5 Tips To Working Smarter Not Harder In 2017
Don't put in all those extra hours for nothing
I definitely believe in hard work, but I also believe we should work smarter not harder. A lot of people complain about waking up early, and yet they don't finish their task fir the day and yet they sleep late. They end up tired and worn-out.
We all want to make our workday more productive without putting extra hours, but that sometimes feels like a dream.
Chances are good that, at some time in your life, you've taken a time management class, read about it in books, and tried to use an electronic or paper-based day planner to organise, prioritise and schedule your day. "Why, with this knowledge and these gadgets," you may ask, "do I still feel like I can't get everything done I need to?"
The answer is simple. Everything you ever learned about managing time is a complete waste of time because it doesn't work.
Before you can even begin to manage time, you must learn what time is. A dictionary defines time as "the point or period at which things occur." Put simply, time is when stuff happens.
There are two types of time: clock time and real time. In clock time, there are 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day and 365 days in a year. All time passes equally. When someone turns 50, they are exactly 50 years old, no more or no less.
In real time, all time is relative. Time flies or drags depending on what you're doing. Two hours doing something you don't like 12 years. And yet time flies when we are doing something we love.
Which time describes the world in which you really live, real time or clock time? it is definitely real-time, so how can we manage our time so we can work smarter, not harder?
1. Rework your to-do list
You must know what a to-do list is and how to write a great one. One way you can increase your productivity is to limit how many items you add to your to-do list
One way to do this is by choosing one to three most important tasks, or MITs. These are the big, tough tasks for your day that you really need to get done; the ones that will keep you in the office past the time you planned to leave or working after dinner if you don't get through them.
The rest of your to-do list can be filled up with minor tasks that you would do as long as you complete your MITs. Make sure you work on those before you move on to less critical tasks and you'll find you feel a whole lot more productive at the end of the day.
It is advised you write your to-do list the night before to reduce the anxiety you might feel because of it. Also, learn to focus o just today and nothing else.
2. Measure your results, not your time
Many of us put in more and more hours only to find we don't get more done. Adjust the way you measure productivity. If you evaluate yourself by what you actually get done rather than the time it takes to get something done, you'll start to notice a difference in how you work.
If you start keeping a list of everything you get done in a day, you might be surprised how much more motivated you are to do work that matters and stay focused so you get even more done.
Focus on measuring by results, not by time on task, and you'll definitely get more done.
3. Build habits to help you start working
If you don't have a plan for what to work on first, there is a tendency to procrastinate and waste time in the morning. It is advisable you build a routine that tells your brain and boy its time to work. Your routine could be something as simple as your daily commute or grabbing a coffee on the way to work.
Other ways to get into a working mindset can include sitting down at your desk or workspace, turning off your phone or putting it away, exercising, stretching or eating breakfast. You can even have an album or playlist like me that gets you in the mood to work and listen to that as part of your routine.
4. Track where you waste time.
If you're struggling to be productive, it's tempting to change your routine or try new solutions before you uncover the real problem.
The first step in becoming more productive is to identify your regular time-sucks. Start by tracking what you do every morning to get ready for work. You might find you're spending time on things such as choosing your clothes, something you could do the night before. (Or just be like Facebook's CEO, just wear the same colour of jeans and t-shirt every day).
5. Build habits to help you stop working
This one might seem a bit strange, but it really works. Some of us struggle to stop working, rather than (or as well as) start working.
It's easy to just keep going for another hour or to get your computer out when you get home and work until well after bedtime. The worst thing about these habits is that they encourage us to put off our MITs; we figure we'll be working long enough to be sure to get them done. (But, of course, we don't.)
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