SKILLS DEVELOPMENT / 24 July 2020Soft Skills: Why They are Harder Than You Think and How You Can Acquire Them
Did you know that you do not have to do more to get more? It is quite frustrating to wake up very early and sleep late every day, and yet, not accomplish your goals. If this has been happening to you, you might want to consider changing tact.
It is a common misconception that you have to work harder to be successful in life and business. However, it reaches a point where, when you work very hard, you are unable to work any harder. What will happen to your goals then? Will they just sit there unaccomplished?
What makes the difference between a successful business person and an unsuccessful one is not how hard, but how smart one works. While you might be tired of hearing the cliché, “work smarter, not harder,” implementing it can help you achieve your goals faster.
One of the major hindrances to working smart is poor time management. By managing your time well, you can order and approach your tasks with more efficiency. Here are some tips on how you can make slight changes to the way you handle responsibilities and grow your business without increasing your workload.
1. Do not be afraid to take breaks
Taking breaks helps you save time and energy. For instance, in the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, there is a story of a woodcutter who continues to cut wood even though his saw keeps getting blunt as time passes. According to the book, if the woodcutter took a break and used this time to sharpen his saw, he could finish his work in less time.
While your work might not involve any saws or blades, an unsharpened family, social, mental, and spiritual life could slow you down. Therefore, you should take some time off work to create time for yourself, your friends, and your family.
Whether at work or in school, you should include breaks in your schedule. Your brain can remain focused for about 90 minutes, after which you should take a break. Take 10-15 minutes breaks after every 90 minutes will not only leave you feeling relaxed, but also rejuvenate your attention span and help you accomplish more within a day.
2. Prioritize your goals
Do you have too many business goals that you ought to accomplish within a given time? Having too many goals can increase workplace stress and hinder performance, especially if you have to achieve them within the same timeframe. To avoid feeling overburdened put your goals in order of importance. Some of the easy ways to prioritize include:
Combining goals that are related. Will accomplishing one goal help you reach another goal? Combining related goals will help you kill two birds with one stone, which is a smart move that will save you time.
Moving up goals that will lead to missed opportunities and letting those that will not ruin any opportunities to wait.
Mixing short-term and long-term goals so as to get small victories that will motivate you to work for bigger victories
Moving affordable goals up the list since you can achieve them more easily than the expensive ones
3. Become a faster reader and a better writer
Reading your emails the first thing when you get in the office is a great practice. However, if you are a slow reader, you’ll find that reading emails can really slow your day down. Learning speed reading techniques such as chunking can drastically reduce the time you send on reading emails and free up time for other activities.
One of the things that can slow you down when reading emails are poorly written emails. According to this survey published on Harvard Business Review, bad writing affects a company’s productivity negatively. The survey found that 81% of business people feel that poorly written material waste their time. Such material is either poorly organized, too long, unclear, or filled with jargon.
The survey suggests that employees be trained to write in a clear, brief, and incisive way as lack of training could lead them to copy the bad writing habits that are in the organization, which further drains productivity. You should train your employees to write better. IHateWritingEssays.com can help you choose professional business or essay writing courses and services with ease.
4. Learn to multitask
Though multitasking proves to be quite demanding for most people, you can make it easier by combining a task that requires thought with one that does not. In doing so, you will get more work done by the end of the day, with less effort. For instance, you can reply to emails while eating lunch.
Multitasking can be included in more complex tasks within your organization. For instance, you can meet your co-workers to brainstorm ideas for an upcoming project over 10 o’clock tea. Combining demanding and less demanding tasks at work works as effectively as folding laundry while watching television back at home does.
5. Focus on the present day
A to-do-list serves as a master list of everything that one needs to get done, and it is essential that you always have one with you. However, seeing too many activities on that list can make you feel anxious and impede your ability to finish work on time.
To avoid feeling anxious about your workload, separate your today-list from your to-do-list. Basically, have the tasks on your to-do-list spread out evenly throughout the week. This way, you will be able to concentrate on what you are supposed to do today and not worry about tomorrow’s tasks. Ensure that, when deciding what to do every day, you prioritize high-level tasks.
To attain your personal and organizational goals, you have to learn how to work smart. Working smart requires less effort, and it helps to increase productivity and job satisfaction in the long-run. It also saves time, leaving more time for low priority task and allowing you to concentrate on your personal life. If you have been feeling overwhelmed by your workload, it is time you began working smart, which you can achieve with the tips discussed in this article. You can also check out Prosky for more tips on being productive!
Author’s Bio: Carol is very keen on teaching students new, effective ways of learning. When not freelancing and blogging on education-related matters, Carol enjoys traveling. She takes immense pleasure in visiting new countries.