Work and Career

How to Work Smarter, Not Harder

There’s a smart and efficient way to work that will enable you to complete all your tasks while not causing you to feel exhausted each day. Learn how you can work smarter, not harder, by trying some of these fail-proof tips.

Check your inbox first thing in the morning

Check your email or phone inbox to see whether there are other more urgent tasks. Doing this can give you a clear picture of how your day will be running. You can determine whether you have to make changes to your meetings and appointments, or you can go ahead with the things you have scheduled to do for the day.

Establish rituals

You must begin and end a work day in a certain way to condition your mind. This way, your body can easily fall into a rhythm and work with you, not against you, as you start to tackle the activities lined up for the day.

If you work from home, you can take a quick jog around the block, have a thirty-minute breakfast, and then power up your laptop. It can even be as simple as playing a favorite track on your iPod. Do the same thing when it’s time to log out and end the work day.

Respond quickly to your messages

It doesn’t even have to be the reply that they’re waiting for. If you don’t have the answer yet, it’s better to send out an email stating that you are checking on it and will be getting to them as soon as possible, rather than not sending any reply at all. You don’t want to keep your clients or bosses wondering if you’ve even read their email.

Create your own “To Don’t” list

If you can make a list of things to do, then you can certainly make a list of things to not do—like playing games on your phone, or iMessaging your friends, or browsing through Facebook, or having too long a coffee break. Just as you follow and complete the items on your to-do list, so should you on your to don’t list.

Take breaks regularly

It’s been scientifically proven that for every 90 minutes of work that you put in, you should take a 15-minute break. Working around the clock means you’re working hard, but this can take a toll on the mind and the body. This does not guarantee great results. The quality of your work may suffer, and you may be handing in a less-than-superior finished product.

Learn to delegate

Assigning people with a certain task does not make you look like you’re slacking off. It just shows that you are letting the best people in your team handle the job and take over. You don’t need to do everything by yourself. More often than not, your desire to do everything can leave with you more work than you can handle.

Don’t procrastinate

It’s so easy to fall into the trap of doing a task later on, after this cup of coffee, or after you talk to your friend who just came back from his China trip. Before you know it, you’re overloaded and backlogged with work that you have no idea how you can complete in time. Even if you do complete them in time, the work will be rushed and not something that you can consider your best.

Rouselle Isla

Contributor at Kami
Rouselle Isla

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