9 Tips to Do Smart Work

We all work hard and then we lament that it does not pay off. Why not work smart?

Check out these 9 tips to do some smart work:


1. Treat work like popcorn
Your workday is made up of all the work you are supposed to do. But you can’t do everything at one go. One expert, Joel Runyon, put this succinctly. Put down a list if things to do for the day – down to the smallest detail. This way, you won’t waver. Then break down the list in three section based on the amount of time it will take you to accomplish them. Now take action! Or eat the popcorns as the movie starts.

2. Be mindful

Are you alert and aware of the things around you or are you so lost in your hard work that you did not even notice the food lying cold on your desk? As famous psychologist Ellen Langer said in a Harvard Business Review interview: ‘Mindfulness is the process of actively noticing new things. When you do that, it puts you in the present. It makes you more sensitive to context and perspective. It’s the essence of engagement. And it’s energy-begetting, not energy-consuming.’

3. Please think differently
Trying to do something the same way over and over again can be counted a hard work. But stop for a moment. Think. Do I need to do this repeatedly, mind-numbingly? Is there a better way – a smarter way where I can achieve the same result with less effort? Every such problem of hard work has a unique but smart solution. Find out.

4. Tackle those emails
Just as you are working hard, fully concentrated and an email arrives from your supervisor or colleague or someone else and you think: let me tackle it later after I finish the work. Don’t. Answer immediately, if you can. Think of it as someone tapping on your shoulder and you say: Not now, I’m busy. Tackling emails right there shows your work smart. Also, there is also no risk of forgetting to answer the email and facing embarrassment.

5. Break hard work into pieces
You sit down at your desk at the start of the day and slog on till lunch break. Why? Experts advice says take breaks after every 45 minutes. It’s like the famous principle by management guru Stephen Covey: Sharpen the saw – through self-renewal — and breaks certainly help.

6. Don’t do-it-yourself guide
You know you are not a one-person army. Then why are you trying to be one – doing everything on your own? Smart workers delegate work whenever possible and then keep a track.

7. Stop wasting office time.
Itching to go to a social networking site or a shopping site while important work is piling up? Hold on. Keep that for free time. Working on one side and liking pictures on the other side does not count as smart work. It’s distracted work where you end up wasting energy that could have been properly used.

8. Remember the famous Pareto principle
80 per cent of the outcomes can be attributed to 20 per cent of the work, say the management technique. So focus on the 20 per cent – the rest will turn out fine.

9. You are not perfect
Accept it: in your effort to aim for perfection, you are only delaying things. Smart people just get things done; they don’t keep working at it. Save office’s time.

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