How many times have you heard it said that you need to work smarter and not harder? It’s possible that adjusting your routine and method just a bit can enhance your overall productivity and performance. Whether you need to improve your personal or professional life, you can utilize some strategies that will help you to increase good habits and work smart.

Fifteen Ways to Work Smarter and Get More Done

You only have so much energy to utilize during the day. The more efficient you become in what you do, the easier it will be to complete tasks. There are numerous strategies that professionals use that can help them to prioritize their work. Here are some ways to enhance your life and help you to get more done.

1. Work Smart–in Short Bursts

People can only focus on something for so long. Breaks mandated by law help prevent overworking. Taking a short break every 90-120 minutes is advisable.

Even if you take fifteen minutes and walk around the office and get something to drink, you need to break the monotony of the day. You’ll be more efficient when you learn that you must develop good habits to get more done.

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2. Do the Hardest Tasks First

The morning is the time when you’re the freshest. Your brain isn’t bogged down, as you’ve had a good night’s sleep. Schedule the most challenging or most laborious tasks for early in the day. Most people have less energy after lunch, so this is the time you should save to do the lighter jobs.

3. Set Small, Achievable Daily Goals

It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the big picture. Stop looking at all you have to do for the week or month and focus on the day. Goal setting should be part of your routine. Remember to keep things small and achievable.

When you set goals that are impossible for you to complete, you’re only setting yourself up for failure. Good habits include scheduling your day to feel like you’ve accomplished something when it’s over.

4. Focus on One Thing at a Time

Contrary to popular belief, multitasking makes you less efficient and more prone to errors. According to Dr. Cynthia Kubu from the Cleveland Clinic, people never really multitask as they think. She states they’re just rapidly cycling back and forth between tasks.

A study listed on Springer Link found that only 2.5 percent of the population can multitask adequately. New research shows that it’s better to focus on one thing and allow yourself to complete it before moving on to the next.

5. Work Smart by Utilizing Stress Management Techniques

Stress can hinder your performance. If you’re stressed out and having significant anxiety about all you must do, it’s time to try stress management techniques.

One of the best ways to get rid of stress is to meditate. Did you know that a quick five to ten-minute meditation session can cleanse your mind and give you a boost to make it through the day? Do meditation in your car on a lunch break or at your desk.

When you’re setting your goal, make sure to include time stress-breaking activities like meditation.

6. Group Together Like Tasks

Making a list is essential because you can group similar tasks. Rather than being all over the place, you can learn how to categorize your day so that like goes with like. It’s all part of goal setting and optimizing your activities. When you work smart, you develop good habits that can help you at work or home.

7. Learn to Say “No.”

It’s hard to say “no,” as you don’t want to come across that you need anyone to get things done. Sometimes, you need to let go of a bit of your pride and understand that you can’t do everything and be successful.

It would help if you learned to stand up for yourself and know your limits. You can accomplish more when you set effective boundaries by staying within those confines.

8. Delegate Tasks When Possible

Delegating tasks is sharing the workload, and this is especially helpful when you’ve got too much on your shoulders. Even the most significant leaders throughout history had to have people under them to help get things done. Oprah Winfrey is considered one of the most influential women of today.

However, she would be nothing without her staff under her, which helped her get stuff done. Her writers, clothing and makeup artists, and personal assistants help keep her on task and looking great. While you may not have an empire like Oprah, you can learn how to utilize the help of those around you.

You must learn that when you ask for help, you mustn’t micromanage these folks. When people assist you, you must learn to let them do the task without watching over their shoulders.

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9. Get Rid of Distractions to Foster Good Habits

There are numerous distractions in your day. You probably deal with emails, text messages, phone calls, social media chats, and coworkers or children. All these things can significantly impact your ability to get things done.

Developing good habits means you may need to silence the cell phone and check your emails a couple of times a day. According to a study by The University of California, it takes three minutes to regain your attention after a disruption, so this can cause a significant issue with your productivity.

10. Know When It’s Time to Quit

Everyone has a point where they’re done for the day. Knowing when you hit this place and learning to stop is essential. When you’re burned out and have reached the maximum amount of work you can do, you will not be very productive if you keep going.

You’re wasting your time and the little energy you have left when you push yourself beyond reasonable expectations. When you work smart, you know your parameters and don’t force yourself beyond those limitations.

11. Utilize a Power Nap

Wouldn’t it be nice if America was one of the countries that saw the importance of the power nap? Many companies are incorporating this nap time into their employees’ days, as they see the value in recharging and rejuvenating yourself. Zappos is a pioneer company that has created a nap room for employees.

Now, you’re not going to be able to take a three-hour nap, but they do believe that it helps to improve effectiveness if people can recharge their batteries. According to CEO Tony Hsieh, a quick 20–30-minute session can help improve the efficiency of the employees.

12. Work Smart by Playing Music

What would an exercise class be without music? Many people find that they work better when they have music playing. Now, head-banging rock probably isn’t helping you focus, but a nice jazzy tune can put a little bounce in your step. Some people like it to be silent, but other folks prefer a little background noise to help them.

13. Start the Day with Positivity

Your attitude can dictate a lot about how much you accomplish in a day. Why not start the day positively if you want to work smart and get more done? Try positive affirmations to help get you geared towards success.

14. Get a Routine in Place to Work Smart

When utilizing goal setting, you must include making a routine for yourself to follow. Each morning you should have a small checklist of your startup activities.

You should do the same thing in the evening when you’re closing up shop. Your brain works better when you have that routine to follow, and when you have processes in place, it keeps you on task.

15. Learn How to Block Your Calendar

Your cell phone and computer have calendars for you to help plan your days. Some folks find it helpful to block out periods where they can’t be disturbed while working.

Maybe you need to mentally reserve this space for productivity so that you can train your brain to focus during this specific time frame. Using the calendar can help you work smart and get more done.

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Final Thoughts on Ways to Work Smart and Develop Good Habits

There are so many distractions in life that it’s hard for some people to focus. Utilizing goal setting and to-do lists can help you stay on task. If you want to work smart, you need to find little things that can work into your day to make you more efficient.

What works for you might not work for someone else, so you need to try a few things and find the good habits that help you get into your productive groove. What can you do to help you work smart and accomplish more than you ever thought possible?