Friday, October 30, 2020

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Work Smarter Not Harder: 6 Ways to Increase Productivity


This post may contain affiliate links or sponsored content. For more info: Disclaimer

Time is a terrible thing to waste

Time is a valuable resource. Everyone wants to know how to use their time wisely and be productive. Unfortunately, human nature takes over and we procrastinate. Before we know it, the things that we wanted to have done are still left unfinished. It doesn’t have to be that way.

Productive days don’t happen by themselves. You have to develop healthy habits to rid yourself of the procrastination bug.

Goal: Make every day productive

Sometimes it seems like there are never enough hours in a day no matter how hard we work. Busy has become a status symbol. In today’s society it seems like if you are super busy that you’re successful. But that’s not always the case. We all know someone that’s super busy but doesn’t seem to move forward in life. Being super busy with no clear goals is a deterrent to your productivity. That’s why it’s better to work smarter, not harder.

To work smarter, not harder…you have to focus on what really matters to you. There are some things that we need to focus on, but we are resistant to do so. This leads to procrastinating. Research has shown that our brain is actually wired to procrastinate. This can explain why it’s tough to fire someone…or to do that research paper that’s left unfinished on your computer screen.

4 hacks to stop procrastinating are:

1. Shift focus from the future to the present
2. Change your goal
3. Avoid your limbic system
4. Adopt the 5-minute rule

Jeff Haden a writer at Inc. explains these hacks in detail in his article.

Let’s learn 6 ways on how to work smarter, not harder shall we?

Planning out the day with coffee and a pen

“If you’re bored with life – you don’t get up every morning with a burning desire to do things – you don’t have enough goals.” LOU HOLTZ

Making daily goals on the computer

1. Make Daily Goals

Goal setting is one of the most important aspects of having a productive day because it gives use a sense of direction and provides a roadmap of where we are going. While long-term goals are great to have, it’s easy to lose track because the outcome is so far away.

By setting daily goals, you remind yourself of what you’re striving for in the long-term. You can track your progress on a daily basis.

To plan out your daily goal-setting activities, you have to write out and prioritize your tasks. Waking up early and setting your daily goals in the morning is the best time to do this as your mind is most clear.

2. Make Short-term Deadlines

A solid deadline will drive up your productivity. Having a sense of urgency will keep you focused on achieving your goals. Having all the time in the world to finish something just invites procrastination to take over. A good way to tackle this is to be accountable to someone because nobody wants to let anyone down. Your family, friends, parents, etc. can all help to keep you accountable to reach your deadlines.

Setting short-term deadlines will ensure that you work effectively with a sense of urgency. This will help you to achieve the results that you desire.

3. Make the Most Important Task Your Priority

There’s only 24 hours in a day. If you try to do too many things at once you’re just setting yourself up for failure. By making the most important task your priority, you can work smarter, not harder.

Determine the task that is the most critical thing that you need to accomplish. This won’t be easy because we’re programmed to procrastinate. But if you knock this out right away, you’ll have already had a productive day!

To aid you in tackling your most important task of the day, you’ll want to remove any and all distractions. Turn off your phone, your TV, and anything else that will steal your attention for a set period of time or until you’re finished with your most important task.

4. Make Mindfulness a Practice

Being able to focus properly is one of the biggest challenges that people face today. Our minds constantly wander and its easy to get distracted with life’s modern gadgets such as our smartphones and tablets. Sometimes it’s best not to focus on what we have to do next or waste time thinking about the past. It’s important to be fully immersed in the present moment.

“When you are here and now, sitting totally, not jumping ahead, the miracle has happened. To be in the moment is the miracle.”– Osho

A great way to be in the present moment is to create a mindful practice. Deep breathing, yoga, or meditation are great ways to do this. Check out “The Best Meditation Apps of 2019” for a list of apps that can help you to get started.

Productivity Wall to help you work smarter not harder

5. Set a Timer

Have you ever started to work on something and then your attention drifted into something else? You checked Instagram, then checked your e-mail, and then found that funny meme to share on Facebook? We’ve all been there. It’s distractions like these that make setting a timer a great way to keep you focused on the task at hand and to stay 100% committed to accomplishing it.

When you set a timer and then look back at what you’ve accomplished, you’ll see just how productive you were in that specific time period. You’ll see clearly how working smarter, not harder is so powerful.

One technique that will aid you is a time management method called the “Pomodoro Technique”. A timer is used to break down your work into intervals that are 25 minutes in length with 5-minute breaks between them. This process is repeated 3 times. You can either continue this or take a longer break if needed after your 4th session.

Working intensely during these 25 minutes allows you to get into the optimal zone of productivity known as the flow state. This method will effectively rid yourself of the procrastination bug. Your productivity levels will noticeably increase which will motivate you to achieve more and more.

6. Make a Routine

A routine is a great way to track and boost your productivity. By having a routine and committing to it on a consistent basis you are definitely working smarter, not harder. This is because a productive routine guarantees that you’ll be productive for as long as you are committed.

Some great routines that you can start are reading, eating a healthy breakfast, and going to the gym. Anything that allows you to focus and aid you in your productivity directly or indirectly is ideal. In the evening, it’s important to plan for the next day. Write down the most important thing that you need to have done first and then write the rest.

This is how to work smarter not harder.

The people that get a lot of things accomplished in a single day aren’t superhuman. They just mastered the habits that I discussed above. It will take time to master but you’ll get there if you stay focused and committed. Good luck!

Utilizing Pomodoro Technique in a cafe to work smarter not harder

“Reduce the stress caused by the pressure of time by using the Pomodoro Technique.” FRANCESCO CIRILLO

Digital Nomad Sage
Remote Worker | Millennial | Entrepreneur Mission: To provide informational value to fellow digital nomads & remote workers while helping them to achieve financial freedom by ditching the 9-to-5!


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Remote Worker | Millennial | Entrepreneur Mission: To provide informational value to fellow digital nomads & remote workers while helping them to achieve financial freedom by ditching the 9-to-5!

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