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10 of the Best Ways to Work Smarter, Not Harder to Grow Your Business

The catchphrase work smarter, not harder is common with motivational speakers for a reason. I understand if you don't want anyone else using the catchphrase on you. No one ever expands on the narrative, like offering tips on how to work smarter, not harder.

What does it even mean to work smarter? Working smarter simply means using legal means to minimize your time and effort to achieve your objectives and tasks.

For example, managing your time better and using relevant automation are ways of working smarter. The idea is to improve your overall productivity and performance while maintaining a proper work-life balance.

Our motivation is different because we’re giving you ten tips to work smarter. Keep reading to find out how these ten will benefit your business.

Work Smarter, Not Harder

1. Define Your Goals and Priorities

Abraham Lincoln once said, "Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe." In this statement, Lincoln shows that planning is a key ingredient in working smart.

Developing SMART goals means you and your employees have a clear roadmap of the final expectations. From the overall plan, it becomes easier to plan your schedule.

The schedule helps you prioritize projects based on their importance and complexity. Also, you can prioritize the most pressing tasks so they don’t press you last minute. Moreover, it allows you to create a routine. A routine is essential to working smart because it reduces anxiety and stress. Great routines include healthy activities like jogging and meditation.

2. Employ Time-Management Techniques

Work Smarter, Not Harder

You will not achieve your SMART goals if you aren't managing your time right. Time determines how smart you work. You can't claim to be working smarter if you are always lagging on your schedule. Instead, you will work harder to meet your objectives.

Failing to manage time will also cause you to collide with clients when you miss their deadlines.

But there are time management techniques to help you work smarter. These techniques will help you simplify your workday and allow you to work more efficiently.

Some of the time management techniques you can adopt to improve your productivity include:

  • The Pomodoro technique – recommends focusing on a specific task for 25-30 minutes before taking a five-minute break and keep repeating the process. Once you have completed 100 minutes of doing this, you then take a longer break of about 15 minutes

  • The Eisenhower matrix - prioritizes your tasks based on their urgency and importance

  • The 80/20 rule – focuses on completing the 20% of your tasks that will generate 80% of your results

  • Time tracking

  • Working per the deadline for your tasks

  • Respecting your work schedule

3. Automate Your Workflows

Business automation is one of the secrets to working smarter. Automation is the cool kid of the 21st century. You don't have to acquire expensive tools. Most of the business automation tools you need to work smarter are either free or available at an affordable price.

Some of the benefits of automation include:

  • Automation reduces repetitive tasks that consume a lot of time and decreases your productivity and that of your employees.

  • Automating your workflows also improves efficiency in your business processes.

  • Automation allows you to work with remote teams instead of permanent employees, hence saving you the cost of hiring full-time employees.

  • Automated Platforms like Slack allow for seamless communications with your staff members for better project coordination.

  • Automated CRM tools like SuiteDash enable you to create and maintain long-term relationships with your customers the smart way.

  • Finally, automating your email and social media marketing is a smart way to generate leads and develop better relationships with your customers.

4. Learn to Delegate

Delegation is not a strong attribute among some small business owners. But it has to be one of your strongest traits if you want to work smarter. It would help if you learned to trust people to help you achieve your business objectives. Remember, every successful business person has done it with a team and so should you.

Delegation enables your business to continue running smoothly in your absence.

Hiring an online business manager is a good place to start in your delegation. These professionals will help you make decisions and run operations in your business. Their expertise also allows them to step up when needed and fill your position on occasions like when you are taking a vacation or on sick leave.

Another effective way to work smarter through delegation is by hiring virtual assistants to help you undertake various tasks in your business. The online manager will coordinate and ensure your remote employees achieve the agreed-upon objectives.

5. Quit Multitasking

Work Smarter, Not Harder

You know what they say about Jack of all trades. He is a master of none. That’s what happens when you decide to multitask all the time. The truth is that by multitasking, you’re only working harder and still achieving very little.

There is enough medical research to support the proposition that multitasking decreases productivity. Multitasking makes you lose focus and accomplish less because your cerebral cortex only pays attention to one thing at a time.

Therefore, trying to accomplish several tasks at once only strains your cortex, stresses you, and makes you feel tired. These eventually affect the quality of your work, and they may affect your relationship with clients negatively.

6. Take Breaks

Remember the Pomodoro time management technique we talked about? It emphasizes the need for taking defined breaks between your tasks. Taking breaks is one of the practical tips for working smarter. It guarantees rest times for your body, preventing you from getting stressed from your work.

The breaks you take should be the healthy kind. Your break time is not time to sneak into your phone screen. Instead, take advantage of the breaks to stretch, drink water, or have physical conversations with your employees. An afternoon nap is also not a bad idea for a work break.

7. Practice Self-Care

Work Smarter, Not Harder

Working smarter also entails taking care of your health because you need a healthy body to continue working in the future. You also to be around to enjoy your business success in the future.

A critical part of self-care is getting enough sleep. Make sure you sleep the recommended minimum of 7 hours every night.

Also, include time for exercise in your schedule. Create a morning or evening routine where you engage in physical activities, such as jogging or yoga, to avoid burnout.

And most importantly, you need to have time in your schedule to unplug. Go on a vacation and recharge your batteries while doing nothing business related.

8. Collaborate with Others

There are many ways to think about collaboration in terms of working smarter. But since we are talking about working smarter to grow your business, we will view it from a networking approach.

Michele Jennae once said, "Networking is not about just connecting people. It's about connecting people with people, people with ideas, and people with opportunities."

A smart entrepreneur knows that networking may take time, but the long-term rewards are worth it. For example, imagine not having to spend time researching a good business efficiency consultant because you have someone in your network who knows one.

Collaborating with other entrepreneurs, irrespective of their industry, can save you a lot of effort and costs in future projects.

9. Track Time and Review Productivity

The only way to ensure you work smart is by measuring your productivity levels. For example, tracking your time will help you determine whether you have completed more tasks quickly after automation.

Reviewing your productivity levels helps you identify areas to improve. It is also a means to motivate yourself to accomplish more by finding other ways to work smarter.

On the other hand, your remote employees will also use time-tracking apps because you will mostly pay them hourly. Therefore, you can measure the objectives achieved within the time tracked to determine their productivity levels.

10. Embrace a Growth Mindset

Work Smarter, Not Harder

Embracing a growth mindset means being strong enough to acknowledge that sometimes things don't always go as planned. How you handle disappointments influences your ability to work smart because challenges are the norm in every business.

A growth mindset is ideal for developing an excellent relationship with your team. Your ability to reward achievements and encourage critical thinking among your staff member is vital in boosting their productivity.

You will also lead by example by showing the belief that setbacks can be overcome and used as learning opportunities.

Start Working Smarter Today

It’s time to practice working smarter and not harder. Get in touch with our online business manager who’ll help you reduce your workload and achieve your objectives by handling your business operation processes.


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