Today we’re going to have a look at 5 tips on how to work smarter rather than working hard. These tips will make you better off professionally and will also help improve your overall quality of life.
But first, we’re going to start off with a question:
Are you one of those people who find yourselves putting in huge amounts of work but you don’t feel you’re getting as much money or recognition as you should?
If this sounds familiar, the reason may not be the amount of work you’re putting in but the way you’re doing it. In other words, as well as working hard you need to work smart. Lots of people work hard but only a few become truly successful.
So if you can get the same end result and create something of value by putting in less effort and time then that’s the route you should be taking.
So let’s dive in and take a look at a few tips on how to work smarter
Know Exactly What the End Goal Is
Not just knowing what the end goal is, also know how you’re going to get there and how much work it deserves. Before you start any task, it’s important to have a clear picture of what you want to achieve. You’ll need to know what steps are essential to get there and which ones aren’t necessary and can be cut out if time doesn’t allow.
Too many people end up spending way too long on minor details that nobody is going to notice or care about. This is because they’ve lost sight of the bigger picture and in some cases because they’re too much of a perfectionist. Now the key isn’t necessarily to stop being a perfectionist, this depends on the task you’re given.
Imagine you’re an aircraft engineer and you’re working on a safety feature of an airplane. This is a situation in which you do want to be a perfectionist because the bigger picture tells you that if it’s not perfect the cost is going to be huge. The extra time you’ll be spending working on getting it right is worth it. But now let’s compare that with another scenario, let’s say you’re preparing a PowerPoint for a work presentation. You know what you’re going to say but you end up spending hours looking for the right graphics for your slides even though they aren’t essential to what you want to deliver. In this case that you should probably settle for the graphics, you’ve got and moved on to something more productive next.
Manage your Time Well
Every smart worker knows that time is the most precious resource they have. If you’re going to create things of value, you only have a certain amount of time to do this, so you need to use it wisely. One thing a lot of successful people do at the start of the day is to set themself a list of goals. They make realistic estimates of how much time they need to spend on each task, effectively making a schedule for the day. We are not saying you need to stick to the schedule 100%, you can always modify it here and there. But if you constantly find yourself spending more time than what you’ve given yourself for tasks, there’s something wrong. In this case, you’ll need to rethink things.
The key is to make realistic estimates of how long each task will take and respect those time limits, so you fit everything in that you need. Also, don’t try to multitask too much, most people can only handle so many things at the same time. Concentrate on one thing at a time and try to organize your life so you don’t have too many tasks on the go at once
Figure out the System You’re Dealing With
Everything We do in life involves a system, from the biological systems that make our bodies work, to systems that govern how money changes hands, to psychological systems that make people take us seriously or not. If we have a good working knowledge of the system we’re dealing with, we can improve our chances of success.
Let’s look at the example of an entrepreneur looking for investors for a startup. Some budding business people spend hours making materials for pitches and then delivering them to potential investors. But it all comes to nothing, their business ideas might be great and they’ve worked hard on them but the problem is they don’t really understand what the investors are looking for and what’s going to grab their attention and make them sign up.
Then there are other entrepreneurs who study the system. They understand how investors operate and they do research on individual investors they’re going to pitch to. The time they spend doing this is a lot more worthwhile than spending endless hours on changing the wording of their pitch.
A lot of people who are working hard on something but failing just don’t understand the system they’re working with. This is true of your friend who’s an excellent employee but does poorly in job interviews? They probably haven’t looked into how to impress job interviewers and give them exactly what they’re looking for. And what about the guy in the gym who is always there but just doesn’t seem to be able to get into shape? He probably needs to study how Fitness training works. Whatever the system you’re dealing with understanding it helps you to get your goal faster, cheaper, and with higher chances of success.
We’re not talking about cutting corners in a way that will make the end result less valuable or leave someone else to pick up the mess. We were talking about getting to the same target faster. Think about a worker who has to deliver a spreadsheet and spends a long time creating the entire thing from scratch, while another worker given the same task spends a few minutes finding a suitable template and in those few minutes, half the job is already done. The second worker is smarter because they found a shortcut that will give them the same result.
In fact, finding shortcuts is something you learn in basic mathematics and school. Think back to when you just learned how to do sums like this one 2+2+2+2+2=10 your teacher then thought you if you multiply by 5*2 it gives you the same answer quicker. This is the same rule of thumb whatever your area of work is they’ll be shortcuts I can help you do your job faster and more efficiently. Spend some time looking into them, because a few hours spent finding them can save you hundreds of hours in the long run.
Know When to Ask For Help
Smart workers always know when there’s somebody else who can solve the problem better than them and they don’t hesitate to ask. Besides this, they also probably have a network of people they can turn to in a lot of cases. This will involve paying a specialist to do something for you and this might be the most effective solution. Like when you need your own website but don’t know how to create one yourself. But sometimes, it might just mean bouncing ideas off colleagues at work.
When you can’t find a fix for a problem, sharing ideas with others will open up new perspectives you hadn’t seen before. People who frequently bounce ideas off others are generally better at solving problems than those who don’t. And of course, if you’re going to expect other people to be available to help solve your problem, you’re also going to have to make yourself available in return. When you do this you’re creating a network you can make use of when you need help.
It looks like we’ve been arguing that working smart wins over working hard right? Actually wrong the point is that to be successful you have to work hard but a lot of people do work hard and forget to work smart. If you can do both you’ll be giving yourself a huge advantage and remember working smart shouldn’t involve taking advantage of anybody working smart means being efficient not being sneaky.
I hope this was helpful, don’t forget to share!
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