You have probably heard the phrase “work smarter, not harder” before. While it sounds easy, how exactly do you work smarter? We often associate putting in more hours to being more productive. While hard work definitely accounts for something, working hard doesn’t always mean you’re getting more done. In make the most out of your time, you need to work smarter, not harder.
So what exactly does working smarter means? Working smarter means that you’re maximizing your productivity, while minimizing your time spent working. Here are 4 ways your can work smarter:
Create A Schedule (And Stick To It).
The most common way people waste time is by not planning out their day. Many think that the time it takes you to create a schedule is just time wasted. It’s not. Planning out what you need to do and how long you have to do it will help you spend your time efficiently. It also eliminates the time you waste thinking about what to do next. One note – don’t forget to schedule in breaks. Taking some time for yourself is just as important as time spent working.
You might be a jack-of-all-trades but that doesn’t mean you need to do everything yourself. For tasks that just take up time, you can hire freelancers so that you can spend your time on more important things. There are a host of sites that can connect you to the right freelancers or companies. The value you get from the time you saved far outweighs the monetary cost you spent.
Cut The Fat.
We spend a lot of our time working on things that don’t make any difference to our bottom line and we don’t even realize it. One of the easiest ways to work smarter is to trim the fat. Take some time and think carefully about everything you do in a day. What are some things that really don’t matter? You’ll come to find that there are a lot more than you think. The next time you find yourself about to it, just don’t. And even though you don’t, it won’t change a thing. Cut the fat from your schedule and you’ll get back a lot more time.
Remove All Distractions.
The environment you work in has a lot to do with how productive you are. If you work from a home office or remotely, trying to avoid distractions might be a huge issue for you. If you’re easily distracted by things like the television or the phone, remove them from the office space. The less distractions you have, the easier it will be for you to focus on your work.
Do you frequently get a “case of the Mondays“? Sometimes, it’s just plain hard to get back into the swing of things after the rest and relaxation of Saturday and Sunday. An unproductive Monday, however, can throw off your productivity for the entire week.
While it’s certainly hard to jump back into work on Monday, it’s not impossible. Here are 5 things you can do to make your Monday mornings a little easier:
Stick To A Sleep Schedule On Weekends.
It can be difficult to get out of bed on Monday morning because you didn’t stick to a schedule on the weekend. Did you stay up until 3 AM on Saturday night or sleep in until 12 PM on Sunday afternoon? While you may not think much of going to bed and waking up at different times, it actually takes a significant toll on your body. It takes a couple of days for your body to get back to your weekday schedule, which means Monday mornings are the toughest. Avoid feeling tired and groggy on Mondays by sticking to a your weekday sleep schedule on weekends.
Set Aside Actual Work Time on Monday.
Mondays tend to be filled with meeting after meeting, and can be a prime day for conference call overload. It’s the start of the week and many people like to get the ball rolling by calling meetings. While it’s nice to touch base with your team, it can certainly be difficult to do that on 9 AM on a Monday morning. To give yourself some time to catch up, set aside work time for yourself. Block off an hour or two every Monday morning so that you catch up with email and plan your week ahead. It may not sound like much time but it can actually make a huge difference.
Create Something To Which You Can Look Forward.
Monday mornings can often be so depressing because all you have to look forward to is a long work week ahead.To combat this, create something to look forward to every Monday morning. Treat yourself to a nice breakfast, a class your gym or whatever it is that makes you a little happier. It doesn’t have to be anything big but just a little something to put a smile on your face on a Monday.
Don’t Slack Off On Fridays.
Mondays are often filled with so much work because you slack off on Fridays. Instead of trying to get as much done as possible at the end of the last week, you’ve just pushed it off to Monday. While this idea certainly sounded good on Friday, you’re now paying the price. It’s a vicious cycle but you can break it by getting more work done on Friday. When Monday rolls around, you’ll have a little more free time and little more room to breath.
As an entrepreneur or a small business owner, there comes a time when you need help. Finding and attracting the right talent can be difficult for any business — especially for a small business. How do you compete with the ‘big guys’? While it may seem impossible to build a team when you don’t have a lot of offer yet, it’s not. That’s because talent, especially the great kind, values more than just compensation or benefits.
Great talent puts an emphasis on passion for the job, which I’m sure most entrepreneurs can relate to. After all, that’s the reason why you took the leap.
If you’re a small business owner trying to expand your team, here are a few tips on how to attract great talent to your business:
Create an attractive culture.
One of the great things about small businesses or start-ups is the culture. Unlike big companies that are political in nature, small businesses can actually be fun to work for. There’s no giant employee handbook to memorize or red tape to get through. Rather, small businesses can create a culture that is inviting and fosters creativity. Show potential employees that they’re not just another head sitting in a cubicle. They’ll have the opportunity to work closely with and learn from people who are just as talented as they are. In other words, create a culture that great talent wants to be a part of.
Give what them a 9-to-5 can’t.
Sure, there may be some long hours when working for a small business. But at least you can provide employees with the flexibility of creating their own schedule. As an employee, there’s nothing worse than sitting at a desk, counting down the minutes until 5 o’clock. Allowing employees to dictate their own hours shows them that you value them for their work, not their time.
Share your passion.
For larger companies, it’s hard to really inspire the workforce. However, as an entrepreneur and a small business owner, you have the ability to do that. Since you will be working much more closely with your team, share your passion with them. Obviously, your business is your passion and the realization of your business is a dream come true. So make them believe in what you believe in. Show potential employees that they’ll be part of something big. They’re not just another name on a payroll. Rather, they will given the opportunity to challenge themselves and make an impact.