In today’s fast-paced world, there are ever increasing pressures to accomplish more in the workplace. I don’t know about you all, but “productivity” is a word that I hear constantly from the higher ups at my place of employment. In other words, there is expectation to do more. We have many fabulous online and computerized tools at our fingertips today which generations past did not have the advantage of. And accordingly, today’s employers expect more and more from their employees.
A phrase that gets bantered about among my co-workers with increasing frequency is “work smarter not harder.” In other words, since the expectation exists for us to be more and more “productive” employees, we need to find ways to deliver this level of performance… without losing ourselves or our sanity.
In the Workplace
At my particular workplace, in general we try to work smarter by not trying to re-invent the wheel every time something needs to be done. If someone else has a helpful template or has completed a similar project in the past, we are encouraged to borrow from them rather than re-create something. We share resources in the way of a centralized database that we all have access to. Luckily there are some nice tools available for this.
In My Personal Life and Side Hustles
Where I personally struggle with the concept of “work smarter not harder” is in my personal life and my side hustles. That may be because one of the side hustles that I’m trying to grow right now is my blog, and even though I have been at this for over six months now, there is still a LOT that I have to learn. My background is not in web design or IT at all, so it’s a big learning curve here. And I think it can be difficult to work “smartly” when you still have quite a bit to learn.
Still, I do my best to be smart with my time. Here are some of the ways that I do my best to work smarter, not harder.
Working Smarter Not Harder on the Blog
- Every single time I read a blog post during the week I am shopping for posts to put in the Weekly Money Roundup on Fridays. I start the following week’s roundup as soon as the one before is published, which gives me as much time as possible to work on it.
- I try to do all my blog commenting early in the mornings. I am an early bird anyway so I may as well be perusing other blogs. Doing my commenting early in the mornings seems to drive more daily traffic to my blog. I also use Google Chrome when I read other blogs because it remembers my info (name, email, and website) and I don’t have to keep typing it in every time I want to comment on another blog.
- When ideas for articles or blog posts flit through my mind during the day, I try to write them down. Otherwise it’s too easy to forget great ideas! I write them down on an app on my smart phone, which means that I always have a list of blog post ideas to peruse when I’m having writer’s block.
- I try to combine things on my blogging “to-do” list and knock off more than one item at once. I need a post for next week and a buddy needs a link? Then that’s what I’m writing.
Working Smarter Not Harder in My Personal Life
- I try to combine my daily activities whenever possible. For example, if I need to go to the post office and I need to get a run or some exercise in, I may run to the post office and back.
- I rarely go to stores unless it’s to the grocery store a block away from our house. I try to buy most of the things that I need on Amazon, which saves me time and money.
- I try to combine trips whenever possible. Rather than going out three different times to do three different errands, I do my best to do errands at a time when I will be able to do all the things I need to get done and not have to make separate trips.
- I dramatically decreased the amount of junk mail that I get. This saves me a ton of time every week because I don’t have to sort through so much crap that arrives in the mail.
How are some ways that you work smarter not harder?
Photo credit: Judit Klein