4 Ways to Work Smarter, Not Harder

I'm all about efficiency - in my opinion, it's always better to do 5 hours worth of work in an hour than do an hour's worth of work in 5. I think most people would agree with me but oftentimes this is easier to say than it is to do. So today I want to share a few of my tips to get things done efficiently:

  • Focus on one thing at a time: I tend to be a bit scatterbrained when I'm stressed and try to take on too many tasks at once because I'm feeling pressured. In the wise words of Ron Swanson (a la Parks and Recreation), "Never half-ass two things. Whole ass one thing." It's better for my sanity to try and remain calm and finish one task all the way through before starting another. Eventually, things get done much faster and thoroughly when you only do one thing at a time. 
  • Eliminate distractions: This is a bit of a no-brainer but it's easy to forget to get to a place you know you're going to be able to concentrate. I usually have to put my phone away and turn off music in order to concentrate and really get things done as well. 
  • Check your email first thing: I find that when I check my emails as soon as I get into work, it helps me figure out if I"m on the same page as everyone else in the office. It also helps me to plan my day and to-do lists accordingly. Just make sure you don't get too caught up in emails that you forget to get other things done.
  • Make realistic short-term goals: Too often, I make unattainable goals for myself and get disappointed when I don't reach them. In order to combat this problem, I had to shorten my to-do lists from a ridiculously long list (that includes finishing a project that normally takes two weeks in a day) to more reachable objectives. 
What are some of your tips on getting things done?


  1. I'm the worst with the first one-- just in general. I constantly start multiple things at once, and while I always finish everything, I know I would save myself a lot of time if I just focused on one thing at a time!

  2. I use Ron Swanson's quote almost weekly with coworker's. I find its more important to do the job right the first time than have to redo the task because your attentions were divided. Additionally I love my to do lists too! I have multiple and a strategy map in my phone to make sure all the complex projects I am working on stay organized and on task. I kind of feel like we're in the golden age of list making.


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