We have been taught since childhood to work hard. For instance, in all the tales which are told by our grandmothers, they highlighted the moral of working hard.
Years passed. You are recollecting what you have been taught and trying to put into practice the morals you learned from tales. In terms of hard work, you are thinking of the poor crow who collected lots of pebbles and put it into the pot to get the little water underneath.
You are busy doing the same. You are working extremely hard like the crow. The pebbles are the effort you put in. But then you are not getting the water from the pot, which means that your outcomes are not proportionate to the level of work you did.
Simultaneously, you are seeing one of your colleagues who is not putting so much effort into the work. And you wonder why your colleague gets the best result from the little effort he or she puts in.
When you closely observe, you will see that it is the smart work which keeps them ahead of you. Smart work can be defined as the art of time management. A person who is blindly hardworking lacks this quality. Let’s delve into some tips that would help you work smarter and not harder.
1. Take breaks
A study by professor K. Anders Ericsson revealed that all the top performers in a firm worked in short bursts of time and took frequent breaks in between. This implies that gaps can boost the performance of employees.
If you are given a deadline of 24 hours to complete a work, do not stretch or postpone it to the last hour. Do it in a structured way keeping half an hour bursts in between.
Pomotodo is one tool which can help you get into this habit. This app functions on the Pomodoro technique in which you work for 25 mins and take 5 min breaks. Once you finish 4 such cycles, you will get a long break of 20 mins.
2. Measure efforts
You can’t be the crow who went in search of pebbles, picked them and put them into the pot to get the little water. You don’t have time to wander and waste. You should be able to work within strict deadlines.
For this, you need to know how much effort and the respective time you are taking to finish a task. People become conscious when they begin to measure their efforts which will help them improve.
Rescuetime is a tool that can help you keep track of how much time you are spending on each task.
3. Minimise decisions
When you tend to make a lot of decisions, you will run out of energy. This is termed as ‘Decision fatigue’. The more decisions you make, the harder it gets to keep your productivity levels.
Eliminate all the not-so-important decisions is the best way you can solve this issue. Automating the little things can also help you get rid off decision fatigue.
For example, if you prepare a list of grocery or use apps like Mint Bills, there is no need of worrying over things.
4. Become a structured procrastinator
What pulls back procrastinators is that they just avoid the most stressful or important task. They assign huge and time-consuming tasks to the last minute. Being a structured procrastinator is important in a firm.
Do not waste your time struggling with your habit of procrastination. Instead, make smart use of it. Once you are done with the little tasks, deal with the most important one without delay.
5. Get an assistant
Some people just think that they can do each and everything in a company. If you are assigned too many tasks, you will end up making too many mistakes.
Don’t exert yourself with work. Find the assistance of someone. Consider using personal assistant apps such as 24me. If you are struggling with memory, this app will be of great help. It sends constant reminders, books and appointments.
Above all of these, maintain a healthy body and mind. Get enough sleep. Do not force yourself to be a morning person. You know when you are fresh and active. Do the creative tasks at the time when you are highly productive.
The most important thing you can do to be a smart worker is to give your full focus into the job assigned. Do not drag the working hours. Doing the work within a short time and to perfection is what a smart work really demands.