3 tips for working smarter instead of harder in today’s worldArticle added by Anne Bachrach on September 13, 2013
Anne Bachrach

Anne Bachrach

San Diego, CA

Joined: October 26, 2009

We have all heard that old adage that tells us to "work smarter, not harder." While you probably remember someone telling you this while you helped with chores, it can sometimes be difficult to apply such wisdom in a modern business. How do you do it? What does it even mean in today’s world?

When it comes to modern business, this mentality could not be more useful. But it can definitely be hard to fit it in if you are not used to it. So, here are three tips that will show you how to work smarter instead of harder in today’s world, so you can enjoy an even better quality of life. These tips will not only inspire you to attack your duties from a new perspective, but will also encourage you to use your intellect as opposed to raw, exhaustible physical effort.

Tip No. 1: Streamline the process

Do you find yourself putting vast amounts of time or effort into activities that are performed on a regular, consistent basis? If so, then streamlining these processes could save you a lot of time and effort. Finding the most time-effective and energy efficient way to get daily tasks accomplished is not only a way to work smarter, but is also a way to save your business valuable time and money. And if you are the boss, then it is up to you to come up with these methods! Every team member should have systems and processes for all of their respective areas. This can help to reduce training and the time it takes to replace employees, either on a permanent or a temporary basis.

Start by looking at everything that needs to be done and then identifying the areas of greatest wasted effort or resources. How can you arrange or delegate activities so that they can be completed as efficiently as possible by the best person for each task? One example might be moving boxes from one end of the warehouse to the other. Instead of picking each one up and moving it individually, is it possible to pick up the entire pallet and just move them with a wheeled goose in one trip?

Some situations might require brainstorming, but keep in mind that there are always easier ways to do things. All you have to do to both save your company money and make your life just a little bit easier is to discover a way to streamline the process so that you eliminate excess effort. With current technology and continual advancements, you should always be open to new ideas.
Tip No. 2: Use your brain, not your back

Try to find smarter ways of doing things, as opposed to methods that will exhaust you. This can mean a number of things, and can be applied to many areas of business. For example, while paperwork might not physically wear down your muscles, it can wear you down in general if you get buried beneath an entire pile of it. Try to find a smarter way to get it all done so that you are not stuck in the office. One way might be to train someone else to help you with it. Or, you could try to take it with you and do it during odd down times during the day. Consider implementing resources like Paper Tiger or similar tools to help you. Scanning papers into your system so that all of your files are electronically stored is also an option that many have been using for years.

Your average day is probably filled with opportunities to use your brain instead of your brawn, so take advantage of your intellect and the intellect of those around you. And don’t be afraid to ask for ideas and help from peers and mentors in the process.

Tip No. 3: Set and accomplish daily goals

Setting daily goals for yourself can eliminate the temptation to do everything at once or in a single day. By focusing your efforts on only the things that matter today, you can save your energy for tasks that truly require your attention and that only you can do (those things that can’t be delegated to anyone else). You will soon learn that there is a certain magic to completing tasks in the proper order, and that is what setting daily goals is all about.

The first step to streamlining your efforts is to think the about small steps, and those steps begin one day at a time. Ask yourself, what are the top one to three things that I must do today that will lead to increased revenue and the overall success of my company? Work on those things first and foremost. I know this sounds obvious, yet many business owners do revenue generation avoidance activities and make excuses about why the other lower payoff activities need to be done first.

In setting goals, make sure not to pile more on yourself than you can handle, and always keep an eye out for ways that you can accomplish these tasks in a more efficient way. Try to plan your daily tasks so that you can complete them more quickly and easily. Not every task can be streamlined, but you can find a better way to do almost everything over time, if you set your mind to it.

Consider using a time log for a week or two to monitor what you do with your time each day. You might be amazed at how you actually spend your time.

How does this apply to me?

If you want to start working smarter instead of harder, then the best way to begin is by contemplating what you are currently doing, and by figuring out what can be delegated to someone else. Take stock of what you do during the day. What areas require the greatest amount of effort and produce the biggest results? How can this effort be saved while still accomplishing the task in the same (or less) amount of time? Continuing to be as time-efficient as possible is key to your success. After all, we only have 168 hours in the week, and we use this time second by second and minute by minute. Choose to use your time on the things that produce actual results.

By putting these three tips into practice, you will no doubt be able to bring about drastic change in your efficiency so that you can experience greater success.
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