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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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