Everyone knows the phrase, “Work smarter, not harder”. Sure it sounds great in theory, but is that really possible and if so, how do you actually do that? It is in fact possible, and the key is shortcuts that allow you to be more productive and effective without extra effort. In today’s blog we’ll provide some ideas to take this phrase from a pipedream into reality.
Distractions, no matter how small, can reduce your level of productivity. You may think your quick check to see the latest on Facebook or Instagram isn’t a detriment to your workday, but these small (even just a minute long) distractions break your work focus making it harder to get back into the flow once you return to working. While it is important to take breaks, make them worthwhile and purposeful instead of minute long distractions multiple times an hour.
If you have a lot on your plate, it’s helpful to physically write down the tasks you need to accomplish and prioritize based on importance. If you have a big project you need to focus on, consider setting aside an hour or two where you close your work emails and simply focus on the tasks at hand. Working in short intervals like this where you are completely focused on one task will help you feel less anxious and more productive.
Utilize “Empty Time”
We all have moments in our day which could be considered “empty time” that we could in fact utilize for personal and professional growth. Perhaps it’s your morning commute, washing dishes, or working out on the treadmill. Look at the pockets of time in your day and think about how you could use this time more effectively. During these “empty spaces” in your day, watch a TEDTalk or listen to a podcast or audiobook so you can learn new skills and grow personally and professionally.
Many people work better under a little bit of pressure, so if you have tasks you need to accomplish (and don’t have a deadline already set by your manager) set them for yourself. See how quickly you’re able to knock out items on your to-do list that you’ve prioritized (as mentioned above). It’s a tactic that will help increase your efficiency so you’re able to get more done in less time.