Work smarter, not harder. We have all heard the expression, but how many times is it followed with an explanation as to how to work that way?
How you can work smarter
Working smarter requires more discipline than working harder. It also requires that you look at yourself objectively. Here are a few of my favorite techniques for working smarter.
- Recognize your strengths and your weaknesses: By understanding your strengths and weaknesses, the smart worker gives the duties that they’re not particularly good at to someone who is, and vice versa, they take on duties that might be too daunting for others to handle. That outlines a fantastic model for delegation.
- Recognize what time of day do you do your best work: Let’s face it, some people are not morning people yet in most cities in the world, the work day begins at 9 o’clock in the morning. As your own boss, you do have a certain level of control over your schedule.
- Keep the end in sight: Reflect upon the time in your life when you will be retired. Think of that special moment when you will not need to put in as much time in the office or see as many clients as you do now. You did your time, saved your money and now you live a retired life somewhere. Where is this paradise and what will you be doing? Whatever it is, knowing that today can help direct your business for tomorrow. Instead of dreaming of your boat coming in, recognize that you are that boat. You are the captain and you are at the helm. Steer it into your pre-designed future. And in doing so, you will recognize what is a waste of your time and what is not.
- Prioritize time away from the office: As the sole proprietor of your business, and the one who wears all the hats of the company, you will have to remind yourself that leaving the office for the night is as important as showing up to the office the next business day. Disengaging from the emails, the Twitter feeds, the Facebook updates and the phone calls is important since the persistent noise will eventually harm your entrepreneur’s delicate mind. A report from the consulting firm McKinsey analyzed information overload and how our digital society actually is killing our productivity and creativity. And the net result is it is making us unhappy.
As entrepreneurs we must recognize how a unique idea to develop your own practice was born out of some problem or frustration. That genesis must never be forgotten, and fought for, not by working harder but by making intelligent choices every day.
Additional resources: For additional reading, see this Psychology Today article, Five Ways to Work Smarter, Not Harder, and the Harvard Business Review article, The Productivity Paradox: How Sony Pictures Gets More Out of People by Demanding Less.
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