5 Tips for Working Smarter

We’re often told to “work smarter, not harder.” This is something I’ve been working on in my life, in the hopes that I can do more with less. So far, it’s been working out just fine. I’ve been able to work less, but earn more money. If you want to boost your ability to work smarter, rather than working harder, here are some ideas:

worker smarter

1. Stop Multitasking

One of the best things you can do to boost your productivity is to stop multitasking. Numerous studies indicate that multitasking really isn’t very good for you — and that you are likely to be the worse for the wear. You’re better off focusing on one thing at a time. So, focus on a single task at a time, and you’ll work smarter. You’ll be able to finish faster, and move on to the next item on your to-do list.

2. Work When It’s Natural to You

Often, we get hung up in working at certain times of the day, or feel as though we have to keep going with something. However, you might be better off if you pay attention to when you work better. I work better earlier in the day. After lunch, I’m sluggish. Trying to work during that time of the day is fruitless. It takes me longer to complete tasks, and even a mental jolt can’t help.

If I work when I feel best, I can do the same amount of work in half the time. This is working smarter. My time is used efficiently, I feel better, and I can do something else later. I try to arrange my schedule on purpose to capture this better work time. I often schedule interviews for later in the day, so that I’m not interrupted during my peak productivity time.

3. Change Your Posture

It sounds strange, but it can be effective. Your posture can help you work better. If you have good posture, you are more likely to be alert, and work better. I noticed this when I didn’t have a desk for a few months. I had a much harder time working on the couch. However, once I got a desk and a good chair, I’ve got good posture — and I’m much more productive.

Similarly, you can work better if you project confidence and a good attitude. Change the way you present yourself, and you might be surprised to see that you get more opportunities, and that you work more efficiently to boot.

4. Take a Break

Yes, taking a break can be good for your work schedule. Working smarter isn’t about “powering through” and working 14-hour days. It’s about being as productive as possible, in as small a time as possible. Without breaks, you start to feel mental and physical fatigue, and that can reduce your efficiency. If you really want to work less, learn how to take effective breaks in order to get more done in a shorter period of time.

5. Focus on What’s Most Important

One of my favorite concepts is the Pareto Principle. This says that 80% of your results will come from 20% of your efforts. If you really want to work smarter, rather than harder, identify that 20% and focus most of your energy on those activities that will give you the best results.

About the Author

Miranda writes about financial topics for several web sites. Her blog is Planting Money Seeds, and her book, Confessions of a Professional Blogger, is available on Amazon.