Ways to Work Smarter

hard work(Pic courtesy of http://www.linkedin.com)

There was a time when buried nose deep in a stacked pile of papers classified you as a ‘hard worker’.  Include an irritable attitude and an occasional under-your-breath mumble and you might have been up for a promotion.  That, we have now discovered, is as unhealthy for you as starting each day with pizza. While it is true that hard work never killed anybody, working smart gives you more of your life back and decreases work stress. 

Managers must understand that smart work does not replace hard work – they go together.  Let us not succumb to the mistaken belief that employees should be remunerated on hours worked: Pay for Productivity and Productivity Pays. Overworking an employee leads to anxiety and burnout and this will hurt the business in the long run.  Yes, the job must get done but there are many ways to get it done and why shouldn’t you opt for the smarter way?

Release some of your work pressure with these seven tips:

  1. Make use of electronic reminders for appointments, birthdays, and to do lists instead of writing it down.
  2. Learn to delegate.  Seems simple enough but people struggle with delegation – some believe that you are giving away your power or worse still, ‘if you want something done right, do it yourself.’  Steer away from this antiquated thought.  The reality is that we cannot do everything ourselves and there are others that can perform certain tasks better than you can.  Focus your energy on the tasks that you can do well.
  3. Need to prepare for a presentation, study product upgrades or learn industry related information? The trick to committing anything to memory is repetition, repetition, repetition!  Read your material out loud, record it on your smartphone and listen to it on the way to work or play it to yourself whenever you have a moment.  Be sure to add inflections, emphasize key words and even use a strange accent.  Anything to make it interesting and entertaining and easier to remember.  If it is a presentation you are rehearsing, listening to a recording of yourself (as torturous as that may be) is a great way to correct and improve your speaking skills.
  4. If information does not need to have a written trail, rather make a phone call. In this digital age, there is a tendency to lose the personal touch and if all your communication in a day is written, you would be working a lot harder than you need to.
  5. Combine brainstorming sessions with breakfast or a round of golf with a business meeting. It builds great relationships and kills 2 birds!
  6. Ask for help. If you cannot find the answers after a fair amount of time spent on it, get help.  Suffering in silence will lead to frustration and eventually disillusionment and detachment.
  7. Take a look at my previous article on time management for more suggestions.

I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas to becoming a smarter worker, please take a moment to comment.

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