7 habits for achieving more by working smarter not harder
If your everyday workload regularly leaves you feeling overworked, overwhelmed, and frazzled then it’s time to work smarter not harder.
We all have the same amount of time available to us but have you noticed that some people are able to get much more done while remaining calm and unflappable… but how do they do it?
It’s not from working harder, longer hours. It’s from working smarter.
Here are 7 habits to help you to work smarter not harder.
1. Focus on what matters most.
Not all work is created equal. Some work is what I call busy work while other tasks help to move the dial on what matters most to you, your team and to the organisation. But the question is – do you actually know which activities matter most?
It’s only once you know what matters most that you can prioritise these activities, to ensure that the important work gets done.
2. Make quicker decisions.
If you procrastinate, over analyse or get stuck seeking the opinions of every man and his dog before you make a decision… it’s time to stop!
I am not suggesting that you make snap decisions that are irrational and without consideration, but painfully slow decision making is holding your back and impacting your reputation as a leader.
3. Give up your perfectionist ways.
I get it. You want to do your best work. You were rewarded at school and at uni for perfecting your assignments but in the working world your perfectionism is holding you back.
I see many smart women falling behind when they get into leadership roles because their perfectionist tendencies slows down delivery or they don’t even give their ideas the light of day, waiting for the ideas to be perfect.
The solution that works for many of my perfectionist clients is to set a new benchmark.
It’s time to shift your standards!
Not everything needs to be done to 100% perfection. Yes, some things need that level of attention to detail – such as board reports and data analysis but for much of what you do 80% is good enough, saving time and effort without significantly impacting the value of their work.
4. Say NO more often.
Yes ladies. I know how much you struggle with this one but this is important. Too often I see women making time for everything and everyone else, at the detriment of their own work performance and energy levels.
Learning to say NO more often will open up space in your calendar for doing the work the matters.
5. Discover your productivity zone.
We all have our own productivity zone. When and where is yours? Is it early in the morning before the team start work or is it after dinner once the kids have gone to bed or some other time through the day?
And what type of environment allows you to be most productive? Do you like the hum of activity around you or do you work best in a quiet, peaceful space?
Scheduling the most critical tasks during these times will help you get much more done with less effort.
6. Turn off distractions.
This one really is too obvious but had to be in the list. Have you noticed that we respond like Pavlov’s dogs, reacting to the buzzing and binging of our social media, emails, or phones?
And as much as we think we can multitask, we can’t! We lose momentum, focus, and concentration every time these micro interruptions come our way.
So ladies… it’s time to disconnect from your devices, even if it is just for a few hours each day.
7. Prioritise your self care.
If you want to accomplish more, make it a priority to nourish your mind, body and soul.
Our mood, creativity, effectiveness, productivity and good decision making are all negatively impacted if we are tired, sluggish and lacking in energy. To do our best work we need to take good care of ourselves. That means getting plenty of sleep, exercise, good nutrition and space to rest and rejuvenate.
Put quite simply – self–care is not a luxury, it’s essential!
The choice is now yours!
If you are struggling to get it all done and your ‘to do list’ is a source of stress and tension for you, choose one (or more) of these habits to slot into the way you work.
Let’s make life a little easier (and a lot more fun) by working smarter not harder!