How to Work Smarter, Not Harder

September 29, 2016

Career Advice

2104981032_f832e8842c_z“Working smarter, not harder” sounds great. But how do you do it? First thing’s first: you have to recognize the truth behind it. Just because you’re physically at work doesn’t mean you’re actually working. Think about how much time you likely waste in a day: gossiping to coworkers, getting caught up on your Facebook feed, taking a long walk to grab a coffee, watching some funny videos, or more. If you’re going to be at work, you might as well be working and working smart. That means productively, efficiently, and with purpose. Here are some tips that will help you get there.

  1. Take breaks.
    It may sound counterintuitive, but one of the best ways to get work done is to stop working. Even small breaks can help. Here are some ideas:

    • Take a lunch break away from your desk.
    • Go for a 15 minute walk outside.
    • Stand up and stretch once per hour.
    • Take a 5-minute break every 55 minutes.
    • Do a work “sprint” for a certain amount of time then reward yourself with a break.
  2. Make a to-do list.
    To-do lists are all about prioritizing and starting your day or week on the right foot. To do lists can also help you celebrate small successes–and help you feel less guilty if you leave work early during an especially productive day. (Hey, you deserve it!) Here are some ways to incorporate to-do lists into your life:

    • Write down your 3 most important tasks every morning.
    • On Friday afternoon, make a to-do list for the following week.
    • At the end of each day, write down a plan of attack for the following day.
  3. Know your goals.
    If you know what you’re working toward, you may be more motivated to get there. When there’s a purpose behind your work day, you’ll be less likely to waste your precious time. Here are some ways to incorporate goals into your work life:

    • Write down your “big picture” career goals: 1, 3, and 5 years down the line.
    • Think small: what is the best way to spend my time this week?
    • Create baby steps: how can I break down an important task or goal into achievable steps?

Image via Jennifer Strauss/Flickr.

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About Spectrum Brands Careers

Spectrum Brands is a global $5 Billion Consumer Products company headquartered in Middleton, Wisconsin. While you may not be familiar with the Spectrum Brands name, there is no doubt you will recognize some of our brands.

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  1. 5 Tips That Will Help You Stick to Your Resolutions | Spectrum Brands Careers Blog - January 5, 2017

    […] smarter. There are many ways to work smarter, not harder from to-do lists to goal-setting. Delegating is also a key strategy for working efficiently. […]

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