Work Hard and Smart (Part 4)

People have been debating whether we should work hard or work smart, and I say, we should Work Hard AND Smart.

Both styles have propelled successful people to where they are now. So, why should we choose one when we can do both? Through the course of my professional career, I and most of the people I have worked with have experienced that working hard and smart is the way to go.

Working smart means making smart choices when you are doing your work while working hard means you should exert the right kind of effort to finish the tasks and goals you have set for yourself.

In this 4-part series, I will give you general tips on how you can work hard and smart to achieve your goals. This part is all about having the right outlook:

work clothes

Photo Credit: Glamour.com
  1. Dress the Part

Dress up and dress well. Even if the company you are working for allows casual outfits, make sure that you still look good and well kept. If you look good and people acknowledge it, then you will feel good and confident. The confidence boost can actually help you in doing your work and everything would seem easier because you are pumped full of happy feelings.

If you are aiming for a higher position then dress the part. It is easier for your superiors to think of you in the position you are aiming for if you look the part. It is like conditioning their minds that you are already one rather than you can be one. Aside from them thinking that you look the part, a well-groomed outfit can also command respect from your peers which will be plus points in the eyes of your bosses.

food

Photo Credit: Pinterest

 

  1. Eat Healthy and Eat on Time

Even if you have a pressing deadline, make sure not to miss your meals. If you constantly neglect your snacks and lunch, your output can be affected because your body is not properly nourished. This affects your mind as well as the decisions you make while working. So, do NOT skip your meals.

Eating healthy should also be your top priority when you are working. Stress eating can usually happen when you are trying to beat deadlines but this is a no-no. If you take in too much food especially carbs and oily food, it can drastically slow you down and make you feel sleepy and lethargic which hurts your performance more. So keep it light and healthy making sure you are sated but not too full and bloated.

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Photo Credit: Pinterest
  1. Help and Get Help

As the Golden Rule says, ‘Do to others what you want others to do to you.’ If you have time to spare, try to help others with their tasks. This gives you the chance to learn something new by working with them and on new types of tasks. This can also work to your advantage when the time comes that you need help from them. In the same way, do not be afraid to get help when you need it. You cannot always do everything so learn to delegate and collaborate.

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Photo Credit: Learnvest
  1. Remember Why

Always remember why you are working hard and smart. Sometimes, we lose focus on why we do things and forget the big picture. Whether you are saving for something or planning to have a better future for yourself and your family, you should never let your work overtake your primary goals. It will not matter if you get so much done at work if you become estranged to the reason why you are working in the first place. In the end, working is the means to achieve an ultimate goal. You can do this by putting reminders of your personal goals in your workplace like pictures or trinkets. Having these things in your line of sight can remind you of why you are striving hard.

 

Do you have other tips in mind? Comment your ideas below and share it to us. If you like blogs like this, Share and hit Like so I can make more for you.

 

Thank you and talk to you soon!

– Tiya Meri

Work Hard and Smart (Part 3)

People have been debating whether we should work hard or work smart, and I say, we should Work Hard AND Smart.

Both styles have propelled successful people to where they are now. So, why should we choose one when we can do both? Through the course of my professional career, I and most of the people I have worked with have experienced that working hard and smart is the way to go.

Working smart means making smart choices when you are doing your work while working hard means you should exert the right kind of effort to finish the tasks and goals you have set for yourself.

In this 4-part series, I will give you general tips on how you can work hard and smart to achieve your goals. This part is all about keeping yourself on top of things:

desk

  1. A Place for Everything

If you have a time for everything, then you should also have a place for everything. This just means keeping your workplace organized, free from clutter, and segregated. Even if you have a small desk or a big office, you can identify specific parts where you can do specific things. The basic areas you should include in your space are the creative, goal, main work, and relaxation areas. Arranging your space into these four primary areas can help you finetune your thought processes.

In your ‘Creative Area’ you can place some of your supplies like colored pens, blank paper, or even a completed puzzle. If you are stumped and can’t think of a solution for one of your tasks, you can simply turn to this area and play with your supplies. Seeing vibrant colors or doodling can help your brain relax making it more receptive and creative.

For your ‘Goal Area’, you can include some pictures or trinkets that can inspire you throughout the day. If the going gets tough, this area can help you focus your thoughts by reminding you of why you are persevering in the first place.

The ‘Main Work Area’ as the name implies, is where you do your actual work. Keep things within reach but not cluttered since the mess can distract you from finishing your work.

Last but definitely not the least would be your ‘Relaxation Area’. If food comforts you, then have a small bowl of sweets; if you like animals then have a few small plush toys which can also serve as stress balls; or if you are into plants, then a small succulent pot garden and a zen tray can do the trick. This area is as important as the other areas since it can give you a much-needed breather if you feel drained or tired.

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  1. Do NOT Take Your Work Home

Except for very distinct situations, do NOT bring your work home. After working for several hours, your mind and body deserves a much-needed break. Even machines are turned off after several hours to ensure it will not overheat or break down easily. Your body and mind, just like the machines, needs to breathe and reboot itself after a long day of work. Keeping yourself healthy can mean more work done in the long term since you avoid getting sick and it will also ensure that the quality of your work is always at its best.

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  1. Take a Step Back and Sharpen the Saw

Every once in a while, take a step back from your task and check if you are still aligned to your objective. It is a common mistake to just plow right through a task without seeing if you are still on track or not. This stepping back time can also help you assess if the tools you are using are still appropriate for that part of the task or if you should be changing your tools.

It is not just the tools. The most important tool in your arsenal is YOURSELF. So, it is very important for you to relax and refresh every so often. Remember the Law of Diminishing Returns? If you are too exhausted to perform your tasks, you won’t achieve your optimal performance and fatigue can even cause errors with your work. Taking a break can refresh your mind and body and give you the boost you need to maintaining high performance and quality results.

Diverse People and Training Concepts

  1. Learn More

Take advantage of the training programs offered by your company. Learning new skills or enhancing what you already have is key to being entrusted with more responsibilities. You can also take online classes to boost your skill set or enroll in short term courses. Having a wide variety of skills can make you invaluable to the company and your colleagues.

Learning new techniques can also greatly impact the way you do your work. By having a few shortcuts under your sleeves, you can submit your task to your superiors with time to spare.

 

Do you have other tips in mind? Comment your ideas below and share it to us. If you like blogs like this, Share and hit Like so I can make more for you.

 

Thank you and talk to you soon!

– Tiya Meri

Work Hard and Smart (Part 2)

People have been debating whether we should work hard or work smart, and I say, we should Work Hard AND Smart.

Both styles have propelled successful people to where they are now. So, why should we choose one when we can do both? Through the course of my professional career, I and most of the people I have worked with have experienced that working hard and smart is the way to go.

Working smart means making smart choices when you are doing your work while working hard means you should exert the right kind of effort to finish the tasks and goals you have set for yourself.

In this 4-part series, I will give you general tips on how you can work hard and smart to achieve your goals. This part is all about avoiding time wasting activities:

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  1. Check Your Email First

A lot would disagree with this tip because some consider emails as a time waster, but if done properly and on a schedule, this can be very useful. Nothing wastes time more than doing something that is no longer needed or is already revised or worse miss a meeting that was rescheduled and you did not know these because you did not check your email. To lessen the time spent on checking email, organize your inbox just like the Lists Tip mentioned in the previous blog. Email apps can be customized to highlight emails coming from specific people or segregate them into different folders. You can also apply the themed schedule tip in checking your email by allowing specific time blocks when you can check your inbox. Allow yourself no more than 3-4 times a day to check your email. Less than 3 and you might miss out on important updates and more than 4 can already be a waste of time.

You can use the email time blocks to shift from one task to another, which also can also act as breathing time in between tasks.

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Photo Credit: GoodHousekeeping.com
  1. Keep One Calendar

Another mistake some people commit is keeping separate calendars for different aspects of their lives. Having separate ones can create conflict in scheduling events which can lead to a messy itinerary. Keeping all your commitments, meetings, and reminders in one place can ensure that you won’t have any overlap between meetings and prevent overbooking your schedule.

Do not forget to use the reminder alerts for each of your tasks, meetings, and other scheduled events. This ensures that you are kept aware of your schedule so you won’t unnecessarily extend because you overlooked the time.

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  1. Sync Before Leaving

Before you end your day, make sure you update and sync your lists and schedule with your progress throughout the day. Highlight the items scheduled for the following day’s bucket so you can start on those immediately right after coming in the office. This will save you a lot of time the following day and can kick-start your schedule quickly instead of trying to figure out what to do which can slow your momentum.

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  1. Work with Templates

Another common mistake is trying to reinvent the wheel and start everything from scratch. Do not hesitate to use templates or pattern your work from previous ones. It is the same as following a set of instructions or a manual. What is wrong is when you edit a previous work poorly, without considering the goal of the new task. Having templates ready can save you time and effort and can ensure you do the job right the first time.

 

Do you have other tips in mind? Comment your ideas below and share it to us. If you like blogs like this, Share and hit Like so I can make more for you.

 

Thank you and talk to you soon!

– Tiya Meri

Work Hard and Smart (Part 1)

People have been debating whether we should work hard or work smart, and I say, we should Work Hard AND Smart.

Both styles have propelled successful people to where they are now. So, why should we choose one when we can do both? Through the course of my professional career, I and most of the people I have worked with have experienced that working hard and smart is the way to go.

Working smart means making smart choices when you are doing your work while working hard means you should exert the right kind of effort to finish the tasks and goals you have set for yourself.

In this 4-part series, I will give you general tips on how you can work hard and smart to achieve your goals. This part is all about managing your time and workload.

themed schedule

  1. A Themed Schedule for Everything

It is not enough to have a schedule, it also needs to be coordinated into a theme. Just like with color themes, if a color does not go well with the one next to it, it can be an eyesore and can ruin the pattern. The same goes for scheduling your tasks and workload. You need to have a sinuous transition between one task to the other. Grouping similar tasks lessens the fatigue on your brain since you do not have to jump between dissimilar thought processes and ideas abruptly. The flowing movement from your tasks gives you a smoother transition and prevents your momentum from slowing too much.

Time theming can also be done on a weekly and monthly basis. If you have fixed points in your calendar like weekly or monthly reports and meetings, you can anchor tasks on those points and work backwards. Remember not to overbook yourself when making a themed schedule so you can maintain your flexibility should an important task arise without prior notice.

who what

2. Knowledge is Power (What, Who, When, Where, Why, How, and How Long)

Knowing all the details about your workload can give you power. It just means that you can prioritize and organize your work better if you know the essentials of your tasks. Nothing spells inefficiency more than going back and forth in figuring out your task while you are in the middle of doing it. Before starting any task, know the following items first:

  • What the task is;
  • Who are the key stakeholders;
  • When is it due;
  • Where is the project/task location;
  • Why is the task needed;
  • How should it be done and what are the processes involved;
  • And, How long it will take you to finish the task.

This simple list of information can make or break your performance in delivering the task.

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3.  Make Lists (Master, Top Priority, For Later, Needs Clarification, and Finished) 

Segregating your tasks into different lists can help you track what you need to do at any given time. This can also help you maximize your 8-hour working schedule without unnecessarily spending more time in the office.

  • Having a MASTERLIST can give you a complete picture of what you need to accomplish. Have a bulleted format for your list so you can see if there are groups of smaller tasks that you need to perform before you can tick off a bigger task. It is also a good practice to break down big tasks into smaller ones so you can see if there are similar items on your list that you can do together.
  • As the name suggests, your TOP PRIORITY list should include tasks that are essential and is due soon.
  • The FOR LATER list, will house all the tasks that can be delayed. Just make sure to check this list often so you can avoid missing out due dates.
  • Your NEEDS CLARIFICATION list will include all those tasks that needs additional information or would need assistance from other people. This can also include TOP PRIORITY items that can’t be finished without invaluable help from other stakeholders.
  • Of course, let us not forget the FINISHED list. This can give you the much-needed confidence boost especially if you see that you have accomplished a lot. It can also give you the details that you need right at your fingertips whenever people call on you regarding finished tasks.

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  1. A Note to Yourself

If a task cannot be completed within the time allotted and needs to be rescheduled, make a note for yourself giving you a quick overview of what you have done so far. This prevents wasting your time backtracking what happened when you last worked on the task. It will be more helpful if you share the task with another person because they can start from where you left off without having to consult with you too much about what has been done.

 

Do you have other tips in mind? Comment your ideas below and share it to us. If you like blogs like this, Share and hit Like so I can make more for you.

 

Thank you and talk to you soon!

– Tiya Meri

Titas of Manila: ARE YOU ONE OF US?

Tita is the Filipino term for our aunt, or our friend’s mom, or any middle-aged family friend. Titas are also our second mothers who sometimes substitutes for our parents in PTA meetings or chaperones us to birthday parties or any event that our parents can’t attend with us. Recently though, there is this new classification for the Titas out there and it is called ‘Titas of Manila’. Nope, it is not a sorority nor an organization, yet.

It is a new label for women out there who have developed certain traits or habits that people associate with a ‘Tita’ who lives in or around Manila.

So, what does it take to be called a ‘Tita of Manila’? Let us count the ways:

Happy Place = Grocery, department, and home improvement stores.

Nothing beats the happiness we find in scoring great deals in buying by bulk or finding those fancy ingredients for our new must try recipes. We also love to check out what’s new in the linens section or maybe see the latest storage organizers. It is pure and unadulterated bliss when we shop at these stores. #HappyPlace

Night caps start at 10 P.M.

When we were much younger, drinking till the sun rises is a skill and we still manage to have the energy to come to work later and bring our A-game. These days though, we have our dinners at 7 or 8 and start finishing the night at 10 P.M. because we either have to finish some things at home or have an early morning the following day. Gone are the days when we were wild and free. #CinderellaCurfew

Catch-up lunch dates with the girls is a must.

Since our days are now shorter, we have less time to see friends so having a weekly catch-up lunch is the next best thing. This is also our time to get current with the latest chismis about old friends. Seriously, most of the time is spent ‘catching up’ than eating during these lunch dates. #MoreChikaMoreFun

Mani, pedi, and spa visits is a form of team-building exercise.

Building bonds with our female colleagues is best done in a nail salon where we are pampered to our heart’s content while discussing the new ideas for work.  A good sign that the bonding experience is going well is when you finish your meeting/team building with a snack in a coffee or tea shop to polish your plans. #CuticlesIsNextToUgliness

Your hobbies fall in one of these three categories: Cooking, DIY/Crafting, or Gardening (for the Super Tita, it is all of the above)

Nothing keeps us at night more than waiting for the next morning so we can try to recreate the video we saw a few seconds ago. It might be a new recipe from Tasty or Tastemade, or a craft/DIY project from Pinterest, or reassembling your succulents in the garden to create that perfect Real Living worthy pocket garden. And sometimes, just sometimes, you crave to do all three because you are that skillful in slaying the ‘Tita’ game. #LifeHacks

Keeping up with the social media trends is a hassle we try to overcome on a daily basis.

Remember when we use to be the hip and cool guys with our very modern vocab? Unfortunately, we have been replaced because listening to kids these days as they use the words like ‘go’, ‘lit’, ‘woke’, and other seemingly ordinary words leaves us dazed and confused. Believe me when I say, nothing will make you feel older than when you sit there not understanding what these kids are talking about right in front of you. #anodawyun

Titas like shopping… a lot!

Whether it is a mall-wide sale or in an organic market or even pop-up bazaars, expect to see a tita there happily fleeting around finding their next haul. #ShopPaMore

Titas also like it quiet (shhhhh…)

Parties?! Loud music?! We have been through those and are happy that we’ve had our fill. These days, we just want the peace and quiet of coffee shops or zen-like restaurants so we can enjoy our lunches and snacks with friends and family. #RelaxModeOn

Elegance is the KEY.

If blending is the key for make-up, Elegance is the key for your favorite Tita. Just like with rave parties, we went through those fashion fads on a weekly basis. Now that we are much older and wiser (hopefully) we opt for classic and timeless styles. Don’t forget comfortable and practical since we are more on the go these days just because we have the time. #MadamnaMadam

We can smell where the grub is…

Just like shopping, we live to hunt for those quirky and new eating places. Food parks? Secluded restaurants? Sky high bars? We’ll see you there for sure. #FoodGoals

More Travel More Fun

Planning fun daytrips or weekend getaways is also a must for a Tita of Manila. This is one of the perks of having worked for some time already. A daytrip in Liliw, Laguna hunting for locally made wedges or dipping in the crystal blue waters of a Santorini-inspired resort in Batangas. You name it, we got it covered. #TaraNa

Last but definitely not the least, We LOVE our Families and Friends to bits!

We do most of these things with our friends and families because we love them. Most of the times we plan our events and trips with our loved ones and we make sure that they enjoy it as much as we do. We try to share our happiness as much as we can to those close and special to us because that is who we are.

So, are you one of us?

-Tiya Meri

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Photo Credit: KESanBuenaventura