No matter your job, it is wise to work smarter, not harder. This is a common saying, but it can be easier said than done. Learning about various techniques to boost your productivity can be what you need to work smarter.
Work Smarter With a Checklist
Some people find that even something as simple as creating a checklist can boost their productivity. For this method, take your normal tasks and turn each into a checklist based on each step you have to complete. This prevents you from forgetting any part of a task. It also gives you a sense of accomplishment as you finish each step. That, in turn, can lead to motivation.
Work Smarter With the Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro technique is among the most popular productivity tips to work smarter, not harder. Francesco Cirillo developed it during the late 20th century. This technique essentially gives you set times for distractions.
With this technique, you set a timer to go off in 25 minutes. You then work for those 25 minutes straight without distractions or interruptions. After the 25 minutes, take a break for three to five minutes. Repeat this three more times. After four Pomodoro cycles, so about two hours of work, take a break for 15 to 30 minutes.
Consider Adjusting the Pomodoro Technique
While the Pomodoro technique is great, it doesn’t work as-is for everyone. You may want to experiment with longer work blocks and correspondingly longer breaks. Or you could make it a point to switch tasks after each time block or every few time blocks to give your brain an extra break from the current task.
Work Smarter With Time Boxing
With timeboxing, you set up “boxes” of time for specific tasks. It helps you by holding you accountable and giving you smaller deadlines. To put this technique to the test, make a list of everything you need to complete. Then, create a schedule with time blocks of whatever interval makes sense for you. Assign each task to one or more time blocks depending on how long it will take.
During each time block, ignore distractions and other tasks. Just focus on the one you scheduled for that time. You can take this tip to the next level by also setting timers or alarms for the end of each time block. That way, you won’t accidentally go over your time block.
Work Smarter With the Top 3 Rule
This technique is good for people who struggle with interruptions from other tasks that come up. With this method, you start the day by deciding which three tasks are the most important. Then, you focus on completing these tasks. As you do, ignore any other little tasks that come up until you finish the “top 3.”