Working Smarter, Not Harder

The age-old adage that is used by many business owners across the globe. But what does it really mean and how can you ensure you’re being as efficient as possible.

Working ‘smartly’ (or efficiently) quite simply means doing the right task in the best way, without wasting any time or effort. The best way to do that? Plan, measure and prioritise…

I’m sure you’ve heard it many times, but planning for tomorrow today is the number one key to a productive day. (If you don’t do anything else suggested here, I guarantee this will immediately make you more efficient.) 

Still, if you want to be the ‘smartest worker’, please keep reading!

It’s great to have a plan or to do list for tomorrow (to avoid procrastination and hit the ground running), but without understanding how long a task might take, or knowing their value and priority, there will still be efficiency gaps.

Take the time to actively measure how long (averagely) each task needs. They might be daily, weekly, monthly or even annually. But in most cases, they will all be a repeat of something you’ve done before (or will become that way as your business endures). Once you know this, you’ll be able to start mastering your daily plan. 

Next, prioritise and add a value to each of the tasks. For example; a 1, 2, 3 priority scale in conjunction with an income earning scale (0, £, ££ or £££). This will help you determine which tasks to tackle first in the day and which could roll over to the following day if necessary – or even be removed entirely! 

Nothing is simple when running a business, there will always be other distractions that pop up, so plan for those too. Emails and calls for example (measure the average time you spend on these). They will invariably come in at random times throughout the day, disturbing your flow and impeding your efficiency! But you can stop them. Plan times into your day for checking emails and for taking/ returning calls. As long as you communicate this to your team and clients, no-one will be disappointed or frustrated.

This blog was originally featured in Issue 17 of Worthing & Adur Chamber Of Commerce’s Connect Magazine: Read it here.

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