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Hard work will get you places, this is what we’ve been hearing our entire lives. Of course, hard work is important, you need to be serious about your job and always try to give your 100 percent. Every boss appreciates an employee that isn’t afraid of rolling up the sleeves, but the result is maybe even more important. You might be working your bum out, but you’re still not getting the results that you’ve hoped for. Well, sometimes rather than working harder, you should work smarter.
What does “working smarter” even mean?
Smart work is something that gives people a healthy balance between work and private life, and a sense of achievement and success in our careers. Working smarter means doing more of what is in line with your values, talents, and knowledge.
Multitasking will get you nowhere
Every person that claims to be great at multitasking probably hasn’t looked the situation from every angle. It has been proven (more than once) that multitasking actually slows you down. When you have a lot on your plate, the last thing you want is to take on several tasks and do them simultaneously. You won’t be able to concentrate on either of these tasks as much as you should, and you will end up with mediocre results.
Furthermore, you might have to do over some of these tasks because you have pretty good chances of messing them up because you didn’t concentrate properly.
Know your limits
Work is a good place to be an eager beaver, but that doesn’t mean that you should take on more than you can deal with. You should always strive to do more, but know the difference between more and too much.
If you think that taking on more tasks than usual will impress your boss, that’s something no one can contradict. However, once you realize you bit off more than you can chew, it won’t be as nearly impressive as you thought. Telling your boss not to count on you, after you’ve been counted on, doesn’t make you look good.
If you come to work unsure of what you’re going to do that day, you’re probably doing something wrong. Make plans every day for the day after. That way you can plan out how much time you will approximately spend doing each task. Furthermore, there will be fewer surprises because you’ll know what to expect each day.
Half of the work you do lies in good preparation. When you have everything planned out, you are more organized and much more efficient.
Ask for help if needed
It’s better to do a great job and share credits than do a poor job on your own. You might find yourself struggling with something that you thought will be an easy breeze. It happens sometimes, and it’s better to ask for help than keep struggling and not doing your job successfully.
Furthermore, your colleague might find himself/herself in the same pickle and might ask you for help the next time. Having a reputation of a team player is not a bad thing. Your boss will definitely see it as a plus, team spirit is one of the very important qualities that employers seek in their employees.
Remember to take a break
It’s understandable that you want to do as much work as possible, but you should know when’s the time to take a break. If you’re consistently rejecting the idea of taking a break, you’re not very likely to do much more work than you hoped for. Your concentration will decrease and your efficiency will drop.
Step away from your desk, stretch, eat something, drink some coffee, go outside… You will feel much more refreshed and ready to do more work. You will be able to concentrate better and you will be much more efficient.
When said to work smarter and not harder, these are the things you should definitely consider. Incorporate them into every workday and you will surely feel the difference. It’s not always about the number of hours you spent working like a maniac, it’s about where it takes you. What are your results? Even if you manage to complete everything, and at the end of the day you feel like a freshly squeezed lemon, that’s not a solution. At the end of the day, working smarter means finding what works for you.