Work Smarter, Not Harder

by Ad 2 Tampa Bay | May 7, 2015

I recently read an article about workers (primarily men) who were faking 80 hour workweeks. This fascinated me not because I felt that anyone was gaming the system, but because it described to me people who worked smarter and achieved the same results as those actually putting in 80 hours. As the author states “The person working 80 hours isn’t necessarily serving clients any better than the person working 50.”

I think a big part of working efficiently is to work smarter, not harder, so here are some are some tips that I use to achieve that goal.

1. Utilize To-Do lists

I greatly recommend creating a daily and long term to-do list. This helps keep you from falling behind on projects (both personal and professional) then having to rush to catch up.

2. Streamline Your Workflow

Look at your to-do list, and then organize it in a way that works for you. I like to set aside time to respond to emails (usually mornings), and then move through my list in order of priority and difficulty.

3. Utilize Templates

Whenever possible, use templates to help you get work done faster. I have to pull monthly AdWords and Analtytics reports for clients, and I save myself time by using the same template and just plugging in numbers. This applies to creative projects: by creating a basic wireframe template for projects that you know you’ll always be working on can help cut down your time. For example, I have to design various websites, so I have a running list of all the items that I might need to add (homepage sliders, top menu, sub menus, social plugins). Going through this list and checking off what I need and don’t need helps me design without leaving out critical elements.

4. Don’t Stress

Last, but not least, try not to stress out. The more stressed and frazzled you are, the more likely you are to make mistakes. When you feel the stress piling up, simply take 5 minutes to do an activity that calms you.

Of course, there will always be occasions when you have to really put in the extra hours, but in a lot of cases you’ll find that there are ways to maximize productivity while minimizing stress and hassle.

Here’s a link for those interested: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/05/upshot/how-some-men-fake-an-80-hour-workweek-and-why-it-matters.html?abt=0002&abg=1

Diana Aguilar Flores | Creative Chair