What does it mean to work smarter not harder?

Success - What does it mean to work smarter not harder

Whether you are looking to advance your career or start a business, you need to learn how to work smarter not harder. In other words, you need to plan your work several days in advance and focus on just one task at a time. This will help you stay focused and avoid switching between tasks that you haven’t completed yet.

Be effective, then efficient, then effortful

Having a good balance between effectiveness and efficiency is the holy grail for any business. This article discusses the key differences between the two and provides tips for growing in effectiveness.

Effectiveness refers to the actions that get you to your goal. It is important to have clear goals. If you have clear goals, you will be more motivated to work hard to achieve them. When you work hard for goals that are meaningful to you, you will be more motivated to search for creative solutions.

Efficiency refers to actions that produce the desired or expected result with the least amount of resources. It is important to work efficiently to maximize your productivity and achieve more results in less time.

The Holy Grail for any company is to pursue the right goals and use the right methods. If you are not clear on what goals you should work towards, you will waste time and energy working on things that do not add value to your company. You may also end up working harder than needed to compensate for the efficiency.

If you are unsure about what to focus on, you can look for actions that are easier to automate. When you look at a task, think about what could be automated and what could be cut out entirely. You should also analyze the results of any changes you make to determine the effectiveness of these changes.

You can also work in short bursts of productivity rather than a long sustained push. When you work in short bursts of productivity, you are less likely to have burnout. You also have a better chance of working with your co-workers. This helps promote good feelings about your work environment.

Focus on one task at a time

Considering how many tasks we perform in any given day, a good work-life balance is a must. To achieve that balance, you need to make smart choices – not necessarily by default. Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to achieve this balance. The first of these is to focus on one task at a time. You might not have control over all aspects of your life, but you certainly have control over how you manage your time and energy. The best part is you can do this without compromising your sanity.

Taking the time to make smart decisions will pay off dividends down the road. To accomplish this, you need to block off the calendar. For a start, this is an effective way to make sure your coworkers respect your work time. In addition, it’s a good way to get some quality R and R. You could even try taking a power nap during your break. Besides, your brain may need to recharge. You’ll be surprised at how much you can accomplish.

Using the appropriate tools and techniques will enable you to maximize the number of tasks you perform each day. If you’re still wondering how to do this, try using the Pomodoro Technique. This is a well known ad trick used by hundreds of millions of professionals worldwide.

Avoid perfectionism

Having perfectionism in your life can lead to stress, exhaustion, burnout, and more. There are ways to get past perfectionism and achieve a work-life balance.

First, you need to acknowledge your perfectionism. Find out where you experience perfectionism and why. Talk to yourself as a friend. Write down the good things about perfectionism and the negative things. Then, challenge yourself to compliment yourself everyday.

Another way to get rid of perfectionism is to break tasks into small, manageable pieces. This will keep you from getting overwhelmed and give you fewer feelings of failure. You can also set a deadline. This will help you to focus and complete your work.

Once you have established a time limit, you can focus on your work. If you are a perfectionist, you might want to think of your projects as mini experiments. You need to break them into small steps and practice them regularly.

You also need to find other people to work with. You might find it helpful to get some professional help. Using therapy can help you overcome your perfectionism. You might also consider hypnotherapy.

Perfectionism is a mindset. It can lead you to think that more time is better. The problem with this is that you are wasting time and resources. If you are willing to say “no”, you will be able to invest more time and energy on the most important things.

If you feel like you are always avoiding new projects, you might be confused about your self-worth. You may be afraid of failure. You may also think that spending less time on a project will reduce its impact.

In order to get rid of perfectionism, you need to change your attitude. You can work smarter, not harder.

According to the dictionary, smarter means…

showing mental alertness, calculation, and resourcefulness, characterized by ԛuickness and ease in learning, capable of independent and apparently intelligent action, quick and brisk.”

Rules To Work Smarter

I’m sure you all heard the saying at some point, “Its better to work smarter, not harder.”  Every day as I venture out into the world, I can count at least ten times when I see people working much harder than they need to be.  People get rich because they work smart, not because they work long hours and hard days at the office.

So how can we all start to work smarter?  Well, it is very simple, actually.  If we all took a step back and analyzed everything we did daily, we could see a better solution to almost everything we do.  Making a few small changes could make things work out better for everyone.

Rule 1: Forget Work-Life Balance… It’s Time To Realize Work-Life Integration.

Work-life balance is debated everywhere, a hot topic given the pace of our society and the influx of information at lightning speeds.  While technology has, in some ways, allowed us greater freedom over where we work, it has crucified our peace of mind and relaxation time, given the 24/7 availability and pressure to respond instantaneously to workplace demands.  Little wonder, then, that we’ve become obsessed with work-life balance.

None of it truly works, and we just end up dissatisfied and frazzled because we can’t have it all without conseԛuences to our health, general well-being, and relationships with ourselves and others.  The evidence indicates that we want to slow down and enjoy what we’re doing without the freԛuent distractions

Slowing down is not about letting our brains go to mush, nor does rejecting the mainstream assume we can’t hack it.

That’s why single-tasking, not multi-tasking, makes sense.

That’s why a deep focus on the task in hand produces ԛualitative work and delivers so much more with less while delivering great pride in what we do.

That’s why people want to work fewer hours and live more.

That’s why people want to work smarter, not damn harder.

Rule 2: It’s Time To Give Some Attention To Our Inner World.

I’m all for new advancements that improve our planet, eradicate disease, and reduce poverty, but not all advances can say that, can they!

When we discover our deeper natures, we break free of the restrictions that hold us back, keep us small, and create the illusion that we’re all separate.

Alignment brings authenticity, and authenticity gets the results we desire.  At the same time, when we get the internal harmony of any business working properly and dynamically we can excite and delight our customer base.  In order to do this we’ve got to focus on the whole person and we’ve got to get them aligned to their clear vision and values.

Rule 3: Forget being an employee; it’s time to become self-reliant.

While everyone won’t want to be self-employed and work for themselves, that doesn’t mean that companies can’t lead in a more enlightened fashion.  What about a genuine focus on people first and profits second, a change in emphasis from human resources to human potential, and the realization that a diverse pool of talent with an empowered culture and purposeful goals has a greater chance of producing outstanding work.  This takes investment and guts to follow an alternative path and to focus on outcomes rather than presenteeism.

Rule 4: From Stressed-Out To Fired Up.

When the majority of workers pursue their passions to earn a living rather than the minority, a momentous shift in perspective will occur.  Attitudes will begin to focus on being happy first and having a second, giving than receiving, and being present rather than past or future-focused.  This is the nature of authentic success and lights people up rather than drains them.

Rule 5: From the office to the home.

Many new industries have been created due to the Internet and many older businesses have been forced to change shape due to it.  Most UK households have Internet access and broadband capability, and there is a steady rise in home working.  Let’s face it, most of us:

  • make bill payments online,
  • book our holidays,
  • Search for a job and
  • date and connect with our friends.

So it is perfectly reasonable to assume that the increase of online working in the newer sectors of Network Marketing and Social Media will be evident within a decade.

Far from creating a bunch of lonely, disconnected, emotionally inept characters, the Internet connects like-minded individuals globally with ease and grace and produces deeper and, in many aspects, more fulfilling relationships.

Rule 6: From left-brained focused to whole-brained focus.

It matters to us that we can understand and draw meaning in what we do.  As we evolve so does our thinking and we now understand that purposeful work involves creativity and emotional and spiritual connection as well as mental.  We begin to take care of all our needs rather than being just one-dimensional because we understand that all work and no play kill our creativity.

Rule 7: From a dependent spirit to a free spirit.

The more we get in touch with ourselves, the more we realize that we create our own reality and can take full control and responsibility for the choices in our life.  We move from the old paradigm of fear, scarcity, and competition to the new paradigm of opportunity, collaboration, and a love for what we do.  It’s a Be-do-have principle rather than a do-have-be principle, and we get in harmony and balance and become that change we want to see in the world.

Ways To Work Smarter, Not Harder

A major problem for most people is having too much work and not enough time to do it.  One solution: fine-tune your time-management skills.  By using your working hours more efficiently, you attack stress on several fronts:

  • You’ll feel more in control, productive, and secure in your job.
  • You’ll get greater satisfaction from what you do.
  • You’ll give yourself more time to relax and enjoy life.

No matter how you juggle your schedule, the number of hours in the day will always remain the same.  But it is possible to adjust your habits to buy more time for the things that matter most.

Plan Regularly

Make a to-do list of all your unfinished business and projects every night.  Review the list, prioritize and decide how much time you need to complete each activity.  Use a planner that shows you a full week at a time.


Eighty percent of your accomplishments come from 20 percent of your efforts.  So think strategically: What 20 percent of your work is the most valuable—to you and your employer?  Once you’ve identified it, try to focus the lion’s share of your time and energy in that direction.  Learn to say no to non­essential demands.  And don’t waste time perfecting every interoffice memo when you could spend the time more profitably on something else.


Pass projects on to subordinates at work, recruit your children to help with household chores, and hire a gardener or local teenager to maintain your lawn.

Automate Tasks

In the modern world of technology, the Internet of Things (IoT), and apps, it is possible to have technology reduce and/or organize your workload.  With a few basic programming and macro skills, you stretch the concept.  For example, email rule can for ordinary emails to specific folders and include the deleted folder.  Other email systems will allow you to enable folders to filter social media, promotions, follow-ups, etc. into their own tab, so, your core inbox is cleaner when you start to work on it.  Also, cert apps can publish or email things on a schedule, even if, you happen to be busy with life when the time rolls around to publish, email or notify.   This must get done and done right, but nothing says you have to have your hands on the keyboard or even awake when it happens.  The world never sleeps, but we must, besides life, happen whether we are working or enjoying it.

Set Deadlines for Major Projects

Instead of procrastinating, divide large projects into manageable pieces and attack only one piece at a time.  Then focus only on starting to work on them—not finishing them.  Realize that many people who have trouble meeting deadlines have the unrealistic idea that their work should be perfect.  Expect quality rather than perfection.

Schedule Concentration Time

Block out some time every day when you can’t be disturbed except in an emergency.  Use that time to get the most important tasks of the day done.  If someone stops by your desk and asks for a moment of your time, you can honestly and politely reply, “No, I’m in the middle of something right now, and I can’t give you my full attention.” Close the door to your office if you can.

Organize Throughout the Day

Remember this rule: Tuck it, transfer it or trash it.  Quickly glance over every mail and every memo or email message you get.  If it looks like it’s potentially important, file it in a folder marked “pending” or delegate it to someone else to take care of.  If it’s not relevant or it’s something you’ll never look at again, trash it.  Handle your mail the same way at home.

Schedule Phone Time

Make and return most phone calls at a set time.  Set aside a portion of your day, perhaps a half hour in the late afternoon, as telephone time.  Let people know that this is the best time to reach you by phone and when you’re most likely to return calls.  People will come to expect to hear from you at certain times and won’t bother you as much during the rest of the day.

Be Social at Work

Chitchat can be very important because it builds relationships and helps you stay connected to the office grapevine.  Share a joke, anecdote, or personal story while standing at the photocopier or waiting for a meeting to start.  Schedule a coffee break with an office buddy.  Also, consider joining your office softball team or helping organize the annual toy drive or basketball pool.

Stay Flexible

All your careful planning will be of little use if you assume that you can’t veer from the schedule you set.  You may have to spend some time handling crises and putting out fires.  Or you may get on a roll with a proposal you’re writing, in which case it would be a mistake to stop just because you only scheduled an hour for it.  Instead, practice effective procrastination.  In other words, ask yourself, “Is putting off my next scheduled task and continuing what I’m doing an intelligent decision, or is it just a delay tactic?”

Plan Ahead

Start your workday right—at home the night before.  After dinner, pack your lunch for the next day while you’re already in the kitchen.  Lay out the kids’ clothes and your own, and pack your briefcase.  Then spend a pressure-free hour or more doing things you enjoy before bedtime.

How to Work Smarter, Not Harder | Brian Tracy
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