How to Work Smart?

Most of the time when we don’t get the desired results inspite of working for more than 18–20 hours in a day then your friends and well wishers start advising like “Don’t do hardwork, do smartwork”.

What does it mean? Are they advising you not to spend too much of time? Many people misinterpret that smart work means working less. I would like to differentiate what makes smart work with clear check list on various stages

When each action is being performed

Smart work always applies to each and every action in individual

Use right knowledge, tool and process to perform each action

Set expected result before performing an action

Always work with time-bound for each action. Even if you take more time on first time, you would eventually optimise over period of time

Give utmost focus to one action at a time. Multi tasking won’t help you increase your productivity and distract you and others due to which result won’t be effective

When switching between actions

Measure time taken to switch between actions. When someone says I work hard and I don’t get result, they should seriously see how much time they take here.The more you manage switching time then you can do lot more actions in a day.

Don’t stay on the result (success) of the previous action as this might delay to start next action

Take planned break to avoid mental tiredness so that you don’t take more time in switching

Don’t get blocked to start next action because of resources are not available. Plan for alternative action (Action B in place of A).

When planning for Actions

Make a plan of action for each day. If possible create this plan a day before or start of the day.

Give first priority to high impact actions. It’s very difficult to identify high impact at the early stage but becomes practice over period of time

Plan some of your actions based on time availability. Let’s say you have gone to meet your client and you are waiting for long time. Utilise these time based on few actions you have planned for those slots.

Deep linking of all actions with goals would help moving in a strategic direction so that your actions are focussed and channelized. Try to spend 80% of the time working on actions related to goals and remaining 20% on others.

To summarize, smartwork is not result of just one action, it’s all about how you plan, execute, and measure all your actions on daily basis and how its linked with your goals.