“I work so hard all the time yet I’m unable to meet my goals!”
“There’s hardly any time for my personal life! Work takes up all my time!”
We hear such statements often at our workplace. Whether you are a beginner starting out in your professional life or a senior executive, you must have faced situations when work becomes so overwhelming that your productivity starts to erode.
In today’s era where your work-life and personal life end up becoming intertwined, it’s becoming extremely important to manage your time and energy in order to remain efficient and carry out your tasks effectively.
How Smart People Manage to Be Effective
The truly successful people understand the power of smart work and not just hard work. This smart working style gives them more time for themselves and their families without compromising on their professional success.
You too can adopt some of these simple and common-sense practices to make sure your effectiveness at work remains awesome. Are you ready to learn these smart practices?
Write Things Down
This might seem like a very basic tip to follow. But the truth is, more than 80% of the people I know rarely bother writing stuff down when they are given tasks or when planning their day-to-day tasks.
I know the misfortune which befalls those who don’t write because I was one of them. I thought I had a great memory and could remember tasks which needed doing without much effort!
What usually happened was I would remember the unimportant tasks (as they ‘re easy to do) while forgetting the critical ones. Also, not writing down usually results in losing track of old activities which need follow-up as time goes by!
Write is Might
Don’t make this mistake anymore. Effectiveness is sometimes simply knowing what needs to be done and when to do it. These are enough to keep you focused and will limit your non-value adding activities to a minimum.
Smart people organize themselves very carefully when it comes to listing down tasks. They define their own way to categorize and prioritize the tasks which they are responsible for. Some of them use old diaries and notebooks while some leverage technology.
Writing tasks down gives you a reference point to track your progress. And with regular tracking and updating your task-sheet, your effectiveness is bound to increase!
Use the Power of Procrastination
In case you’re wondering if I’ve lost my mind, hear me out fully. Procrastination is the trait which helps us to conveniently postpone work to some unseen time in the future. Usually seen in lazy people, this trait ruins their lives and makes them unproductive.
But procrastination can also be used as an effective tool to decide the tasks to do immediately and plan tasks which can be postponed to a later date! Smart people instinctively understand this and put it to deadly use.
Usually when we make our to-do lists for the day, we fill them with 80% of junk tasks which are neither urgent nor important. This always leads to excess energy and time wasted on tasks which never seem to end.
This sort of hyperactivity might make you seem busy and hardworking to others but in the long run, you’ll only end up fooling yourself! Don’t let your work routine make you mediocre!
(Suggested Read: 3 Destructive Habits Which Make You Mediocre)
Once you have your to-do list ready, eliminate half of the tasks which can wait and don’t need your urgent attention. You’ll be amazed to see 20 – 25% of these tasks will disappear on their own! (This usually happens because in a week, some of them would have lost their importance or would have resolved themselves)
Look at the Outcome and Not Time
A lot of people make the classic mistake of judging effectiveness by counting the number of hours spent on a particular task. Unfortunately the tasks which involve a lot of grunt work end up taking more time than the ones which are short and powerful.
Learn to map the importance of tasks by their ability to impact your goals. By doing so, you will find that a lot of these time-consuming activities can be delegated to a later time when your energy levels are low.
The really smart people manage to combine their low-value tasks with some multi-tasking. This might involve listening to music or an audiobook! All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy after all!
Hobbies are your Best Friends
If you look at the people who are incredibly effective at work, they usually have one or two hobbies which they are passionate about. Hobbies are a crucial component of our lives which rejuvenate us and make work less stressful.
Whether it be a game of tennis, reading or even a long walk, make sure you take some time off to do what you like! This helps you to relax and regroup your energies so you can give the best at your workplace the next day.
Breaks Destroy Monotony
The best wisdom to remember is “Never let yourself become overwhelmed by work”
If you feel the strain is getting on your nerves, just drop the work for an hour and give yourself a much-needed break.
The super-effective people are the ones who take regular breaks to recharge themselves. They move around and talk to the people around them. They build connections and share stories. Sometimes this activity by itself opens up chances of collaborating with others and increasing effectiveness!
The famous Austrian endocrinologist Hans Selye told us: “It’s not stress that kills us. It’s our reaction to it”
So do the best you can and learn to let go. Wish you all a productive journey ahead!