Over the past few months I have heard the saying “work smarter, not harder” dozens of times, however I personally never knew what it meant. How could someone work hard but not smart? I took it upon myself to dive into research and define what it means, and how it could relate to my day to day routine.

After reading many articles on this particular quote, I have broken it down into 6 tips to not only help myself work smarter, but to help others determine if they are working smarter and if not, how to improve it.

  1. PLAN

Every afternoon before you leave work, make a to-do list of all the tasks that need to be actioned on the following day.  Allow yourself enough time for each tasks with buffer time in-between.  Set the to-do list realistically, and do not set yourself up for failure.  If you know you have too much to do then move less important tasks to the next day.

  1. BE WILLING TO LEARN

Ask questions. Read. Take classes, and go to meetings/conferences.  Learning makes life more interesting, it will also give you additional energy to accomplish more.

  1. FOCUS ENTIRELY TO THE TASK AT HAND

Put your phone away, close your emails and internet browsers and put your headphones in and listen to music. Concentrate on the task you have to undertake and do not move from the task until you are 100% satisfied with the work you have completed. It is so easy to procrastinate, but so hard to focus. Finding time to immerse yourself will save you hours of stress.

  1. LEAVE BUFFER TIME

Leave buffer time between tasks to minimize rushing. Go for a walk. Read an article online, or talk to a colleague. Having this break will also allow your brain to refresh and get ready for the upcoming task.

  1. MAKE YOUR ROUTINE A HABIT

Make all the everyday tasks a routine habit. Forming habits can be hard, however if you commit to these tasks every day, it will take around 30 days for it to become natural and you will not need to set reminders.

  1. ASK FOR HELP

To be more effective, you need to ask for help.  Although doing tasks that you are familiar with is much easier then teaching or asking someone to do it for you, delegating tasks will free up time for the more important tasks that require your full attention.

By Brianna Hoskins (Admin Operations)

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