In order to reach success in life, you’ll have to do the work it takes. But there are ways to work smarter and save you time and worries.
Regardless of where you are on your entrepreneurial and self-improvement journey, you’ll need to put in the effort, dedication and time to get ahead of others.
You’ll need to hustle daily. And that’s when productivity and time management come in handy, since they can help you get much more done in less time, be more efficient and double your results.
It’s crucial to learn some things now to save yourself time and worries on the way for achieving your goals. That can happen mainly by knowing how to work smarter, not harder.
Knowing when to call it quits
There are too many options to choose at any moment, like work on a project, daily activities and tasks, read emails, do phone calls, or else. Some people fall into the trap of wanting to do it all. But that’s impossible.
Our time and focus are limited. Besides that, most of these aren’t really necessary and don’t get us closer to our goals.
That’s why it’s important to learn a special skill in life and in business – to know when quitting and moving onto something better or saying “no” to most of activities that spends your precious time, so that you can say “yes” to the few activities that will make you more successful in less time.
Quitting here isn’t a bad word. Instead, it’s what helps you make time for the essentials and see progress faster.
So stop doing some of the activities you constantly do, remove unimportant tasks from your to-do list, say no to new projects when you feel like they aren’t the right fit for you.
And more importantly, know that there’s nothing wrong with leaving something behind, even after you’ve already started it. That’s when others will probably criticize you, making you feel guilty. But it’s not smart to keep working on a useless project for weeks, just because you’ve already invested time and energy into it.
Finding what works best for you and doing more of it
Doing what others say that works best isn’t the smartest decision. It’s much better to find what gives results in your situation, with your goals and skills. Then, just do more of it.
All this happens by experimenting. Simply do your research and give any technique out there a try. Some will work, others won’t. Stick to the ones that let you be more productive and efficient, and forget about the rest.
Conventional wisdom has nothing to do with your aspirations and career trajectory.
Learn from experience and most importantly, learn from your mistakes. Every time you fail at something, you can move on knowing what doesn’t work. That leaves you with less options to try and at some point this can bring you massive success saving you future time.
Doing focused work is another way to work smarter
The moment we get to work is when the real magic happens. Without it, we can’t really move forward.
That’s why we should improve the process and make that work even more productive by finding focus right before we begin a task or project.
Focus is our ability to do one thing at a time, to pay to it our undivided attention, and to get it done better and faster. So focus is what we’re all after at work. But how do we find it?
Again, we should use the principles of minimalism and should first exclude the unnecessary. In this case, that’s the distractions preventing us from concentrating.
They may be:
- People coming in the room
- Random thoughts popping up in your mind
- Overanalyzing or planning too much before you actually get to work
- Thinking of excuses to procrastinate
- An unfriendly working environment
- Getting distracted while working online, and so on.
Take your time to define what these are. Then, do something about each.
When you remove these, it will be just you and the task. And you’ll be able to simply start working on it, to be focused for as long as it takes to get it done and to be proud of the results in the end.
Learning from the experts
Last but not least, don’t forget to do your research, to see how others are doing this, ask for advice, seek support and learn from their mistakes.
Start by reading the best books on business and productivity first. You can’t go wrong with that.
Take “Rework”, for example, and go through it. It’s this brilliant bestseller by the founders of 37Signals, which teaches how to simplify things and let go of conventional wisdom, doing work that matters and basically changing the way you work forever.
The authors give solid reasons why:
- Meetings are a waste of time
- Long-term business planning is pointless
- Often choosing less is smarter than scaling
- The details aren’t as important as most people think, and more.
As a result of their experience, it’s better to let some problems be and launch your project sooner, stop caring about the competition that much and start saying no more often.
The book is a proof that what we think is right in business, is usually wrong. Its creators have failed, but have also been successful for 15 years and decided to share everything that must be done differently, so that you can stand out from the crowd in such a competitive world, protecting your time and creativity to invest them in what truly matters.
This exact book is quite easy to read and you can implement the techniques right away. There are, of course, more serious and difficult books on personal excellence out there, backed by science or explained through psychology. You should give them a try too. Each time you open a book you’re entering a smart person’s mind and learning directly from the source. It’s a powerful experience and can be a great inspiration. Seeing what others do differently will let you experiment and see what works best for you too.
So, you see, working smarter not harder is a mindset you’ll need to develop in the process. It’s an attitude towards life, really, and it’s best to get there using gradual change and taking small steps.
What about you? How do you work smarter, more efficiently and effectively?
Article by Lidiya K.