Work smarter not harder.
It’s actually the right approach, but we often get so caught up in our work that pushing through seems like the only option left. And before we know it, the hours become longer, the pile of unfinished tasks becomes monumental, and just like that, there’s no way out.
A famous line in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland comes to mind, “The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.”
What’s wrong with working hard?
After all, success is a long road and there is no alternative to hard work.
Well, nobody asked you to stop working. But you can surely work smarter by finding ways that handle workload efficiently. Working smarter means you finish off a certain task without a lot of toiling, huffing, and puffing.
For instance, here are the 5 tips to begin with:
1) Time management: Calendars vs. to-do lists
To-do lists invariably add tasks that cause unnecessary anxiety. That’s because they shift the focus to tasks that did not get completed, instead of the completed ones. If you switch to Google Calendar or any other calendar, you can plan your work in hours. This gives you a realistic picture of tasks so that you focus better.
2) Distractions and non-productive communication
What happens when you turn on the Focus Mode on your phone? It freezes all apps for a given time to give you undivided attention to your work. If you want to work smart, you need to turn on the Focus Mode in your life as well.
Before you begin working, cut out all distractions. Like being done with breakfast right before a sprint, so that hunger is the last thing on your mind while you’re brainstorming the next marketing strategy with your team.
Similarly, steer clear of all non-productive communications while working. Don’t be one either as others may not appreciate disturbance while working.
3) Automate or outsource
Basic admin tasks that require less energy, are repetitive, and suck up all your time can be automated or outsourced. Use a web service to automate payments, book appointments, and outsource assistant-level tasks to stay focused on the bigger picture.
4) The 60/90 rule
Take breaks and divide your tasks into 60-minute or 90-minute segments to help you set up short-term plans to maximize your focus and improve productivity. However, remember to take 2 or 3 short breaks of a few minutes each during your segments
5) Do more of what you love
So, you love being an entrepreneur but dislike the accounting books? You feel networking is more your forte. No problem. You don’t have to lose sleep over the fact that if you don’t do it, your balance and ledger will fall apart. Just delegate these responsibilities to someone trustworthy or hire a competent professional. Your business will not fall apart and you won’t burn out from doing something else. Simple.
“Eight hours for work, eight hours for rest, and eight hours for what you will.” These are words of the wise. Heed to them and you will never have to work hard, ever again.