Female engineer leading project meeting in high tech office

When it comes to working smarter and not harder, everyone knows the usual tricks: Manage your time, take strategic breaks, get enough sleep. And that’s all good advice, but you’ve probably asked yourself if there’s more you can be doing. After all, you’re already using those strategies, and you still find yourself with more work than you can possibly do in one day.

The intensity and impact of the efforts put into getting work done is felt better when it hits the right target. So, how do you go about it?

Weigh Your Options

Hard workers want all the possible work to be done, while smart workers don’t bother with most of the work they should do. Instead, they brutally focus themselves only on the tasks that bring the biggest long-term impact, and those are all the tasks connected with creating, delivering and capturing as much value as possible.

Get the job done when your energy levels are high

As tempting as it is to buckle down and grind out all of that work, it’s really setting you up for burnout in the long run. Take a break, get adequate sleep, and figure out a plan for how you’re going to tackle things more effectively tomorrow.

Prepare the Night Before

This goes out to all the people who wouldn’t describe themselves as “a morning person.” When you wake up, the last thing you want to do is make big decisions about your workload and your schedule before your first cup of coffee has kicked in. Taking even 10 or 15 minutes to decide what you’ll be doing the following day can make a huge difference in your workflow.

To make the most of my morning, I make sure to prep myself the night before. As soon as I wake up, I know where I’m going to start, I know what project I’m diving into, I know which problem I’m going to be tackling first. If you can set these firmly in your mind before you go to bed, you’ll wake up with far more energy and drive to tackle them—because they’ve been marinating in your subconscious.

What other tip help you work smart?


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