3 Simple Steps To Work Smarter, Not Harder

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I remember taking my daughter Ema to her routine consultation at the paediatrician when she was 2 years’ old. One of the cognitive tests that the doctor intended to perform involved convincing her to insert different wooden shapes into a box through its corresponding holes.

Now, it only took my daughter a glance to realise that the fastest and easiest way to get the shapes inside the box was to simply lift the lid and dump them in, instead of bothering to find the matching holes.

So here’s the doctor trying hard to keep the box shut, while my daughter attempts to pull the lid off with all her energy!

Who won?

My daughter being a stubborn little gemini, if it’s not her way, then it’s nobody’s way…

But the point is that, at 2 years’ old, my daughter quickly found a way to work smart, not hard. Then she did not allow anyone or anything to distract her from her strategy!

As adults, we often jump into action, trying to comply with what’s expected of us. Seldom do we take the time to pause and identify the most efficient course of action – like my daughter did.

What’s worse, we tend to get caught-up in perfectionism and comparisonitis, thinking that we should do things in a certain way and match other people’s accomplishments.

This uses up our energy and diverts our attention from actually figuring-out the smart – not the hard – way to get things done.

Too many driven female entrepreneurs complain that they are constantly busy but not particularly productive. Their focus is scattered, and they waste a lot of time in tasks that add little value to their businesses or lives.

Now if this sounds like you and you’re ready to get off the hamster wheel and start working smarter instead of harder, here is are 3 simple steps that you can apply to any situation in order to uplevel your personal effectiveness and get you grounded for good.

1. Get clear on your goals

Before starting any project, pause and ask yourself: What are the objectives here?
Think about it from three perspectives:- What are you required to do? What do you want to achieve?- How do you want to feel both throughout the project and once it’s completed?- Who do you want to be in this project? How do you want to show-up?

2. Reverse engineer your strategy

Once you’re clear on your goals, it’s time to create a roadmap to achieve them.

What steps will you need to take to get to your desired results in the easiest and fastest way possible? Start with the end in mind, then work your way back and design your success strategy.

Starting with the end in mind helps you automatically eliminate any futile action-steps you might otherwise be tempted to include in your roadmap. 

That’s a rookie's’ mistake most people make that causes them to waste a ton of time: they take a bottom-up approach instead of a top-down view, and lose sight of the big picture. As a result, they end-up wasting time in distracting tasks that add little to their goals.

3. Schedule your tasks

Break down your high-level strategy into specific actions to take on a daily or weekly basis. Then schedule them!

Side note: make sure that your action-steps depend only on you. For example, if you wish to interview 10 potential clients every week, your task will be to email at least 20 people and ask them for a 20-minute call.Some may decline. Others may not respond. But emailing 20 people is under your sole control. 

Time to get off that hamster wheel and work smarter, not harder, just like my savvy little daughter!

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Elsa Razborsek is a biological engineer turned wellness consultant and entrepreneur. She is an expert at helping businesswomen stay healthy under stress through strategic self-care with a French touch. If you're interested in optimising your health and lifestyle to achieve more with less stress and greater joie de vivre, then definitely reach-out and request a free wellness assessment today.