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Work Smarter, Not Harder: 10 Ways to Be More Effective at Work

https://www.inc.com/john-rampton/work-smarter-not-harder-10-ways-to-be-more-effective-at-work.html

inc.com

Work Smarter, Not Harder: 10 Ways to Be More Effective at Work
Regardless of your job or industry, there aren't always enough hours in the day to get everything done. As a result, you constantly feel like you're always behind. And that's just not good for your productivity or your health. So, what's the answer? Work more hours? Not necessarily.

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Trim the fat

Trim the fat

Multitasking and directing your energy to unimportant tasks and activities will overwhelm and prevent you from being productive.

Focus on your 3 to 5 most urgent tasks on your to-do-list. Focus on one task at a time.

At least one of your Most Important Tasks should be related to your goals.

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Measure your results

To assist you with measuring results instead of time, keep done lists to feel more motivated and focused.

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Have an attitude adjustment

We are more effective at work when we have a positive attitude. 

good attitude at work will help you set standards for your work and ensure that you're taking responsibility for yourself.

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Communication skills

Communication skills

Strengthen your communication skills to eliminate unnecessary rework and wasted time from misunderstandings.

Stay on one topic when communicating. Don't add too much information since it might confuse the recipient.

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Stick to a routine

We can carry out tasks faster if we can work on autopilot.

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Automate more tasks

The secret to getting more things done is to make them automatic.

Automate tasks so you do not have to spend energy and self-discipline with unnecessary decisions.

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Stop multitasking

People can't multitask very well. they're simply shifting their attention from one task to another very quickly.

Instead of multitasking, take a breather and then go back to focus on the one thing that needs to get done right now. Once that's done, move on to the next task.

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Parkinson's Law

"If you wait until the last minute, it only takes a minute to do."

We are more energized to do a task when the task has a shorter timeframe to complete. Impose shorter deadlines for your tasks.

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Relieve stress

Relieve stress

The most effective stress-relief strategies are exercising, praying, reading, listening to music, spending time with friends or family, getting a massage, going outside for a walk, meditating, doing a creative hobby.

Another effective stress management technique is to plan ahead. 

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Do more of the work you enjoy

Focus more on the work that you actually enjoy doing.

You'll feel more fulfilled, inspired, challenged, and productive.

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Measure Output, Not Input

Systems are the best way to progress since they reward effort and we control all the variables. However, we need to have a sense of direction in those efforts, to know what we are trying to...

Use the 80/20 Rule

... to constantly question yourself if your focus, time or money is on the things that generate the majority of the results.

The 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto Principle states: 80% of the output or results will come from 20% of the input or action. The little things are the ones that account for the majority of the results.

Reserve Mornings for Deep Work

Our working memory, alertness, and concentration gradually improve a couple of hours after waking up, peaking at about mid-morning - our brain’s natural peak productivity period.

Take advantage of this state, by scheduling your most important work for this period. Focus on performing Deep Work, meaning you get to work free of distraction for a long period of time.

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Mindfulness at work

Mindfulness at work

Means being consciously present in what you’re doing, while you’re doing it, as well as managing your mental and emotional state. 

If you’re writing a report, mindfulness requires...

1 min/session

That’s the minimum required for a mini-mediation.

Just focus on your sense. You don’t need to close your eyes. You don’t even need to be sitting down.

Use Mindful Reminders

You can use interruptions as hooks to make you more mindful.

Every time your phone rings, take a mindful breath. Every time you hear the ping of a text message, pause to be mindful of your surroundings rather than immediately reacting by checking the message. 

Do

Simply put, act on your tasks. The 2-minute rule can help with that:  If you can complete a task in two minutes or less, do it now.

It's amazing what you can accomplish in...

Delete

You don't have to do much of anything beyond making a simple decision to do or to delete.

If the deleted item is a simple activity that won't bring you results, remove it from your to-do list and move on with your day. The second most pleasing thing after completing a to-do list is removing an item from it.

Defer

To defer means saying, "Not right now" rather than, "Not ever." This could be a new project you want to com mence in a week or two or it could be van idea you want to reflect on before taking action.

But be careful, there's a fine line between deferring and procrastinating indefinitely.