We have an article today from lifestyle writer, Katleen Brown. We discuss lifestyle changes a lot here on Filmmaking Lifestyle and this article is all about how to maximize the efficiency of your life in order to get your best work done. This article is about working smarter.
Since time immemorial, people have always been encouraged to work hard. I am sure you regularly received this very crucial advice when growing up.
However, your parents, teachers, neighbors and whoever else said this, forgot the most important part: working hard is not enough. What matters is not how hard you work but rather how smart you work. Smart working will help you finish your assignments in time, seamlessly and without much pressure.
This goes for any kind of film/video project and any deadline you have to meet ― whether it be a visual project, something written, or anything else.
But how do you do that? Here are 10 Tips To Working Smart (In Your Life & Career):
1. Plan ahead
If there is a cliché that has stood the test of time, then it is “if you fail to plan, then you plan to fail”. It is because if you wake up without a plan, you will most probably jump from one activity to the next, and in the process waste lots of time and achieve nothing.
It is why you should always have a plan of work. This is doubly important for your film and video work.
2. Work from the most urgent to the least
It is normal for you to have 200,345 activities waiting for you to attend to them.
However, all of them cannot have the same urgency. It is in this regard that you should organize them in order of their importance. Start with the most urgent ones and finish with those that can wait.
3. Avoid distractions
As you work, it wouldn’t be very hard for someone to message you on Facebook, text you or even have, the worst of all, have a friend/co-worker stop by.
Now, this can affect your string of thought as you work. It is why you should set strict rules on pleasantries. You can always catch up on the latest gossip during the breaks. It does not, however, mean that you should be anti-social. Just make sure you reserve break time for these engagements.
Here’s a great infographic by the CU Times that shows the productivity issues in the US workplace:
Research has shown that the concentration span of an adult is about one and a half hours. It means that if you work for more than two hours nonstop, your efficiency will be significantly reduced.
This is why experts advise that you take 15 minute breaks once in a while. Recent lifestyle news has also attributed better work performance to attachment to God. Blake Kent, the lead author behind these findings, said that this was because religious people were more composed and had lower stress levels.
Now, if you’re not religious yourself, you can find this kind of serenity in resting, especially sleep. Sleeping will most definitely help you in working smarter.
Sometimes you may be overwhelmed with work. Now, if you have juniors, you can always get them to tackle some assignments on your behalf. The delegation will not only reduce your workload, but will also ensure that the work is done effectively.
Stop trying to be the hero and do everything.
6. Divide the work into parts
The secret behind better and faster working lies in the planning. If you divide your work into chunks, you will be under lesser pressure than the person who decides to work on the whole project all at once.
With reduced pressure, you will be able to work more effectively.
7. Don’t be too hard on yourself
Because you are human, it may be very easy for you to try to outdo yourself and ensure your work is done to perfection. What you are oblivious of when you do this is that the additional pressure can affect your efficiency.
You do not have to exceed you brain limits just to complete a deadline. Take a break when it calls for it.
8. Work with deadlines
The good thing with time limits is that they tell you how much time you have to finish a given assignment.
Again, research has shown that some people (notice some) tend to work better when they are placed under pressure.
Time limits will also make you focus and avoid any distractions. It will, in the long run, ensure you finish your work in good time.
Still in doubt? Here’s a great video by Brian Johnson explaining some of Steven Pressfield’s concepts about ‘doing the work.’
Now that we recognize that time is not infinite; it is important to come up with strategies that will help you stretch that time.
One way of doing so is by multitasking. This is where you do two tasks simultaneously. You can, for instance, use your recreation time to print documents or answer missed calls. This way you will manage to be on top of all your work.
10. Create routines
The human brain is easily tuned. That is to say that the brain will follow the kind of sequence you lay out for it. With a routine, it will be easier for you to slide into activities and avoid missing anything that comes up throughout your busy day.
Using software/apps (or devices around your home) to improve efficiency is a great way to create routines that work for you.
The measure of effectiveness is not in how many hours you work but how much you achieve. This is why you should follow the above tips that will help you work smart and not hard. Smart working will produce quality results fast and without wearing you out.
I hope you found this article helpful in giving you tips for working smarter, no matter what kind of work you do. As always, if you have thoughts or feedback, use the comment function below. We also appreciate you sharing this article using the share buttons below.
Katleen Brown is a health, beauty and fitness writer. She loves to publish her articles on various health related websites. In her spare time, likes to do research to bring awareness. Recognizing the unity of body, mind, and outlook, she helps empower women to tune into their innate & inner wisdom to transform their health and truly flourish. Get in touch with her on Google+, Pinterest and Twitter.