5 Ways to Work Smarter Not Harder

working smarter not harder

The old theory of “hard work will get you where you want to be” is hardly true. There is no justification for hard work, if you can do that work smarter. By doing hard work, smarter – you find yourself with more time, newer ways of doing things better, more time to be creative, and less stress altogether. When you can optimize what you are doing, you are starting to work smarter.

1. Task Management

A lot of people can’t produce work on demand. There is a certain level of ramp-up time that is needed to get you into the mindset of work. And this comes with clearing up all the chatter or distractions that prevent you from being in an optimal state of mind.

To get into this state, map out all the things you need to get done. Calculate this by tasks not time. From the chunked out tasks, pick a few tasks you are sure you can complete without much effort. You will benefit more from focusing on smaller tasks than the whole project. And when you chunk them out, you tend to work in smaller smarter increments instead of long stretched out work days.

2. Energy Bursts

During my time writing, I tend to soar for a few hours, and get into a slump for days. When I do get into a slump, I know that is not the time to write. I know my writing will be poor, and only the reader will suffer. So I wait until I have those days where I feel like I want to see nothing other than words on pages. Inspired work is better than hard word.

Inspired work is working smarter for the overall goal of producing exceptional work. When you are in a slump, take time to recuperate. Meditate maybe? Once you get back into those days or hours that you feel like conquering the world, do your work at that time.

3. Break Time

When you were in elementary school, did you ever question why you had recess? Other than the fact that you may have needed to a bio-break, you also needed a mental break. According to Psychology today, our brains and bodies tend to function better when we periodically get recharged.

In the same way whatever your work is, make sure you are taking breaks to recharge. Do not burn yourself out at the expense of working hard. You work smarter when you have more fuel in your body.

4. Do Not Multitask

Contrary to popular belief, multitasking is not a efficient or effective way of accomplishing anything. When you focus on more than one task at a time, your divided attention provides just that – divided results. You tend to produce a lot of work but you will lack in quality. Multitasking also discloses your lack of interest in what you are doing thus providing less than exceptional work.

If however you are able to work smarter by dedicating your time and attention to a single task, you are more than likely to come out stronger and with quality work. Multitasking also negatively affects you brain, as this Stanford research suggests. So why even try?

5. Reach Out

There is never a good reason to reinvent the wheel. That’s just you working harder when the smarter approach would have been to reach out for help. Any information, ability to automate, or even bouncing off a work item with a colleague, are methods of working smarter. You don’t need to figure everything out on your own.

If there are people and products that can help you, use them. Use them to your benefit so you can spend more of your time on work that demands you and only you. Asking for help shows strength, not weakness. If however, you are asking for help at every turn, check yourself! That’s not a good quality to have everyone else do all your work.


These are the main things you want to be conscious of when trying to work smarter. If you are able to take time to think about what you need to accomplish before you start it, you will possibly see signs of where you can optimize. Once you make a blue print of all there is to be done, you can use the various tools and people to assist you into completion.

So, what type of worker are you?

Featured photo courtesy of pexels.com

Article last updated on September 21st, 2021

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