“Work smarter not harder” is a popular career mentality, but it’s hard to find ways to actually do it. Finding productive ways to work is not always easy—the new working world has a work-horse mentality that can be toxic, and you cannot work efficiently if you don’t know how to manage your time and work well.
Here are the best ways to be more productive and work smarter, not harder.
Keep a routine.
When you have a solid daily routine you stick to, there are better chances you will be more productive. Even if you have a flexible work schedule and don’t always start at the same time, you should have a routine that gets you started and keeps you going. This can include creating work habits, as well as bedtime habits, eating habits, and exercise habits. Once you find a routine that works well for you to stay productive and focused, stick to it.
Organize and keep up with your email.
Email is something we all have to deal with, but it’s a huge time-suck. If your email is part of the reason you’re not being productive, try the 3Mail Workflow email strategy. This tactic helps you to easily prioritize emails and keep your inbox and time more organized. You start by creating a folder for every day of the week, and while you are checking emails, either delete new e-mails or place them in the day of the week folder in which you plan to respond. This is a great way to work smarter, not harder.
Learn how to prioritize and set goals.
How you prioritize is a common question in interviews for a good reason - it’s an essential skill. When you are able to easily identify what needs immediate attention, it easier to center your focus on and complete the most urgent tasks before moving on to less important matters. Knowing what’s most urgent is also a great way to set goals for your day or your week. These are important skills to work on in order to be a smarter worker.
No one should be treated like a workhorse. To be able to work well, you need to take breaks. It’s proven that the new “work hard” mentality is not effective. According to Forbes, taking breaks not only leads to increased productivity but also improved mental well-being, creativity, and an increase in healthy habits in general.
Be honest about what you can handle.
It’s easy to want to impress your superiors by taking on several projects at a time, but you cannot give your full attention and effort if you’re spread too thin. Extensive to-do-lists prevent you from being productive, according to Inc. Be honest with your boss and with yourself about what you can handle, and what you do work on will be that much more impressive.
What it really comes down to is figuring out what works best for you to be more productive. People thrive in different environments with different circumstances, so you may need to try a few things before you find practices that work best for you.