Don’t Work Harder, Work Smarter!

July 4, 2017 2 mins read
Don’t Work Harder, Work Smarter!

The key to success doesn't lie in working hard, but rather in working efficiently.

Maintaining a high level of efficiency at work doesn't just mean managing your time well—it's also a matter of managing your energy.

If you want to increase your productivity, these are the things you must avoid as much as possible:

1) Working overtime

Not working overtime will do wonders for your ability to work efficiently. Scientific reports reveal that if you lose an hour of sleep every night for a whole week, the effect on your cognitive ability will be the equivalent of having a blood alcohol content of 0.10. Being tired reduces your capacity for taking the initiative and working proactively.

2) Being a "yes man"

Be selective when accepting work from others. According to the 80-20 rule, 20% of your efforts produce 80% of the results, whereas 20% of the results will consume 80% of your time. Therefore, we need to stop saying "yes" to inefficient tasks.

3) Doing everything by yourself

Assessing the resources around you and delegating the workload can help you manage urgent tasks.

4) Being a perfectionist

Spending too much time on one particular task in the pursuit of perfection may be detrimental to the quality of the overall project. Putting all of your eggs in one basket is high-risk behaviour.

5) Wasting your energy on repetitive tasks.

You can increase your efficiency by using new productivity tools in order to simplify repetitive daily tasks.

6) Being overly speculative

Instead of speculating, use actual results and statistics as the basis for your decisions. A lot of people will spend a vast amount of their time speculating about the potential consequences of a decision or imagining how it could go wrong. However, they often find that, once they start putting the decision into practice, it isn't nearly as difficult as they first thought.

To thrive within a highly competitive working environment and enjoy our happiness we must grow to understand our own limits as well as our potential. This is the vital first step towards managing and using our energy effectively.

Marlon Mai's picture
Managing Director, Greater China
mmai@morganmckinley.com