Although there is nothing wrong in working harder, sometimes people keep on working without tracking how much they are actually achieving. Working smarter means achieving more in less amount of time so that you can achieve much more in the time that you actually spend working, or for that matter doing anything.
For instance, if you are a writer these days it doesn’t make sense to use pen and paper or pencil and paper when you can use a word processor. You may have your own preferences and there is nothing wrong if you still want to use pen and paper but just imagine how much time you can save by simply copying and pasting big chunks of text without having to rewrite them and rearrange them. Besides, eventually you have to type it in. So you first write, make all the corrections and revisions manually and then when you are sure that your work is done, in order to delivery to the publisher, you either have to type it yourself, or get it typed. Again, it might just be a difference of opinion, but just imagine how much time and effort you can save by simply using a computer, laptop or even a tablet of decent size. Then you can focus on writing rather than the process and management.
Anyway, this was just to explain to you what it means to work smarter rather than harder. Working your ass off doesn’t really mean you are achieving a lot. Of course if you’re working in an assembly line production then you may achieve a lot by working harder, but if you are a creative person, if you use your intellectual power rather than physical power to deliver results, you need to change your work habits to enable your mind to work freely.
This blog post suggests 5 ways you can work smartly. It doesn’t give you tricks, it just tells you things like:
- Take regular breaks
- Take naps in between
- Spend some time in nature
- Don’t confine yourself just to a single workplace or workstation
- Check your email the first thing in the morning
Now, you may not agree with all what is said in the blog post, but some of these suggestions have been scientifically proven, for instance taking regular breaks actually helps. Your brain activity has a threshold level of normally, 60-90 minutes and after that you need a break of 20 minutes at least. Similarly, when you take naps, especially power naps, it rejuvenates your brain.