Are You Working Smarter or Working Harder?
Do you feel you work harder or smarter at most things?
Most of us, unfortunately, tend to work harder, rather than smarter when we feel we need to get more things done. Working hard can be okay in the short-term or a small burst, but working harder is never smart over the long haul.
It doesn’t make any sense to work hard for any amount of time. It usually ends up wasting time, leaves you feeling crappy and tends not to be your best work. You also can’t increase the intensity or duration of your work in you’re doing things the hard way.
But you can always choose to work smarter!
Is it time to work smarter?
Here are seven strategies to work smarter instead of harder:
1. What’s most effective
One strategy to work smarter is to find and concentrate on the tasks that are giving you the best bang for your buck and time. Look at all the different tasks you currently have at work and home. Are you sure you’re spending your time wisely?
We often gravitate toward tasks that we find easy or comfortable, and that doesn’t mean they are the smartest way to do them. Ensure that you’re reviewing your actions and methods when deciding how to use your time. If you find you’re not doing things efficiently, then research ways to improve. You can do a simple Google search or ask on your friends on Facebook.
Whether we like it or not, we’re all skilled at wasting time in our own way. We have to look at ourselves honestly and figure out how we need to change to improve.
2. Review your actions often
Take a simple review of your day and decide if you used your time as well as you could have. Look for any ways to do better. Look for ways you could waste less time. If you become just a fraction better each day, the difference over time in your results will amaze you.
3. Avoid the belief that grinding is the answer
Several famous gurus of our time really push this hard grind way of doing things. Our society often associates greater success with the greatest effort. But working harder or longer isn’t always the right answer. Sometimes it makes a lot more sense to sharpen your ax than it does to swing it harder or longer each day.
4. Review your results
If what you’re doing isn’t working as well as you like, continuing down that path is silly. Figure out what works for you and what doesn’t. Choose your actions and make changes accordingly. To fail to review your results like cooking but never tasting the food to see if it’s good. You have to know where you are to correct your actions and improve.
5. Ask yourself, “Are the steps I take today getting me where I want to go.”
While you’re reviewing your day, ask yourself what would happen if you repeat these same actions each day for the next five years. Design a day that will logically lead to the destination you want.
6. Set time limits
One great way to force yourself to work smarter is to limit how much time you’re going to give to a task. Compressing your time will help you strive to get more done in the same amount of time. The only way to make better progress is to alter your approach. And working the same way will only get you so far. By setting time limits, you will get creative and experiment to find the best and quickest way to accomplish things.
7. Continue learning
The more you know, the smarter you can work. What else do you need to learn to work more efficient? What knowledge will allow you to do a better job without spending more of your time? Be sure you’re learning the right things and the right time.
You can seek out the experts in your field and learn what you can from them. Avoid thinking you have to figure out everything on your own. There’s no reason to reinvent the wheel; success leaves clues; you just have to find and follow them.
While we may admire someone that can grind, it should not be your long-term strategy. Avoid this temptation just to lower your head, work hard, and grind through to the finish line. It’s much more intelligent and efficient to learn how to work smarter.
Once you learn a better way of doing things, you can continue using that knowledge forever.
Here’s to working smarter to create a business and life you LOVE!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: TORIE MATHIS
Torie Mathis helps entrepreneurs get from where they are to where they want to be by working smart. She is a best-selling author, Army veteran, speaker + trainer, and your mentor to creating the business+ life you love. She has cracked the code for creating a lucrative, independent business + an amazing lifestyle. She can help you with your marketing and business growth, your clarity and purpose and help you reach your vision of success. 🙂
Torie hosts SMART AF, a show for non-techy, non-marketers looking to grow their business, with her husband Sean and is the creator of SMART AF Magazine.