Why it’s time to start working smarter
If you find yourself often working late hours and you feel overwhelmed by the amount of work that you have to accomplish every day, you have to stop killing yourself and adopt new ways to work smarter. You will gain more time, and get more things done in less time.
Working smarter will allow you to get more things done in your day and reduce your stress and anxiety. You will also be able to rest and prevent your brain from burning out.
Here are our tips for working smarter.
Plan Your Day The Night Before
You should always plan your day the night before. Before finishing work for the day, take a few minutes to plan the next day. You can either use paper and pen or use a time management/to-do app. You’ll want to look at your schedule and set times blocks for each task, fitting them around meetings. Setting a time block for each task will help you do more tasks in less time.
Planning your day the night before will reduce stress, and anxiety levels and will help you rest and sleep soundly at night. Sleeping well is an undervalued force multiplier for productivity.
Prioritize Important Work
There is never enough time to do everything but there is always time to do the most important things. You have to prioritize the important work over other tasks (which may be easier to do). Planning out your tasks the night before is very helpful because it means you already have a prioritised to-do list. When you start the next day, fires will inevitably come up but if you know what needs to be done, you’ll be able to decide whether the urgent new issue truly is worth dropping the plan you had before.
Multitasking is not making you efficient. On the contrary, it is driving your brain to burnout. When you multi-task, you divide your focus into small pieces. The result is that the quality of your work drops and it actually takes you longer to finish the tasks than if you had worked on them one at a time.
A good solution for this temptation is to use a distraction blocking app like Focus Bear. It has a brain dump feature so that if you have an idea of something you should do, you can jot it down instead of context switching.
If you do start working on a new task, the app will notice and gently remind you about your original task.
The 12-Week Year
Even the most organized individuals work in the context of the twelve-month year and set annual goals for themselves or their company. The authors of the book “The Twelve-Week Year” have redefined a year to be only twelve weeks. What they have found that most businesses make 40% of the progress towards their annual goals in the last quarter of the year.
On the other hand, when applying the 12-week-year principle, focus is always at its peak because it constantly feels like the new year is looming and you will have that feeling of urgency to complete all the goals you have set.
In order for this method to work you have to stop making excuses and plan specific goals for yourself or your company. You need to plan each week’s actions and focus on executing them.
This method is not designed to make you lose your mind by overwhelming yourself with tons of work. It is simply a way to increase your productivity to achieve your goals faster. Make sure to still take breaks regularly to avoid burn-outs.
Use The Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro method will allow you to work in complete focus by setting 25 to 30 minute work intervals and having a 5-minute break between each session. During the work interval, you focus intently on one task knowing that you can relax in the upcoming break. These breaks will recharge your focus and you will get so much done.
Focus Bear has a built in pomodoro feature that helps you block out distractions during your work interval.
Wake up Early and Start With The Hard Tasks First
By waking up early, you will have extra time in your day to accomplish more tasks. Start by taking some time for yourself: go for a walk, meditate or do some yoga. This will get your brain ready for peak performance.
Then you can start working on your top priorities before other people have begun flooding your inbox with questions.
We hope these tips help you to attain sustainable productivity. It is possible to get a lot done without sacrificing your health or relationships. Working smarter (and saying no to unnecessary tasks) is the way to do that.