The common saying “work smarter, not harder” originated in the 1930s. Allen F. Morgenstern, an industrial engineer and the creator of the work simplification program, coined the term. The program’s intent was to increase the ability of people to produce more with less effort.
We all want to be productive and get things done more quickly and effectively. No one likes to be stressed and overworked. In order to do that, working smarter is a much better strategy than working harder.
What does that mean?
It means that you’re in control of your own time, when you strategize and plan your priorities. How time is managed will be different for everyone, but there are some practical tips which everyone can apply, to produce more with less effort.
Plan and prioritize your most important tasks, based on your energy level - likely first thing in the morning, if you’re a morning person or late afternoon, if you’re a night owl.
Work in shorter blocks - 90-120 minutes at a time.Track your time using a time tracking tool or app. (I use Clockify, and it’s free!)
Delegate more tasks. You should be focusing on high impact activities. When the small tasks are becoming more challenging to complete, ask for help.
Stop multitasking. Focus on one task to completion at a time.
Take a break. Listen to your body. Step away when your brain is tired. Turn off your cell phone and relax. You’re not saving lives…everyone will be okay waiting for an hour, while you take care of yourself.
Stop striving for perfection. You don’t need to sacrifice your high standards, but completing the project has to be done. Don’t be so hard on yourself, if the client likes what you’re producing.
Being more intentional with your time will increase your productivity and increase your effectiveness. Working smarter, not harder allows you to focus on the important tasks, increases motivation, and gets you closer to your goals.
When you’re ready to delegate and/or discuss how to work smarter, let’s schedule a 30 minute chat.
“It’s not a daily increase, but a daily decrease. Hack away at the inessentials.” - Bruce Lee
Time Management Tips for the Disorganized by Pam Weiser
There are so many reasons why people become disorganized. It could be procrastination, lack of focus, too much on their plate, or even a major life event. Whatever the reason, disorganization can wreak havoc on life, and the feeling of being overwhelmed can stop projects and simple tasks from moving forward, creating unnecessary stress.
Time management plays a big part in helping the disorganized become more organized and productive. As someone who manages multiple client projects while helping them become organized and efficient, I am constantly reminding myself of the importance of managing my own time.
Here are some of the things I think about when it comes to time management, on a daily basis:
Evaluate where you need to spend your time. This could be answering emails, focus time, exercise, or meeting with clients.
Make a to-do list of all workweek tasks which need to be completed, how long each will take, and their deadlines.
Prioritize each of those tasks.
What are the essential tasks?
Do they need to be done at the same time each day?
Use a calendar or time tracking tool. Once you have figured out the to-do list and the priorities, put the essential tasks into the calendar and schedule the remaining tasks around those tasks.
Use calendar notifications, so that you’re reminded to move on to the next task or meeting.
Remember to block time for breaks, or for things that come up last minute.
Learn to delegate tasks. Even with evaluating, prioritizing, and using a calendar, you might find that delegating tasks will help you free up even more time to complete the ever growing to-do list.
Training a freelancer or an assistant might seem overwhelming right now, but in the long run, taking things off of your plate is very worth your time.
You might have to say no. It’s okay to say no. Burnout and work overload never helped anyone.
However, there might be times where you just can’t say no, and this might be another option to consider outsourcing your tasks to a freelancer or assistant.
Remember that this is not a once and done situation, and you can always adjust to accommodate new recurring tasks and meetings. Time management is not easy, and this is a practice which needs to be done daily. Don’t be afraid to try different ideas or options for time management, if something isn’t working for you.
4 Great Habits of Successful Entrepreneurs and How a Business Operations Manager Can Help by Pam Weiser
Do you want to become a successful entrepreneur? Here are some great habits to help you succeed and why a business operations manager can help you overcome some common challenges.
1. Focus on the highest value tasks. When you focus on the daily grunt work, you take time away from focusing on the bigger picture and your best chance at achieving ROI and PROFITS!
Learning to delegate is important and a Business Operations Manager, who is experienced and knowledgeable, will take some of these low level tasks off of your plate. An operations manager can help with things like scheduling meetings, doing research, updating your CRM, or managing your social media.
2. Stay organized. Disorganization can cause a large amount of stress and the loss of focus. You might have a deadline approaching or you’re procrastinating with doing other things.
A good business operations manager can help with creating processes and procedures to help streamline efficiency. Make better use of your time and work smarter - not harder!
3. Improve your time management. Poor time management can cause missed deadlines, rushing to complete projects, and burnout. If you fall behind, you likely need to work until project completion, which can affect your work-life balance, and may ultimately affect your mental health.
Allow a Business Operations Manager to help you with these projects. They can do research, create your presentation slides, proofread your work, and schedule time to focus on your calendar. Wouldn’t it be nice to leave work early, for a change?
4. Encourage teamwork. A successful entrepreneur can’t possibly do everything themselves. By delegating, you maximize efficiency and get closer to your goals.
Using an experienced Business Operations Manager not only helps you, but it improves their own professional development, creativity, and skillset.
As you can imagine, being disorganized, having poor time management, and focusing on the low level tasks may all result in lowered productivity and poor quality of work. A good Business Operations Manager will help your business run efficiently and smoothly. Because you’ve got better things to do!
“Efficiency and focus are the keys to success.” - Robert Crais