Ever since computers have become such a large part of our lives, it seems that workloads have dramatically increased. Now, instead of things getting easier, we’ve gotten busier and more hectic than ever before.
This may cause you to feel overburdened with your heavier workloads, especially when it comes to tasks you have to do repeatedly. Finding better ways to accomplish your to-do list can save you time, money, and a whole lot of frustration.
How do you “work smarter, not harder?” Look at what you do on a daily basis and develop ways to get the same amount done with less effort and struggle.
Here are some ways you can work smarter, not harder:
1. Simplify repeated tasks. Forms and templates can save time on a lot of tasks. For example, if you have to send out a lot of the same email, create a template email so you can just fill in the specific parts for each person individually.
2. Delegate. Delegate some of your responsibilities to other people. If you have too much housework, give the kids some chores and set up a schedule. Four people doing four things will get them done faster than one person doing all four things alone.
3. Automate. If you’re in a position that requires the same thing done every day, at the same time, then try to find a way to get the process automated so it happens without you there. An example would be to back up your computer every night, automatically.
4. Eliminate the useless. There are unproductive things you do on a daily basis. In fact, you probably already know exactly what these distractions are! Once you identify your time-wasters, remove them from your routine, and focus on those tasks that are truly productive.
5. Focus. Stay focused on your responsibilities, not the responsibilities of others. If everyone focuses on their primary responsibilities first, the large portion of the job gets finished and then minor details can be taken care of later.
6. Learn to say “no.” Many people take on too much work because they’ve never learned to tell others “no.” Before taking on extra duties for someone else, make sure you schedule time for your own needs first.
7. Know your limits. Avoid taking on more than you can handle in order to please someone above you. If you do this on a regular basis, you’ll ultimately be working twice as hard because you’re not performing at your very best.
Learn how much you can handle while still being productive. We all have limits, and respecting our own limits leads to greater productivity.
Working smarter, not harder is all about planning, executing and knowing your limits.
Planning saves time and money. It allows you to delegate and assign tasks to those most qualified to complete them. Using systems and automation to execute tasks eliminates repetition and assures quality control. Wisely considering limits prevents burnout and late work.
All in all, working smarter, not harder does just what it says. Not only does it save you valuable time, but your production levels will soar as well!