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8 Reasons Why You Need To Work Smarter But Not Harder

8 Reasons Why You Need To Work Smarter But Not Harder

“Work harder! Work FASTER!!!”

Remember that commercial?

It featured an old man and an old woman, demanding that their employees produce more in less time. Sadly, this has to a large degree become the societal norm in many countries. People are expected to do more in less time with less resources‒and produce a better product on top of it all! Madness, you may think‒and you’d be absolutely right.

The key to greater productivity is to work smarter, not harder. Working smarter boosts productivity, creativity, and saves precious energy for the things that really matter, like your family. You should be working to live, not living to work. (In some areas of endeavor, as for professional writers, the work IS the passion, so this doesn’t really come into play. However, if you have a “real job,” I’m looking at you.) Here are 8 reasons you need to work smarter but not harder.

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1) Hard work is draining.

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    Hard work is mentally and physically exhausting. It draws off energy that you need to maintain things that really matter in your life, like your family relations and friendship. Instead of working yourself to exhaustion, figure out ways to delegate or save labor while achieving the same desired outcome. You’ll be happier and less stressed, which means you’ll be more productive overall.

    2) Working smart saves energy.

    Working smart means conserving energy. It doesn’t mean you can always NOT work hard, because some tasks demand a certain amount of physical toughness or endurance, such as changing out a transmission or pulling an all-nighter to get a project done. However, when possible, do your work in short bursts rather than in long, sustained pushes. Fifteen to twenty-minute intervals with a five-minute “pause” to plan where you’re going next with the project will give you more energy and produce a better end product than if you have to “slop it together” at the last minute.

    3) Working smarter increases productivity.

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      I know, I’ve already said this, but it’s really important to understand this point. Working smarter saves labor and costs by streamlining the process. Instead of following an “A-B-C” format, see where you can combine tasks together. Note: Sometimes multitasking is a bad idea. More on this in a few minutes. However, when and where possible, combining tasks that follow a similar format can save you time and energy, making you more productive without working yourself to exhaustion.

      4) Working hard saps motivation, confidence, and desire to continue.

      How many times have you worked at an intensely physical job and come home at night demoralized, exhausted, and too strung out to care about little Johnny setting the cat on fire? It’s not a good feeling, and this feeling begets feelings of inadequacy or of being just another cog in the machine. Finding ways to work smarter can counter this, fostering more positive feelings about your job, your coworkers, and yourself.

      5) Working smarter makes you more valuable.

      Every field of human effort is always looking for ways to get more done with less effort. Saving effort can also save money. Whether you’re a private entrepreneur or working for a huge multinational conglomerate, finding ways to save labor and effort by working smarter makes you a more valuable resources to your employer. This, in turn, makes you feel more confident, more inspired, and more willing to do whatever it takes whenever necessary.

      6) Working smarter requires creativity.

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        Many jobs do not value creativity. They want to see results, preferably arrived at by rote methods that are “tried and true.” Because of this, the “Evil Day Job” can be very frustrating, especially for people who thrive in a more creative environment. However, if you can apply creativity to achieve the same goal, you’re more likely to enjoy your job and wish to continue doing it. There are right ways and wrong ways to do everything, but in very few cases is there one absolute RIGHT way. Think about how you can use creativity to increase your performance!

        7) Working hard produces a lower-quality product.

        When you work hard, you end up with a product.

        The end. Period. Move along, folks, nothing more to see here.

        But how do you know the product you’re achieving is the absolute best it can be? The answer is, you don’t. Working smarter gives you more focus and a better ability to focus on the nuances and minutiae of the product. You get more time to sweat the small stuff that, when taken care of, creates a superior product. This, in turn, makes you more valuable and will make you enjoy your job more, because you know you’re producing to the absolute limit of your abilities.

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        8) Working smarter increases self-esteem.

        This should be obvious by now, but it bears spelling out. If you are working smarter than you are hard, creating a better product or end result with less effort, and applying all your faculties to solving the problems of a given task, you’re going to feel better and like you’ve accomplished more. There’s a very simple reason for this: YOU HAVE. This, in turn, will make you a more positive and productive individual who not only has more time and energy, but you will become someone your friends, family, and coworkers want to be around more, so they can learn from you. This leads to even more inspiration. Instead of a vicious cycle, you’ve created a positive one!

        How does working smarter help you? Please leave your answer in the comments!

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        Last Updated on August 20, 2019

        26 Useful Things to Learn Now That Will Change Your Life

        26 Useful Things to Learn Now That Will Change Your Life

        If you pay attention to your everyday life careful enough, you’ll know that you can learn from everything and everyone you come across. Our life is basically full of useful lessons that we should learn.

        Here are 26 useful things to learn that Abhishek A. Singh shared on Quora. Let’s see how these life theories would lead you to live a different life.

        1. Primacy and recency: People mostly remember the first and last things that occurred, barely the middle.

        When scheduling an interview, ask the employer the time slots they do interviews and try to be the first or the last.

        2. If you work in a bar or in customer service of any kind, put a mirror behind you at the counter.

        In this way, angry customers who approach you will have to see themselves in the mirror behind you and the chance of them behaving irrationally will be lowered significantly.

        3. Once you make a sales pitch, don’t say anything else.

        This works in sales, but it can also be applied in other ways.

        My previous boss was training me and just gave me pointers. I was working at a gym trying to sell memberships. He told me that once I got all the small talk out of the way and presented the prices, the first person to talk would lose.

        It didn’t seem like a big deal but it actually worked. Often there were long periods of awkward silence as the person tried to come up with some excuses, but usually they bought.

        4. If you ask someone a question and they only partially answer, just wait.

        If you stay silent and keep eye contact, they will usually continue to talk.

        5. Chew gum when you’re approaching a situation that would make you nervous, like public speaking or bungee jumping.

        When we eat, our brain tell ourselves, “I would not be eating if I were danger. So I’m not in danger.” This has helped me to stay calm.

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        6. People will always remember how you made them feel, not what you said.

        Also, most people like talking about themselves; so ask lots of questions about them.

        7. When you’re learning something new, teach it to a friend. Let them ask you questions about it.

        If you’re able to teach something well, you will be sure that you’ve understood it very well.

        8. If you get yourself to be really happy and excited to see other people, they will react the same to you.

        It doesn’t always happen the first time, but it will definitely happen the next time.

        9. The physical effects of stress — breathing rate and heart rate — are almost identical to the physical effects of courage.

        When you’re feeling stressed in any situations, immediately reframe it : Your body is getting ready to be courageous, you are NOT stressed.

        10. Pay attention to people’s feet.

        If you approach two people in the middle of a conversation, and they only turn their torsos and not their feet, they don’t want you to join in the conversation.

        Similarly, if you are in a conversation with a coworker who you think is paying attention to you and their torso is turned towards you but their feet are facing in another direction, they want the conversation to end.

        11. Confidence is more important than knowledge.

        Don’t be intimidated by anyone, everyone is playing a role and wearing a mask.

        12. If you pretend to be something for long enough, you will eventually become it.

        Fake it till you make it. Period.

        13. Not to be creepy, but if you want to stare at someone unashamedly, look directly past them and wait for them to try and meet your eyes.

        When they fail to do that, they’ll look around (usually nervously for a second) they won’t look at you again for some time. This is your chance to straight up stare at this person for at least 45 seconds.

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        And as suggested by Brian Stutzman:

        If you’re staring at someone and get caught, DON’T turn your head or your body to look away, because that just confirms that you were staring.

        Just move your EYEBALLS off the person. Unlike turning your head, it’s instantaneous. And the person will think you were just looking at something behind them and that they were mistaken for thinking you were staring. Do it confidently, and ignore any reaction from the person, and you can sell it every single time.

        After a second, you can even look back at them with a “Why are you staring at me?” look on your face to really cement the deal!

        14. Build a network.

        Become the information source, and let the information be yours. Even grabbing a beer with a former colleague once a year will keep you in the loop at the old office.

        Former coworkers might have gotten a new position in that office you always wanted to work in, great! Go to them for a beer, and ask about the office. It’s all about connections and information.

        15. If you are angry at the person in front of you driving like a grandmother…

        Pretend it is your grandmother, it will significantly reduce your road rage.

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          16. Stand up straight.

          No slouching, hands out of pockets, and head held up high. It’s not just a cliche — you literally feel better and people around you feel more confident in you.

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          17. Avoid saying “I think,” and “I believe” unless absolutely necessary.

          These are phrases that do not evoke confidence, and will literally do you no good.

          18. When feeling anxious, clean up your home or work space.

          You will feel happier and more accomplished than before.

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            19. Always buy the first pitcher or round of drinks.

            You’d be surprised how long you could drink on the phrase “I bought the first one.”

            20. Going into an interview… be interested in your interviewers.

            If you focus on learning about them, you’ll seem to be more interesting and dynamic. (Again, people love to talk about themselves.)

            21. Pay attention parents! Always give your kid a choice that makes them think they are in control.

            For instance, when I want my son to put his shoes on I will say ,”do you want to put your star wars shoes on or your shark shoes on?”

            Pro-tip: In some cases, this works on adults.

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              22. Your action affects your attitude more than your attitude affects your action.

              As my former teacher said “You can jump and dance FOR joy, but you can also jump and dance yourself joyful.”

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              23. When a group of people laugh, people will instinctively look at the person they feel closest to in that group.

              Notice who you look at and who look at you when you laugh with a group of people!

              24. If you want to build rapport or gain someone’s trust quickly, match their body posture and position.

              If someone is sitting with her legs crossed, cross your legs. If they’re leaning away from you, lean away from them. If they’re leaning towards you, lean towards them.

              Mirroring and matching body position is a subconscious way to tell if someone trusts you or is comfortable with you. If you’re sitting with your arms crossed and you notice someone else is sitting with her arms crossed, that is a good indicator that you have/are successfully built/building rapport with that person.

              25. The Benjamin Franklin Effect (suggested by Matt Miller)

              I find the basis of the Benjamin Franklin effect is very useful and extends far beyond pencil borrowing. This knowledge is useful in the world of flirting too.

              Asking a girl in your class if you can borrow a pencil or her notes or to explain the homework will make her more likely to like you than if you let her borrow your stuff or are the one to help her. Even just asking a girl to buy you drinks (facetiously) leaves a much bigger impression than offering to or actually buying a girl a drink.

              The best part is it kills 3 birds with one stone: you get the advantages of the favor itself, the person subconsciously likes you more, and it makes them more open to future favors and conversation.

              26. Handle panic and anxiety behaviors by tapping fingers (Suggested by Jade Barbee)

              When you’re feeling stressed, worried or angry, tap each finger tip while thinking (or speaking quietly) a few specific words about what is bothering you. Repeat the same words while tapping each of your 10 fingers, including thumbs.

              For example, tap while saying, “I’m so angry with her…” Doing so will likely take the charge out of the feeling and return you to a more resourceful (better feeling) state of being. It’s called EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) or “tapping,” and it is useful in many life situations – emotional sadness, physical pain, food cravings, traumatic memories…

              Featured photo credit: Nicole Wolf via unsplash.com

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