Written by Akinwamide Nifemi
I imagine that, like me, you say that you never have enough time and that you just cannot cope with dozens of things that stops at the buck of your table. You don’t find it difficult to tell everyone I am “very very” busy, I don’t have time for any other thing besides work. You have a “crazy” boss who wants to drain you with unrealistic quotas for the month. How on earth do you get out of that web? Many people never sit down and look at how to work smarter, rather than harder and even longer hours. We are familiar with the age long quote that says “All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy”. We now have so many Jacks in companies this days due to the chunk of work they try to do and solve. We celebrate those who can multitask, work long hours. We hardly have time for our families and friends. Working long hours of work is not the right way to go, we have to learn how to “work smart”.
S – Specific.
A – Assignable.
R – Realistic.
T- Time- Related.
Work with A Specific goal in mind
Each passing day, you need to write down your personal plan for the day. This should contain unfinished work from the day before and what you intend to achieve today. This helps in prioritizing activities and responding to unanticipated events that might occur during the day maybe at your place of work or outing. Taking a few minutes each morning to review your schedule and plans can put you in a different realm of work output throughout the day. Learn to write your specific plans and goals for the day, which could gravitate towards your weekly plan as well. You become organized throughout the day.
Measure your Output (Work with the end in mind)
The human mind can be lazy if not well trained to work smart. When you pen down your plan for the day, make sure to revisit it at the end of the day. Check out what you were able to achieve during the day and what led to some incomplete tasks that you have. When you measure your output, you are self-aware as to what you are doing and what is left undone. You can also figure out when best your creativity is better if you work in a creative industry. When planning for the next day you can easily plan. Place a remuneration on yourself when you achieve a certain task or you complete the day’s tasks. This motivates you to do more from time to time putting you on your toes at time.
Assign Tasks With A level of Priority.
When you draw up your daily plan, assign tasks based on priority. For some people they prefer to take on difficult tasks in the morning when their brain is still fresh while some prefer working on difficult tasks in the evening when their brain is cool and no distractions from other colleagues. Find out which works for you best. Your environment, mood determines your work output. Assign tasks based on these factors in relation to the time of the day as well. When assigning task make sure they are time bound. If you have subordinates, you can share some of the work load and make sure they are time bound. The goal is to have the tasks done by the end of the day.
Set Realistic Goals
As you set your daily plans, try to set realistic goals when assigning tasks. Never forget that you are just an human being and not a supernatural being, you can’t do much. Say No to what you can’t achieve as integrity and time management is key to working smart. Just because you want to impress your boss or clients doesn’t mean you shoot yourself in the leg by creating an unrealistic timeline. Learn to underpromise and overdeliver especially when you are dealing with people. When you set unrealistic goals and timelines you find difficult to achieve, it only frustrates you completely affecting your general output.
Everything in Life is bounded by time and you can’t really buy time to save your ass most time. Your plans, tasks should be time bound. Plan every task in respect to time. Office hours is between 9 – 5pm. Plan to use the period judiciously and not taking out time you ought to spend with families and friends. 8 hours is a whole lot of time to do a whole of work if well planned and executed.
Work less live MORE
Work hard shouldn’t be coupled with play hard. If you are working SMART, you should know what you are working smart for. Don’t fall for the work hard, play hard motto that corporate sells. Instead, work smart so you can achieve financial security. This means get rid of debt and build your net worth. If you are at it long enough, you can shoot for financial independence. Invest in relationships, nature and a whole lot more. The most precious things in life are moments. Cherish the moments you share with your loved ones and friends because it won’t matter when our lives are over, the amount of money we make or if we are known as the most hard-working person in the world who never had time for his family and loved ones. You can’t beat time, make the most of it. LIVE MORE!!