7 ways to work smarter, not harder | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 10, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 06:46 PM, March 19, 2017

7 ways to work smarter, not harder

Start with making a plan for the day

What do you need to get done? Prioritise. What is the most important work that you need to do? Make a plan that works for you. If you like working with rigid time based plans, make those. If you like more flexible list type plans, then stick to those. Whatever you do, make sure you have a prioritised list of tasks that you need to get done for the day made.

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Don't be all over the place with your work. You have an assignment? Narrow down what needs to be done and formulate a plan (or a method) as to how you are going to get the work done. Think about the work before diving right in, have a strategic way to go at it. Have a series of different tasks? Work in blocks. Finish one block of work or half of each to stay motivated.

And finally, know what time of the day works for you. If you aren't a morning person, don't push yourself to work in the morning. Find the time when you reach your peak efficiency and block out distractions during that time and work.

Gather your information

You won't get stuck as often your task if you knew how to go ahead with it. Learn as much you can, as a matter of fact, always maintain a high learning curve. Keep learning skills and information that will help you out, for example, master those excel skills and invest in critical. Try asking a colleague or senior about how to get the work done, someone who has done it before. Ask their advice and learn from their experience

Take naps and breaks

This is fairly simple. Remember, naps, not full blown six hours of sleep and breaks, not two entire seasons of a series. Keep your mind well rested and efficient. A tired mind can't perform well. So go grab a KitKat and take a break.


You cannot possibly do everything on your own. Delegate tasks to your team. And do not beat around the bush. Tell them precisely and properly what needs to be done and what is expected of them. Delegate tasks to the best person for the job and push the worry out of your head. Concentrate on your part of the job and trust your team to deliver.

Kick distractions out of the room

I know, much easier said than done. You can either lock the source of distraction out of your workspace, if possible. Or you can formulate a 'To Don't' list. Basically, list down things you are not allowed to do, and stick it above your workspace. You can also take help from various apps, such as StayFocused, Freedom or Focus Lock.

Know your limits

Remember, you too have to draw a line. Know when you are finished for the day and stop working. Establish a closing ritual. At the end of the day, clean up your workspace, check how much you got done, and make a list of what to do the next day. Plan out the next day and what you intend to get done. And Most importantly, back up all the work you have done up until now

Evaluate your progress

Self-evaluate and congratulate yourself on a job well done. Measure whatever work you are doing and set goals to improve that. Consistently improve. Self-evaluations help you pinpoint where you are inefficient and you can work on that bit. Basically, master the skill of working smarter.


The writer is a sophomore at the Institute of Business Administration, University of Dhaka

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