By Tiffany Stock, Vice President, Marketing & Client Relations
Many years ago, in the throes of a project that I no longer remember, one of my colleagues said something that has stuck with me – work smarter, not harder. I had never heard that phrase before that I could recall, or at least not at a time that it resonated and stuck with me. Fast forward years later, and I would say that phrase pops in to my head a least once a week. With all the tasks in both my personal and professional life, I try to keep that as my mantra and take a step back to make sure that I am being the most effective and efficient as possible – as the old saying goes, time is money, right?!
What this phrase does NOT mean to me is cutting corners to do something faster and/or diluting the outcome just to get something done more quickly. The output should be of equal or greater quality when trying to evaluate if you could be working smarter.
While there is no way to ensure that everything you do is being done in the most efficient way and with the best outcomes, having that as a goal really helps set the stage and create the mindset.
Here are some things that have helped me try to implement this thought process into my everyday:
- Habits: Create habits that are going to help you achieve your goals – if you have not read Atomic Habits by James Clear, I highly recommend it!
- Prioritize: When prioritizing your day, stick to the 80/20 rule – focus on the tasks that will give you the most results and happiness first!
- Timing: Know what time of day you have the most energy – and use that time to focus on your thought-heavy projects.
- Attitude: Have a positive attitude – seriously, this may seem like a simple thing but your attitude has a serious impact on not only your health but also your results and being able to find solutions when you are feeling bogged down.
- Change: Embrace change – just because it has always been done a certain way does not mean there is not a better way to do it that creates the same or an improved outcome.
At the end of the day, I think we all want to be more productive and feel like we have accomplished something. If even one of these suggestions helps refine and improve the way you perform even one of your daily tasks in a smarter, more effective way, then that is a WIN in my book. So ask yourself, “Am I working smarter, not harder?”