Best to Work Smarter, Not Harder

It is no story anymore that when it comes to productivity at work we often focus on how long something takes to

complete; as opposed to what we actually accomplished in a day. For example, you just spent four hours writing a 1,000-word blog post. You may be be a bit bummed since that took a nice chunk out of your day. But, what if you focused on the smaller parts of the blog post? For example, you broke into five 200-word sections, formatted it properly, added headings, ran a spellcheck and added images. Suddenly you realize you actually completed a lot in that timeframe. So dear friends, measure your results, not your time.

In fact, research shows that, “that placing importance on hours and physical presence over action and results leads to a culture of inefficiency (and anxiety).” “The pressure of being required to sit at your desk until a certain time creates a factory-like culture that ignores a few basic laws of idea generation and human nature: (1) When the brain is tired, it doesn’t work well, (2) Idea generation happens on its own terms, (3) When you feel forced to execute beyond your capacity, you begin to hate what you are doing.”One way to assist you with measuring results instead of time is by generating done lists. This is simply an ongoing log of everything you completed in a day. By keeping this list you’ll feel more motivated and focused since you can actually see what you accomplished.

 

This brings us to our attitudes. Try to have an attitude adjustment.The team over at Mind Tools state that we’re more effective at work when we have a “positive attitude.””People with a good attitude take the initiative whenever they can. They willingly help a colleague in need, they pick up the slack when someone is off sick, and they make sure that their work is done to the highest standards.”And, you’ll never hear them say that their work is “Good enough.” That’s because they go above and beyond. Furthermore, a good attitude at work will help you set standards for your work, ensure that you’re taking responsibility for yourself, and make decisions easier since they’re based on your intuition. “This admirable trait is hard to find in many organizations. But demonstrating ethical decision-making and integrity could open many doors for you in the future.”

 

Develop the mindset of communicating. Regardless if you’re freelancer, entrepreneur, or employee, there will be times when you will have to work with others. As such, you should strengthen your communication and collaboration skills. When you do, you’ll eliminate unnecessary rework and wasted time from straightening out any misunderstandings and miscommunications.

You can start by enhancing your active listening skills and staying on one topic when communicating. For example, when composing an email, keep it short and to point. Don’t throw too much information in the message since it will only confuse the recipient.

Then Create and stick to a routine.”We are creatures of habit, and so are our brains. When we establish routines, we can carry out tasks faster since we don’t have to ‘think’ about the task – or prepare for it – as much, and can work on autopilot,” says Hallie Crawford, a certified career coach, speaker, and author.

So you can use an online calendar management tool to create and stick to the following routine:

  • I wake-up at 5:15 a.m., exercise, shower, get dressed, write and reflect, respond to emails, and set my goals for the day.
  • From 630 a.m. to 8 a.m. I work on the hardest and most important tasks of the day.
  • Work on my next most important tasks from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.
  • Regroup after lunch, which may include a nap.
  • Plan for meetings, calls, and distractions from 3 p.m. on.
  • 6 p.m. I leave work to relax and spend time with my family.

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