How can I Work Smarter?
Assess your Potential to Work Smarter
What is Working Smarter?
This is the ability to manage yourself and use the time you have to work effectively. Doing "more" is not the ultimate goal of working smarter. More is not necessarily better, working smarter allows you to achieve meaningful outcomes, not merely "more" outcomes.
What are the Benefits of Working Smarter?
Working smarter and being results focused allows you to be more productive and enjoy better outcomes.
Many frustrating situations can be avoided with effective planning and organising techniques. When you have overcome frustration, it is a lot easier to release the full power of your creativity and productivity.
Sense of Achievement and Piece of Mind
A lot of dissatisfaction and anxiety comes from being unsure where you are going, or when you feel like you are going nowhere. Working smarter will help you to realise where you are going and to take the best path towards your goals.
Reduced Stress Levels
We are often burdened by guilt for things haven't done, we think we should be doing, or should have done. Working smarter will keep you feeling that you did the important things. That makes you more confident and decisive in your choices, leaving less space for guilt or dissatisfaction.
Increased Energy Levels
The undone things circulating in your mind cost you much more time and energy than the things you have done, or are doing. Working smarter will allow you to get organized and unclutter your mind from the energy-draining worry of unhandled things and "unfinished business". Working smarter involves planning "fun time" and time off in your schedule. This will clear your mind and restore your energy.
Planning for "fun time" and time off allows you to spend more time with the people who are important to you. And the fact that you have a clear mind and higher energy levels enables you to enjoy more "good times" with a minimum of anxiety and stress.
How can I Work Smarter?
Time is a resource just like any other. It's arguably more important than any other resource, as you can never have more of it. You can only manage the time you have; never increase it. Use time management techniques to control your activities and assist you to make educated decisions as to how to make the best use of your time. By practising time management techniques you will find yourself working more effectively, not only at your business, but also in your personal life.
Realise Self Management is the Issue
Time doesn't change. All you can actually manage is yourself and what you do with the time that you have.
Identify your Personal and Work-related Priorities
Think carefully about outcomes that are important to you. Write them down, being as specific as possible. Specify exactly what you want to accomplish and by when. If you have multiple priorities in the same area (personal or professional), try to select only one or two initially, or try to rank their importance. Trying to work on too many at the same time will increase, rather than lower, your stress level.
Identify your Time Wasters and Barriers to Effective use of Your Time
Many of us are prey to time-wasters that steal time we could be using much more productively. Track your activities so you can form an accurate picture of what you actually do. What are your time-bandits? If you find you tend to procrastinate (join the human race!), overbook yourself, or "forget" to use a planner or calendar, do some thinking about why. This will assist you to understand your behaviour, or lack of it. Is the task to be done boring? Do you really want to do it? Do you feel "too controlled" by the use of a calendar or planner? Reflecting on your own thoughts and feelings about using time may help identify areas you may want to explore further, especially if you arenít satisfied with your achievement of personal or professional goals.
A good place to start is by eliminating your personal time-wasters. For one week, for example, set a goal that you're not going to take personal phone calls while you're working. Develop clear goals and write them down. To be effective, each goal must be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable and Time bound). It must reflect your beliefs and be within your power to achieve. Writing it down makes a goal real and concrete.
Implement a Plan
Write a Clear Action Plan. Create a list of every step or task necessary to achieve your goals. Working from a list will keep you on track. Identify the requirements and resources you need for each step - you made need the co-operation of other people.
Create Your " To Do " List
Set your Priorities. Prioritise your list. Identify and start with "high-value" tasks, those with the most significant consequences attached to doing or not doing them. Broadly speaking 80% of all results come from 20% of all efforts (Pareto Principle). So if you identify which 20% is the most important, complete those and you can't help but be more effective and successful.
Concentrate and Eliminate Distractions. Choose a high-value task, get to work on it immediately, and stay with it until it is done. Learn to say "No", with courtesy and conviction, to opportunities and requests that take your time and don't move you forward towards your goals.
Lengthen your Workday and Increase your Time Off. Get into the habit of starting a little earlier and staying a little later. Be vigilant about planning some "fun time" and time off in your schedule. This will clear your mind and restore your energy.
Work Harder. When you are at work, concentrate on work, not socialising.
Pick up the Pace. At work, develop a sense of urgency and maintain a quicker tempo in all your activities. Get on with the job.
Focus on Results. Focus on the value of the tasks you complete. While putting in the hours counts, what matters most is the quality and quantity of your results.
Align your Work with your Skills. You achieve more in less time when you work on tasks at which you are especially skilled and experienced.
Bunch your Tasks. Group similar activities and do them all at the same time. This builds skill proficiency while reducing performance time as much as 80 percent.
Cut out Steps. Combine and compress several parts of the job in a single task. Where possible, cut out lower-value activities completely.
What if I'm having Trouble Starting an Important Task?
There are many tasks, which because of their complexity and wealth of detail, are difficult to start. They rarely give instant satisfaction and require discipline and persistence over a long period. These tasks are easy to put off. Try one or more of the following techniques to help you through the barrier.
Complete them in Small Bites. Use small periods of time to get started, and follow it with a reward. In the 30 minutes before lunch complete one of the sub-tasks and then go off to lunch (your reward).This is called the Swiss Cheese method because by using small amounts of time you are making holes in the larger task.
Pretend Someone Else Is Going To Do It. Pretend that you're just preparing a check list of tasks for someone else to complete and all fear will leave you. Your mind will focus with great clarity on what needs to be done - after all, you're not doing it... are you? You'll find that as the list is finished so most of your apprehension will disappear.
Get in Touch with Jump
If you need help, or you answered no or unsure to any of the questions in the assessment tool, then Jump Business Solutions can help you. Phone us on +64 6 754 8987 or +64 27 450 5271 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and Jump will come to you, discover your needs, and develop a solution that will create real, long-term and positive change for you and your business.
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