If you’ve learned anything about me from reading this blog, it’s probably that I am a sucker for productivity hacks. A total productivity hack fiend. Whether it’s developing a routine that helps you get more done or cutting unnecessary time wasters out of your schedule, I am all about finding ways to enhance productivity & make the most out of your day. It’s astounding how much more you’re able to accomplish when you prioritize your time.
This year, one of my main focuses is to use my time more wisely by reducing the amount I spend mindlessly scrolling through social media. We’ve all been in situations when the temptation to log on to Instagram or Twitter has proven to be too much, and we’ve wasted precious time liking pictures instead of getting stuff done.
In pursuing this goal, I developed a newfound love for the phrase “work smarter, not harder.” In general, I think we tend to assume that having a successful work habit means constantly having something to do. However, I’ve begun to believe that it’s what you do while you’re working that matters most, not how long you do it for.
I think the phrase is extremely fitting for this type of situation. Though we have a natural tendency to get distracted, wouldn’t staying on task and refraining from going on social media until after everything is done be a more efficient use of our time? Not only would we finish the work in a shorter amount of time, but we would also be able to head on to social media afterward without feeling guilty about being off task. I don’t know about you, but, personally, that sounds like smarter work to me.
Today I am sharing several ways I’ve learned to work smarter and not harder. I really feel like these strategies have improved my productivity and made me more efficient with my time and energy, and I hope they can do the same thing for you.
#1: Keep your phone FAR AWAY
This is honestly one of the easiest and most efficient ways to save time. If you have the tendency to scroll through your socials or read text messages when you should be doing work, the best thing you can do for yourself is put your phone out of reaching distance. Distractions are much easier to fall prey to when they’re close by. I mean, if your phone is in your pocket, what’s stopping you from checking it? The purpose of keeping your phone as far away as possible is to put an obstacle between you and your distraction. If you’re feeling tempted to check your phone but it’s all the way across the room, you’ll be less likely to get up and grab it than you would if you could reach out and have it in your grasp.
#2: Find an environment conducive to working
Let’s be honest with ourselves: While working in the comfort of our beds might seem appealing, it isn’t always the most practical idea. Not only will you be tempted to abandon your priorities for a day of binge-watching your latest favorite show, but you’ll also make it harder for yourself to relax in the long-run. Studies have shown that working in bed makes it easier for your brain to associate your room with work, which, in turn, can make it harder for you to fall asleep. You don’t want to turn your favorite relaxation spot into a source of worry and stress.
When it comes to getting stuff done, you have to be honest with yourself about where you can and cannot successfully do work. If you work best in a coffee shop, office or library, then that’s where you need to take yourself when it’s time to get moving. It might not always be the most exciting option, especially if you’re already lounging around at home. However, it’s far better to get a lot of work done in a less comfortable setting than it is to get little to no work done at your house. Be honest with yourself and willing to adapt to what you personally need in a work environment.
#3: Plan everything you can
PLANNING IS MAGIC. While that might not be everyone’s first thought when they hear the word ‘plan,’ I can tell you from experience that I wouldn’t be able to complete half of what I do in a day if it weren’t for planning. I think I might do an updated post of how I organize my planner soon, so if you’d be interested in that, stay tuned. But in the mean time, I recommend not giving planning any flak until you’ve given it a fair chance. Make to-do lists. Write down weekly goals. Check things off as you accomplish them. Good things come from having a plan.
Anyway, those are my current tips for working smarter, not harder! I hope you enjoyed reading, and that these techniques can work well for you. And, as always, thank you for reading!
What are some things you do to stay productive?