Working very hard but not very productive at your work, did you introspect why? You are always very busy at work but you always have things left to do at end of the day. Is staying very busy means very productive? Do you waste your time at work? A very old and common saying to above problems is WORK SMART NOT HARD. But what if we do both & say WORK SMART WHILE WORKING HARD. Below are the 5 practices which can help you work SMART while working HARD.
1. Set goals
It is very important to set your goals first for whatever you do, but I will say first set smaller goals. It is always good to set big goals for whatever you do, but it is very important to divide it into small ones to meet the big ones effectively. Set goals for everyday, every week and every month and at the end check whether you have reached your goals or not or how far are you away from meeting them? Meeting your smaller goals on time helps you to meet your big goals on or before time. So setting smaller goals is the first step to get your things done.
2. Use tools
Do you use tools for your day to day work? If not start using them from now. Tools help you to organize your works, set priorities and get your things done on time. It helps you keep track on progress of small things and visible progress motivates you to pick the next task. It also helps you in reminding the pending things to do and keep the progress going. There are many tools available like One Note, Evernote where you can manage your TODOs for day to day work. I personally prefer to use Google Keep as it perfectly fits into my need. You can choose other various tools available as per your preference. Either it is office or home, make a habit of using tools.
3. Stay focused
You must devote your entire focus to the task in your hand. Keep your cellphone away (out of sight and silent), try to close unnecessary open browser windows and most importantly stay away from social networking sites. Use headphone and listen to music if you like it (I prefer to use headphone with no music which helps me in concentrating). You must concentrate on the current task and forget about any other important task until you are done with the current one. Try to get all the required things (water, coffee etc) near you before starting your work to avoid any distraction while doing it. And most importantly, try to avoid any unplanned meetings during your work if it is not very important.
4. Learn to say no
Remember, you are a human being and you cannot do all things at a time. Decide priority of works coming to you and learn to say NO to other work which has less priority and not relevant to getting your thing done. If you make a lot of commitments for the same time then you will end up juggling between them instead of actually doing them. Make sure you say NO very politely and make your reasons clear. This is good if you accept more works but then try to set the right priority for them and you should avoid doing multiple things at one time.
5. Learn to delegate
Some people think that only they can do things in a right way but It sounds very arrogant. One should learn to delegate the work to the team members. Again remember, you are a human being and you cannot do all the things at one time. You should keep your ego aside and take time to train someone, who knows if he/she does work correctly and even can do it in a better and a faster way than you. You should accept it and learn to trust others. You should not feel incompetent or ashamed because you need help for something.