Why is it a good idea to think about working smart? Well, it’s the healthiest way to work. It’s vital for our mind and body to rest and play as well as work.
Working so many long hours that we don’t have time to recover is not a good long term situation. Work related stress is becoming increasingly common and if it continues over a prolonged period it can lead to chronic stress, depression or illness.
The good news is that working smart and being productive doesn’t necessarily mean working longer hours. By having better structure and a plan to focus on what needs to be done we actually end up accomplishing the same amount more quickly. As a result, we may choose to get even more done or give ourself some well deserved time off due to being on or ahead of schedule!
Why not take an honest look at how you are spending your time at work…..
- procrastinate at any given opportunity
- get distracted by technology
- get involved in unnecessary chat or gossip
- find yourself forgetting what you were going to do
- find yourself daydreaming
These are all really normal ways of distracting ourselves from what we need to do. So what can we do about it?
Once we have worked out what our own distractions are we are in a good position to do something about them. Here are some ideas to help us work more efficiently:
- clear our desk and workspace to help us focus more clearly
- prioritise our workload
- chunk our larger tasks down into small achievable tasks
- set an alarm for eg 50 minutes to concentrate hard then have a 10-minute break
- give our tasks realistic deadlines and work to them seriously
- write a list of easy to do small rewards we can give ourselves
- reward ourselves for each task achieved
- turn off our notifications whilst concentrating
- remove our smartphones from our working area whilst we are focussing on a task
- And finally, tell someone. Research has shown that we are more likely to get a job done if we tell someone we are going to do it and when we are going to do it by. Find a colleague/accountability partner/mentor to report our progress to regularly.
Here’s to a productive week!