the most common ways that people waste time is by procrastinating. Putting something off until tomorrow is not the best way to work. It causes difficult projects to become insurmountable in your mind and allows unanticipated work to become a monkey on your back. You feel guilt and stress over putting things off.
Sometimes, taking a break from a project is the best thing you can do for yourself because it allows you to take a step back and gain perspective on your work, but there’s a difference between putting it off and working smarter.
Feeling smarter yet? If not, it’s okay. Making changes in the way you work is time consuming and can be difficult if you have worked the same way for many years.
So take it slow and make focus on one area at a time to improve your overall effectiveness and productivity.