Smart Work Precedes Hard Work: Top 5 Tips for Increasing Efficiency

A famous proverb says, “Industry is the key to success.” However, working very hard, but without effective smartness, can move success even further. Sister Mary Lauretta says, “To be successful, the first thing to do is fall in love with your work.” By falling in love, you started feeling passionate and aroused towards your work, and thus you start making effective plans for better results. Therefore, the ability of planning, organizing and executing tasks smartly is a prerequisite for success. Following are top 5 tips for increasing efficiency in your work and getting closer to success:

1. Never multitask:

Though people usually refer to multitasking a lot, no such thing exists in reality. According to Devora Zack, multitasking is an illusion, as the human brain cannot be at two different places at the same time. So, what people refer to as “multitasking” is actually switching between tasks, while not completing any of them perfectly. Yes, sometimes we grow muscle memories, and those allow us to do two tasks at the same time, e.g., eating and watching TV. However, these are not really “multitasking,” as we cannot divide our concentration equally among two tasks. We either need to focus on eating, while almost forgetting what we’re watching; or we need to focus on watching TV, while accidentally eating a chili instead of a bean. Therefore, you should instead focus on one single task at once and do not move to another work until the job is finished. To get help with this, follow tip # 2.

2. Let Zeigarnik Effect Help you:

Zeigarnik effect refers to the theory which claims that people remember tasks that are left incomplete, instead of completed tasks. Therefore, if you start a job, your mind will continuously remind you of completing the work. So, instead of sitting and planning for a lot of time, just start a task and then make plans in between; as your brain will help you complete the task once you start it.

Let this tendency help you to work around psychological situations like writer’s block. When you can’t work, just start working, the brain will help you overcome the rest of the issues.

3. Sleep in Cycles:

It is mandatory to be in perfect awareness of your mind during your work; and without sleeping perfectly, it is impossible to do so. Researchers claim that our body sleeps in 90 minutes’ cycles on an average. Try to wake up after a complete 90 minutes’ cycle. This will make sure a refreshing condition of your mind and body every morning. So, instead of sleeping for 7 hours, sleep for 6 hours or 7 and a half; whichever is more suitable for you. However, the cycle varies a bit from person to person. So, find your sleeping cycle and try not to wake up in the middle of a cycle. There are several apps for helping you to find out your own sleep cycle.

4. Use Every Morning Most Efficiently:

Surveys and researches debate that human body is generally at the peak of its performance during the first few hours at work, as our body remains most energetic and enthusiastic in the morning. So, try to complete most crucial day tasks in the first couple of hours of your day. If there are different types of tasks that you have to do regularly, schedule the hardest or the most critical tasks for the morning. Though many companies schedule meetings in the mornings, try to avoid the practice. Morning is for being most productive, not for lengthy discussions. Never spend early morning hours in checking emails (unless that’s the most important task for your job), checking out Facebook or Twitter pages, replying to messengers, etc. unproductive/less-productive tasks.

5. Never Miss Your Breakfast:

Though we popularly tend to miss our breakfast mostly and eat a lot during our lunch, it is a very harmful practice, according to experts. Even if you’re getting late for office or an important meeting, do not miss your breakfast. Breakfasts make sure that you can work perfectly in the first few hours, and get the best out of yourself for your most productive works.

Therefore, though it is emphasized that you should “work hard in silence and let your success be the noise” for you, you should be following smart work techniques for becoming successful.

The Wisdom of Simplicity: Letting Go and Your Time

Simplicity is a value that we often neglect in our focus on getting things done.

Indeed, strategic letting go is a key time skill to cultivate.

But more often than not, our inclination is to try to do more. And if you think about it, most time management tools and tips have you aiming for amped-up efficiency and increased productivity.

These aren’t bad things, per se, but too often we pursue them at the expense of exploring what simplicity has to offer.

Does it feel like a risk?
Letting go can certainly feel like a scary thing when you first start thinking about it. Why?

Well, for many, control feels like safety. So, the more things we feel we have control of, the more secure we feel.

And yet that holding on actually creates a kind of clutter. If you aren’t letting go of anything, you quickly overwhelm yourself. And if you aren’t clear about your priorities, clutter is going to be a big issue in no time.

You’re actually letting go ALL the time, if you think about it. Consider your breathing. There’s nothing more basic than that. And each out-breath is a letting go. Without that fundamental letting go, you would die.

So letting go is pretty key to survival. It creates space for what comes next. And so long as we’re alive, there is always a next.

The Wisdom of Simplicity
So, here’s a quote about letting go from Lin Yutang that I just love. It speaks to the value, and the power, of winnowing out what’s not important.

Besides the noble art of getting things done,

there is a nobler art of leaving things undone. The wisdom

of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.

This isn’t a simple process. It involves attention and, quite often, the courage to let yourself feel a level of loss. After all, what you’re letting go of is likely something you did think was important at one time.

Acknowledging and honoring these losses deepens your process of letting go and allows you to be truly less encumbered as you move forward.

So, ask yourself…
What is not essential in your life today?

What task on your to-do list will you eliminate right now?

Your choice creates space for your heart-connected priorities. It paves the path to a new kind of freedom.

Are you ready to get started?

Let’s explore time together…

And to move toward your Heart-Based Time Success, sign up for our free gift, The Finding Time Success Kit, which includes “The New Finding Time Boundary Template: 9 Simple, Sequential Steps to Find More Time and Recharge Your Energy!” Using a workbook format this powerful and practical time template helps you progress beyond disappointment and frustration. Discover that 24 hours really are enough!

Giving Yourself the Time and Space You Need to Create

Are you creative?

If your knee-jerk answer is, “No!” please keep reading.

The unfortunate myth is that being creative is some kind of mysterious gift bestowed on a few special people. Something you either have or don’t.

That is simply false. But unfortunately, it’s a falsehood that cuts you off from mountains of possibility. Not only that, it’s a myth that deprives the world of untold beauty and innovation.

Being creative isn’t magic…
The fact is that creativity is more a matter of persistence and passion than of powers springing from a magical muse. Creativity has to do with commitment and with opening to the possibilities in each moment.

As well, it has to do with being able to wait in that spirit of openness, letting things percolate and remain unfinished, as they evolve.

The waiting can be difficult. In part, that’s because it so often feels aimless and unproductive. That’s something that we, in our fast-paced, outcomes-oriented world, find hard to tolerate.

So, how do you manage this ambiguity that is inherent in the creative process… while at the same time moving ahead with your daily responsibilities and tasks? How do you maintain your hold on the creative thread over time?

Boxes and Elegant Simplicity
Paul Harrill, on his blog Self Reliant Film, wrote some years ago about dancer/choreographer Twyla Tharp’s creative process in a post titled Twyla Tharp: Getting Things Done (with Boxes).

What is most striking to me about her process is its elegant simplicity. You can read about it in more detail in the post cited above. For now, here’s a taste of what I mean:

Everyone has his or her own organizational system. Mine is a box, the kind you can buy at Office Depot for transferring files.

I start every dance with a box. I write the project name on the box, and as the piece progresses I fill it up with every item that went into the making of the dance. This means notebooks, news clippings, CDs, videotapes of me working alone in my studio, videos of the dancers rehearsing, books and photographs and pieces of art that may have inspired me.

The box documents active research on every project…

There are separate boxes for everything I’ve ever done. If you want a glimpse into how I think and work, you could do worse than to start with my boxes.

The box makes me feel organized, that I have my act together even when I don’t know where I’m going yet.

It also represents a commitment. The simple act of writing a project name on the box means I’ve started work.

The creative thread…
The moment that you label a box with a project name, you are picking up the creative thread. So, whether it’s a literal cardboard box, a metaphoric, or a virtual box, once you pick up the thread and commit to following it, you are putting yourself in a position to be creative.

The time that you give to this process will vary. You’ll find your own rhythms. The key is to have a system for retaining your ideas and intuitions and for honoring them with your attention. It’s important to be able to “put” your ideas somewhere, let them go, and pick them up again. This way you let go of the worry that they will be lost or forgotten.

Twyla’s Box is an elegantly simple solution to the process of holding and letting go that is so fundamental to creativity.

Try it in small things first, and see what happens. Opening to possibility while welcoming mystery and ambiguity, work to keep hold of the thread and nurture what emerges as your process unfolds.

How does this work for you?

Let’s explore time together…

And to move toward your Heart-Based Time Success, sign up for our free gift, The Finding Time Success Kit, which includes “The New Finding Time Boundary Template: 9 Simple, Sequential Steps to Find More Time and Recharge Your Energy!” Using a workbook format this powerful and practical time template helps you progress beyond disappointment and frustration. Discover that 24 hours really are enough!