5 Ways to Work Smarter, Not Harder

By Chelsea Babin

If you want to be more effective at work without putting in longer hours, you need to work smarter. Increasing your productivity with productivity strategies is helpful but, if you want to work smarter, not harder, you need to use these 5 methods to ensure long lasting success.

1. Create and Stick to A Routine: We are creatures of habit. If you want to automate more tasks and reduce the amount of energy it takes to get each completed, you should create and stick to a well-scheduled routine as much as possible. This will help you work on autopilot as much as possible so you can reserve your energy for important tasks or issues that pop up.

2. Do More of the Work You Love: When you need a little extra motivation, focus your efforts on the work you love. Sometimes it’s hard to remember why you loved your job in the first place when you get stuck in a cycle of monotonous, unimportant tasks. If you love to code, spend more of your time coding. If you love to collaborate, try to lend a hand on more collaborative projects. When you do more of the work you love, you’re more inspired and energized when you come into work each day and this will bleed over into the tasks you’re less-than-excited about.

3. Measure Results Instead of Time: When all you do is focus on how long it takes to get a certain thing done, you’re not looking at the important part of the picture. Instead, focus on your results. Create done lists—the reverse of to do lists—to measure what you’ve accomplished each day. It will help keep you motivated and focused and you can see how much you accomplish so you can plan more effectively in the future.

4. Lean Into Procrastination: Although it may seem counterproductive, sometimes the best thing you can do when you’re feeling like procrastinating is lean into it. Work on something else. When you have a deadline looming over you, if you can rely on yourself to get the job done, you can sometimes use the fuel of crunch time to get the work done faster. Sometimes imposing shorter deadlines on yourself will help you work quicker and get the job done smarter out of necessity.

5. Make Time to Reduce Stress: One thing that can hinder your work performance and stop you in your tracks is stress. The most effective thing to do to help yourself work smarter is to reduce your stress. Use your free time wisely by pursuing passion projects, spending time with friends and family, practicing self-care, exercising, and getting enough sleep. This will help immeasurably in your effort to work smarter.

Working smarter, not harder is all the rage in the modern workplace! If you want to be more effective at work without necessarily putting in a ton of extra hours, use these 5 methods.