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Work Smart, Not Hard

Work Smart, not Hard

Cut out the hard work. You can achieve a lot in a shorter time period if you have the knack of working smarter.

Working smart gives you time to indulge in your passion and leisure activities that would rejuvenate and reinforce your mind and body to come back to work, re-energized, recharged and raring to go!

Smart scores over hard

 Have you noticed successful people in the upper echelons of corporate hierarchy or business? They seem to have a lot of time for leisure activities and yet are tenacious enough to get work done within deadlines. You too can optimize your work life and maximize the results by following a few smart practices that can enhance your productivity and efficiency. Here are some hacks you can consciously adopt to work smarter rather than harder:

Choose outfit in advance

  • To start with, make your life simple so that you don’t need to waste time or energy focusing on your day-today activities. For example, reduce occasions when you need to make trivial decisions such as what you would wear to office or the exotic breakfast you would have for the day. You can actually decide on a simple dress code so that it becomes an automatic decision every day and make do with a simple and nutritious breakfast so that you do not have to leave for office in a hurry!
  • When at work, make it a habit to list out top-priority goals for the day and ensure you complete them. No compromises here.
  • Don’t take on all the tasks that are needed to complete the work. Delegate if you are a team leader or enlist the support of your team members to complete the tasks. Also ensure tasks are delegated based on the skillsets of the team members who can accomplish them faster and better.
  • Schedule important or difficult tasks when you are most alert. If you are a morning person, then start your day doing the most important tasks. Always start with the difficult tasks first.

Take breaks if you are doing intense work.

  • Take short breaks of five minutes at intervals if your task needs intense focus.
  • Multitasking usually slows you down. Try to avoid this.
  • Ensure you have uninterrupted work time to focus on your tasks and prevent distractions from colleagues, team members, mobile calls, etc.
  • One way of accomplishing difficult tasks is to break them into smaller tasks.
  • Remember, working more hours would only bring down your productivity and efficiency. It is better to work shorter hours when your brain is alert and energy levels are optimum. Avoid long working hours.
  • Planning is important. Plan your activities and tasks for the day and go about diligently accomplishing one after the other. Being systematic, orderly and disciplined are other characteristics you must inculcate in yourself to improve your efficiency.
  • Realistic deadlines work wonders and help you focus to get work done faster.

Keep track of time

  • Keeping an account of your time works well initially and helps you plan your tasks efficiently.
  • One smart way of completing jobs is to group them according to similarity and completing them.
  • Typing is better than writing. Dictation is better than typing. Try speed reading and you would be amazed to see how much time is saved!
  • Checking your smartphone for social media posts in between your tasks is not a smart thing to do. Keep your smartphone out of reach to avoid such compelling obsessions. Checking your mobile not only distracts you from your work, but it also leads to a huge wastage of time and may also cause errors.
  • Ideally set apart intervals to check work-related emails and reply to them. This way, there won’t be intermittent distractions that draw you away from the flow of your work.
  • Occasionally, try to refresh your mind by just looking out of a window or doing some stretches and then get back to work.
  • Smart workers use virtual assistants generously. Many administrative, repetitive and monotonous tasks can be assigned to your virtual assistants.
  • Adjust your work ambience – 21-22 degrees C is the ideal temperature to keep you at work. Ensure your chair is comfortable. Move around at intervals, taking short walks. You may also want to use a standing desk. Have a plant at your desk to purify the air around and add some much-needed cheer. Keep your desk organized and neat. Avoid chaos and clutter.

Essential oil helps clear the head

  • Essential oils and aroma oils are known to stimulate the brain, push up efficiency and fight physical exhaustion and mental fatigue. You may want to try them out.
  • Adjust your eating habits to bring out maximum efficiency. Nuts, seeds, berries, green vegetables, avocados, dark chocolate and superfoods improve your brain power. Drink coffee during mid-morning and post lunch towards the end of the day when the cortisol level is lower.
  • Ensure you do some exercise every day and get good sleep at night.
  • Smart achievers are known to associate with other smart, positive and proactive people, a reason for their success.
  • Finally, nothing like working at a job you like and are passionate about. If you work with passion, you are likely to have a greater focus, interest and energy to accomplish the work. Never compromise on the nature of the job; it should match your interests and skills.

Last but not the least, meditation is proven to improve your physical and mental fitness at every level. And adds a lot of peace and calmness.

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Swati Amar calls herself ‘the write person’ precisely because she claims her brain starts functioning only when her fingers dance over the computer keyboard. Gripped by an obsessive compulsion to write, her day is incomplete until she has ‘keyed’ in a few lines. Moving from counting money as an erstwhile banker in State Bank of India, Swati has been counting words for more than fifteen years. She has contributed copiously to various print and online publications in English and Tamil, numbering over 15K articles on varied subjects. Swati Amar swears allegiance to the Chennai Press Club and prides on her experience as a media entrepreneur and consultant, never losing a ‘write’ opportunity. Swati’s favorite pastime is to watch News on television, read, revel in melody, doodle and dawdle and follow the footsteps of global chefs when time permits. She believes that a good laugh peps up one’s life! And the write words too…