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:
- 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.
Photo Credit: GoodHousekeeping.com
- 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.
- 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.
- 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