Let’s face it; we are always looking for short cuts in life. Where we certainly aren’t advising you to take this approach to your work, it is only wise to work smarter instead of harder. After all, time is very much of the essence.
If you’ve spent a solid ten hours in front of your computer screen does this mean that you will have more to show for it than your colleague that left three hours before you? Not if you aren’t working smart and thinking strategically.
Instead of talking about how much you’ve got to do, trying doing instead:
Become a keyboard short cut ninja
It is more than likely that you don’t use every single key on your keyboard. Now is the time to get introduced. Reducing your mouse time not only reduces painful strain on joints, muscles and nerves, but inevitably will save your precious minutes here and there which can quickly add up into hours over a working week. Did you know that Ctrl + D bookmarks an active webpage and Ctrl + T will open a new tab? Find out more here.
When you’re behind, go home early
Never thought that you would hear this one? Most people running behind schedule will naturally stay as late as possible in the office to tie up all the loose ends they can. This will work if it is something which you do occasionally, but if you have an ongoing demanding schedule you will end up tired and drained. This equates to more mistakes, less foresight and less energy to stay focused. When you are feeling behind, go home early and come in the next day raring to go.
Use the 80/20 principle
This may look like a mathematical equation which you would rather stay away from, but you don’t have to understand statistics for this principle. Simply put, this is the belief that 80% of your outcomes come from 20% of your inputs. Each day work out which 20% really matters and focus on completing this- if something in your schedule needs to slip, make sure it isn’t part of the important 20%. This is also referred to as Pareto Analysis.
Don’t be a perfectionist
A first draft is never going to be perfect, accept it. With this in mind, sometimes a less than perfect first draft can take you on your way to a bigger and better end goal. A brain dump will get things down on paper meaning that you are less likely to put it off at a later date and makes subsequent edits really simple.
Use the internet… only for work
Hands up, we are all guilty of this one. You go on-line to find a piece of research and twenty minutes later you’ve scrolled through your fourth page of news. Recognising it as a universal problem, the app Freedom has been created, claiming to lock you away from the internet. If social media is your vice, a similar app, Anti- Social made specifically for social over sharers is the one for you.
The key reducing stress and spending more time doing what you want out of work hours? Working smarter.