Do you ever find yourself spinning your wheels trying to do everything and constantly put out fires and field interruptions throughout your day. This can cause you to lose focus, and not just the train of thought that you were in but you that you have to get back in. All those interruptions can really suck your energy. Here are five tips to work smarter, not harder.
1. TIME BLOCKING: Time Blocking is a technique that has to be connected to your goals and what you are trying to achieve. So let’s break down goals. If you have overarching long-term goals (which are your 5 – 10 year goals), then having shorter time blocks for those goals will be beneficial since you are not expecting immediate results but keeps you moving towards something you are working towards. But in order to work smarter not harder, let’s look at those shorter-term goals which will make the time blocks especially effective. Next you need to establish your priorities, what is most important for you to accomplish or complete? Then pull out your calendar and put the deadline to achieve them. Finally understand how you work can you work in larger time blocks or shorter time blocks, I know I need shorter time blocks to work in sprints not marathons. Block Out that time each day!
When you block out certain sections of time, you can focus on one task at a time, and get that done. I'm the master of multitasking and I focus on what I'm going to do in this time block. I get that done so much faster, and at a higher quality. Time Blocking helps you accomplish more and blocks interruptions throughout the day.
2. UNDERSTAND YOUR STRENGTHS: We all have superpowers, but we often don't know what they are. Without digging deeper and really developing that understanding, you don't know what's really in your wheelhouse. Yes, you do some things pretty good but what do you best? Discovering, then integrating what you do best in your day to day dealings at work (when possible) and at home allows you to problem solve at a higher level. Otherwise, you'll spend too much time doing things that take away from what you do best. Dig deep and uncover your strengths, then focus on what you do best. You'll be surprised at the results and will be much happier working within those strengths.
3. KNOW YOUR TEAM STRENGTH: Have you ever felt like “nobody can do this as good as I can”? Well, news flash! There are people out there who can. Recognize that if you are not good at say systems or details, give it to someone who is really strong at systems and processes, they can get that done so much faster than you can. It may require investment, but you gain so many benefits from going to someone that instinctively and innately knows how to do what you need done. That applies across your entire team, so understanding your team's strengths enables you to give them the right tasks that align with those strengths. They'll absolutely get things done a lot faster, and a lot with a lot more ease and grace than you ever could.
4. DELEGATE, DELEGATE, DELEGATE: You cannot do everything yourself and be successful. You can try, but it's not going to work. Stick to what's in your wheelhouse and give the tasks that you should not be doing to someone else. As stated in the previous tip, delegate the appropriate tasks to those on your team that can accomplish those things. Learn the art of delegation and how to identify the right people for the right task.
5. USE TECHNOLOGY: There are a lot of apps, hardware and software systems out there that help us to manage our time better; help us be more organized and help the team, communicate better. Understanding how to use technology and what technology to use can really collapse the time and effort that it takes to accomplish things. Communication and organizational apps and systems are abundant to individuals and small businesses. More durable and advanced hardware and tools are on the market that enhance your work quality, Take the time to research the right resources to find the technology that can help you with your business. Good luck and stay in touch.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Alicia Couri is an entrepreneur, web & podcast host, motivational speaker & actress. She's Kolbe & Predictive Index Certified working with corporations & chairs the Black Owned Media Alliance Marketing Committee. Couri is also an author & the Founder of Alicia Couri Inc & RedCarpetCEO. The Styling & Personal Branding expert is the former Mrs. Elite United States Woman of Achievement 2020 and was named one of the 100 Influential Women by the Boys & Girls Club of America for 2018.