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Work Productivity

Working Smarter Not Harder in 2020

Multitask business man with lots of post-its

Do you feel like you're continually having to work harder and harder just to get everything done? Although there are employees who are given unrealistic workloads, the problem may not actually be with the amount of work you're expected to do. It might be with your productivity.

You've probably heard the phrase "work smarter, not harder" before. What this phrase really means, is that you should employ tactics to increase your work productivity and simplify your routine, rather than continually adding tasks and doing more. 

Simplify. Cut out the unnecessary. Spend more time doing what matters and less time focusing on things that don't. By employing the work productivity tips below, you can work smarter, not harder in 2020.

1. Delegate When Possible

If you have employees working under you, then you might need to re-evaluate what tasks you funnel their way. Are there some tasks you currently perform that you could instead delegate to someone else? For instance, maybe you write and send out a team update every Friday. Could a team member instead take notes during meetings and craft that email for you? 

When you do delegate tasks, make sure you fully step away from them. You've asked that employee to take over a task because you felt they were capable of handing it — so now, leave them to it, rather than micro-managing the situation.

Delegating a few of the less-demanding items on your list will leave you more time to focus on the tasks that only you can truly handle.

2. Stop Trying to Multitask

For some reason, the ability to multitask is seen as an asset to employers. But actually, research has found that multitasking does not make workers more productive. Actually, it lowers your productivity because your brain is continually required to switch from focusing on one task, to another.

In 2020, strop trying to multitask, and instead focus on one task at a time. You'll find that you finish your work a lot faster.

3. Check Emails and Other Communications On-Schedule

If you're like most people, you are continually switching to your email tab or instant messenger tab just to check whether someone has messaged you. This can waste hours of time over a single workday! A more productive strategy is to set certain times at which you check your messages. For instance, you may want to check your email every hour, on the hour. In some industries, you may be able to get by with checking it just once in the morning and once in the afternoon.

When you do check your messages, reply to those that require a reply right away — and then move on to another task. Don't procrastinate responding, as this just wastes more of your time, as well as the time of the sender who is awaiting a reply.

4. Narrow Down Your Goals

If you have too many goals, your efforts will be too spread out between them, and you may not actually achieve any of them. This applies to your personal life as well as your work life. You can improve your work productivity by eliminating the extra goals and focusing on just a few of them at a time. Decide which three goals are the most important to achieve in 2020. Once you achieve one, you can add another goal to the list. This approach keeps you focused.

If your work productivity is lacking, you don't need to work harder — but you do need to work smarter! Start implementing the strategies above, and you'll notice a change within days.

 

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