We are all familiar with the scenario of an extremely busy day, where you have ridiculous amount of stuff to be done where you push yourself to the extreme, racing time, however at the end of the day, you kind of look back and wonder how on earth you managed to finalize so very little despite the fact that you were so busy.
Here are 6 major keys to work smarter rather than harder:
1)The priority Pyramid, this pyramid helps you break your tasks into three categories:
- Important Stuff
- Necessary Stuff
- Unnecessary stuff
The important stuff have the highest long-term payoffs where the necessary stuff have low long-term payoffs but high short-term payoffs.
Key questions that can help you build your pyramid: What must I do today? What should I do today and what could I do today?
2) Avoid the busy bee trap, avoid doing tasks just to stay busy instead, discipline yourself to stay focused on what’s important. Your highest priority activities are what get you results at the end of the day, commit yourself to focusing on what matters.
Key questions: Is this really the most valuable use of my time right now?
3) Recognize what’s working, acknowledge what you are doing well and where you are being most productive. Consider how you could potentially improve your approach and work habits to get even better returns on the time spent working through certain tasks. Remove yourself from the activity, this will help you gain proper perspective of the situation
Key questions: What’s working for me? What results am I getting? How could I do more of this?
4) Eliminate unnecessary stuff, stay focused on what’s most important and remove any everything else from your schedule. To work smarter not harder, you must decide what should be delegated, outsourced or eliminated.
Key questions: Is this really something that needs to get done?
5) Create an avoidance list, develop an action avoidance plan where you list all the things you will not allow yourself to focus on. Along with that list, write down how exactly you will avoid succumbing to these temptations. In order to give your undivided attention to what’s most important, you need to avoid the pitfalls of indulging in low value activities
6) Work less, to do more, challenge yourself to work less and do more by consistently raising your standards of performance. You need to be engaged and motivated to want to improve your performance over time. You can even turn your work into a game where you use a timer, and then try and beat your best self from the day before.