Work Smarter, Not Harder

October 07, 2019

A man wearing suit is climbing a mountain
LaVosha Kern

Many of us have heard the phrase “work smarter, not harder”. But what exactly does it mean? Well, it's simple. To increase efficiency of work or the speediness in which you work to complete a certain task, this phrase means you should find a process that unfailingly ensures smooth and fast success versus following a process that – while it may work to get the job done – it takes more time or more effort than what is truly needed. So how can you increase efficiency and make this simple phrase work for you? The following article will provide some tips to make your work life a little more smooth.

Prepare for Repetitive Tasks

If there's something you do on the job that is an everyday task, make note of it. These are the kind of tasks you want to take less time on and you can take less time by organizing and preparing things to make these tasks quicker and easier.

For example, if you make daily or weekly spreadsheets, it would be best if you were to prepare copies of the spreadsheet with any of the information you know will be needed and then just fill out those needed spaces every day or every week instead of creating whole new spreadsheets at the start or end of every work session. It would be wise to create templates for every repetitive report or file that you know you will have to make.

Anticipate What's to Come

Part of working smarter includes anticipating what's to come. When you anticipate what's to come, you can create a plan. Think of it as navigating to a specific destination. If you know where you're going, you know exactly the route you need to take to get there. If you're not sure where you're going, your route will have twists and turns and you may not even end up where you need to be because you didn't plan properly. It's why writers create outlines, why architects create blueprints and why nutritionists encourage meal prep. All of that is how certain professionals work smarter instead of harder.

If you're a personal assistant, something you would try to do would be to anticipate your boss' routines, habits, and likes and dislikes. That way, you could create a system that allows you to do your best work which would, in turn, make your boss' life easier as well. For example, you might make note of that gym appointment your boss always goes to and set it as a reminder. You should also try to organize and create a schedule of important people he or she needs to meet and when. Being a personal assistant is a job where organizational skills and creating those pre-planned tasks are essential.

Don't be Afraid to Have Help

Sometimes people look at accepting help from other people as a sign of weakness. Or they may feel like they work more efficiently if they work by themselves rather than with a team. That may be true in some cases. But in most cases, having help from other people is only beneficial. Why take all of the load when you can have other people help bear some of the weight? You will be surprised how quickly and smoothly tasks can get done if you have a team of good people working with you or for you.

Those are a few tips for adhering to the phrase “work smarter, not harder”. In some cases, you may have to think creatively to figure out how you can make your work process more efficient and smooth but you will not regret the approach because – if done right – it will save you time and effort. And that's always a positive thing.

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