Careers & Money
How to work smarter, not harder
Feel like you’re all over the place and not getting anywhere despite working your butt off? A little organisation, task assessment and time management can go a long way to ensure that you work smarter, not harder, on a regular basis.
Learn to plan
Before your week starts, sit down with your diary and plan the week ahead, day by day. First insert all the absolute must-dos; scheduled appointments, business meetings, your gym timetable (otherwise it can sometimes easily fall off your week!) and any other set commitments. Next make a check list of all the additional things you want to achieve during the week and cross them off as you go. This way it’s super clear for you what needs to be done and nothing will get left out. If you don’t complete it that week, you can push it across into the next week.
Learn to delegate (or at least, share your work when possible!)
If it’s a task you can pass to someone else, then you should do it! Sharing your workload can help lower your stress levels and prevent you from burning out.
Learn to defer
It can be easy to get bogged down with the barrage of small tasks and emails that crop up during the day. Start prioritising – if it’s not necessary for something to be done straight away, file it away for later on in the week and make a note in your planner to come back to it when you have time to deal with it properly (or just have a folder in your email inbox that you can revisit whenever you have a spare moment).
Learn to just say ‘no’
Whether its commitments for work, family life, extra curricular activites or friends, it’s common to end up with too much on your plate and that feeling of being in desperate need of a holiday! If this sounds all too familiar, it’s time to take it down a notch. If someone asks you to help them out during your gym workout timeslot but they’re able to find someone else to assist with their task, it’s okay to say you’ve already got plans.
Likewise when it comes to general spare time and your own hobbies. These are the things that often end up falling off your planner, but they’re important for your own mental and emotional wellbeing. Even if you love helping other people out whenever you can, remember that you still need and deserve some quality ‘me’ time. If you’re becoming over-committed at work, it could lead to higher stress and anxiety levels – even if you’re the best multitasker around. Remember that it’s okay to put yourself and your own commitments first every now and then!
Image /FreeDigitalPhotos.net – Michal Marcol