While most people think they work smarter, the truth is that they just work harder. This is more so when someone needs to get more done. Working harder is fine in the short term, but it isn’t smart over the long haul.

It makes more sense to work smarter because it saves time. You can’t consistently keep increasing the intensity or duration of your work. There are limits, but there’s always a way to work smarter!

Use these strategies to work smarter instead of harder

1. Focus on what is most effective

One way of working smarter is to identify and concentrate on the tasks that are giving you the best return for your time. At any moment, you could be performing one of a variety of tasks. How certain are you that you’re spending your time most wisely?

We often gravitate toward tasks that are easy or comfortable. Ensure that you’re using effective criteria when deciding how to use your time.

We’re all skilled at wasting time in our own way. Eliminating this downtime is one of the ways to work more efficiently.

2. Set time limits

One way to force yourself to work smarter is to limit how much time you’re going to give to a task or to your workday. Strive to get more done in the same amount of time. The only way to make regular progress is to alter your approach. Working harder will only get you so far.

Once you have identified how long a task will take, try using the Pomodoro Technique to manage your time. I use Kanbanflow which is an online app that combines project management and Pomodoro. Kanbanflow helps me break my tasks into 25-minute chunks with 5-15 minute breaks in between the tasks. This strategy has resulted in an overall increase in my productivity while taking care of my health and wellness.

3. Review your actions daily

Review your day and decide if you used the day as well as you could have. Look for ways to improve and ways to waste less time. Aim to become just a tiny bit better each day. The difference in your results will astound you.

While reviewing your day, ask yourself:

  • “What is the logical outcome from how I spend my day?”
  • “What would happen if I repeated this day for the next five years?”

Then construct a day that will logically lead to the destination you desire.

4. Review your results

If what you’re doing isn’t working well, continuing down that path doesn’t make sense at all. Figure out what works and what doesn’t. Choose your actions accordingly based on your results. Failure to review your results will result in working harder as you try to catch up with your tasks and goals.

5. Change your mindset

We often associate greater success with greater effort. But working harder isn’t always the answer. Move from the belief that hard work is always the solution. Sometimes it makes more sense to sharpen your axe than it does to swing it harder or for more hours each day.

6. Commit to ICAN (Improvement is Constant And Never-ending)

Commit to learning as part of your personal and professional growth. The more you know, the smarter you can work.

What do you need to learn in order to work more efficiently?

What knowledge will allow you to do a better job without spending more time?

Keep in mind that not everything you learn is useful so ensure you’re learning the right things. Seek out the experts in your field and learn what you can from them. Avoid trying to figure out everything on your own. There’s no reason to reinvent the wheel.

Are you working smarter or just working harder?

While we admire people who can work really hard, this is not an effective long-term strategy. Avoid the temptation to just lower your head and grind through to the finish line on a regular basis.

It’s much more intelligent and efficient to learn how to work smarter. Once you learn a better way of doing things, you can use that knowledge to improve your time management and productivity.

(Image credit: Unsplash)


Are you working too hard and not getting the results you seek?

I’ve been helping professional and businesswomen achieve their personal, professional and business goals while reducing the time they spend working.

Over the years, I’ve created a system that works not just for my clients, but also for me. What I love best about this system is that you can quickly tweak and adapt it to suit the challenges you’re facing on the ground.

Don’t struggle with your goals this year. Book a Goal Setting Strategy Session and let me help you:

  1. Get CLARITY about what to focus on.
  2. Create a CUSTOMIZED goal setting, implementation and tracking system that works for you (no more copy-paste).
  3. Get MOTIVATED to work on your goals, no matter the challenges encountered.
  4. KICK-OFF the next month, quarter, or year powerfully.
  5. Hold your hand for 30 days as you IMPLEMENT your plan.
  6. Tweak and REFINE your system after testing it for 30 days.

You don’t have to struggle with your goals anymore. You can have BREAKTHROUGHS this year as you work smarter instead of harder!

Click here to request more information about the Goal Setting Strategy Session.

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