Today we are going to summarize a very amazing book, whose name is Work Smarter
Not Harder. It is a quick read that identifies different ways to improve your working day. Tips range from learning new valuable computer skills to understanding your own working patterns and rhythm. An easy to read guide that help anyone increase their Productivity. This summary is ideal for anyone looking for some quick tips on how to improve their Productivity. Productivity is all about getting more done in less time, It’s about being smart about how you work and you don’t necessarily have to work any harder.
In this summary, we discuss 12 such ways by which you can improve your working day. Maybe after today you don’t have to work as hard to get success. Perhaps from today onwards, most of the work can be done through smart work.
Start Your Day Right
To have a solid foundation for personal Productivity, the following blocks must be in place :-
Proper mindset, Physical activity, optimum nutrition, and Enough sleep.
The very first tip Author puts forward is learning to wake up earlier. This adds more hours to your day, increasing your flexibility and providing a better and more productive start to the day. Although it sounds confronting, the idea of waking up earlier, but here is a simple process for implementing the change. Simply wake up 15 minutes earlier everyday for 3-4 days in a row. Get used to this new time and feel free to make a further adjustment. Once the new routine has been established your new schedule will be open for you. Use this time to meditate, exercise or read.
Find Your Own Working Style
Nobody can focus all day every day, so try out a few different routines and techniques to see what works for you. Here are a few suggestions :-
The pomodoro technique
Break your working day into 25 minute chunks with 5 minutes in between each new session. When 4×25 minute cycle have been completed, take a lengthier 15-30 minute break.
90 minute intervals
Many people believe that our body work in a 90-minute cycle. Focus for a 90-minute period of time, then follow their up with a 20-minute break and repeat throughout the day.
Just as it sounds, work for 52 minutes, then take a 17-minute break. Repeat.
The top 3 distractions that you experience during any working day :-
Communication tools such as social media and emails have a time and a place, but when you are trying to focus and you need to set some rules. For example :- allow yourself to check emails only two times a day and for no longer than 20 minutes.
People are another distraction, and they can be colleagues around the office or even family at home. A few options are changing your location, of you are constantly interrupted at home, try a cafe or shared working space. And if you work in an office try out some noise cancelling headphones and request that people don’t disturb you.
Finally the Internal distractions, sometimes the hardest to conquer. A distraction mind is usually the result of a lack of food or sleep or a lack of breaks. Ensure that you are well rested, consistent breaks throughout the day.
Plan And Drink Up
Always plan your day at least one day in advance. Set aside time day before to write down exactly what you plan to do the next day. This means that when you arrive tomorrow, you already know exactly what to get started on.
Writing things down also eliminates having to rely on your memory. Another crucial element to your working day is drinking enough water. Drinking water actually has multiple benefits on your Productivity output. A university in London studied the effects of drinking water on the brain and conducted that being hydrated will improve your brains performance by 14%.
Understand the importance of identifying which task is the most important and taking the first thing in the day. If you don’t know whether a task is more important than another, consider the long term and short term effects of completing the task, and not completing. If tasks are going to have a significant effect on your future, then these one the ones that you should prioritize. Although the results not be evident immediately, they are worth getting on to sooner rather than later. The term ‘frogs’ to refer to the tasks you really don’t want to do, the ones you procrastinate and avoid doing as much as possible. These are the tasks that you actually need to do immediately. You are often putting your ‘frogs’ off due to fear. Rather than giving yourself the time to fret about it, get it done and out of the way. You will be relieved and able to move onto the next task promptly.
Meetings fond to drag on longer than necessary and often you find yourself going around in circles. Ask the following questions before you commit to another meeting :-
• Do you need to be there ?
• Is there any way you can attend virtually ?
• Is this meeting even necessary ?
• Is it possible to set a time limit on the meeting ?
• Does this meeting have an agenda ?
• Can you check that any technology required in the meeting is plugged in and functional before you start ?
Batch all tasks that are similar in nature together. For example don’t check your emails whenever you get a notifications. Leave them and few times throughout the day you can commit to reading and replying to email. Checking no more than 3 times a day early morning, mid day and before you leave the office. Use this approach for other tasks such as phone calls. A few other email tips from are :-
• Don’t check your emails as soon as you arrive, get stuck into the most important task then you can check a bit later.
• Close your emails when you are not using them.
• Turn off the notifications for emails.
• Add an auto-reply to your email explaining that you only check your emails 2-3 times per day and not to expect an immediate reply.
Delegation is extremely important in the workplace. When done correctly it will level the work load and ensure that you have the appropriate amount of time to focus on the relevant tasks. When it comes to delegating is to ensure that you always provide enough detail and instructions when assigning a task someone else. You want to eliminate any opportunity for mistakes to be made. The best way to do this is to actually follow the steps and instructions yourself to ensure that they are clear. Another thing to note is that you should always provide a deadline, this means that whoever is completing the task is aware of their time constraints.
Always have a follow up task of your own. So you can check in and make sure everything is going to plan.
Take Energizing Breaks
Rather than spending your break staring at the some computer screen, try and use your break in a way that energize and refreshes you. Breaks are an effective way to increase your productivity. Make a cup of tea or a healthy snack, getting outside for some fresh air and a walk around the block or taking sometime to chat with a colleague about something non-work related.
We all know what a checklist is, but Author explains that there are actually two different types of checklists. It’s important to identify which method you with be using before you write your list in order for it to be as effective as possible.
This one is just like a recipe. You read an action the list, and then you proceed to complete the action before you move on to the next.
It requires doing a task from memory, and eventually checking in on your list to ensure that you did it correctly. Key tip is to keep your list up to date and amend it if needed. Check in as regularly as possible.
Taking a holiday is something we all look forward to, but the idea of returning to work is usually dreaded. To avoid it take a virtual snapshot of whatever you are working on just before you leave. This means, that when you come back and you be able to easily start from where you left off. This will normalize your routine completing.
Controlling Your Work
You should only focus on one thing at a time. When faced with a large overwhelming task, break it down into little actionable steps. Then you can focus on tasks one by one and know that you are working towards the end goal. Ensure that all of your tasks have an execution plan and when you are focusing on them, avoid all distractions. Understand the importance of saying no when necessary. Sometimes, you have too much on & agreeing to more isn’t going to help you ( or anyone else ) get anything done quicker. If someone asks you to do something, and you already have a lot on your plate, explain to them the circumstances and give them a time frame that they can expect the work completed in. This way their expectations are managed and you aren’t overwhelmed. It’s best to be pessimistic about your time, therefore, if you finish early, then great you can get on with something else. But if you are too optimistic and you are only going to end up stressed and behind.
Therefore getting up earlier in the morning and start the day off right. Figure out the best way for you to schedule your day with regular sessions and mini break intervals. Use your breaks to your advantage by getting some fresh air or a healthy snack. This will refresh and re-energise you. Learn how to avoid distractions, only check emails 2-3 times per day and turn off notifications.
Apart from these you should :-
• Batch similar tasks together.
• Manage your tasks by identifying the most important ones and tackling those first.
• Consider whether a meeting is a good use of everyone’s time before committing.
• Learn how to control your work by breaking down tasks into actionable steps and don’t over commit.
We hope, by following all these habits, you will be able to achieve great heights in your life.
You can order this book, and read the same in details.
Link to buy :- Click here to buy