Can we work smarter not harder?
People who dream big work harder than anyone who has lesser goals in life. In fact, some of us find it hard to stop working. Our lives revolve around something-something that is valuable to us.
But working too hard to the point that you don’t relax is not productive. Overworking can lead to unproductivity. That is, we become unable to function effectively if we don’t take a break.
Of course, we need to work hard to attain our goals. But too much of it is a bad thing. Actually, allowing yourself to be addicted to work is a trap. The only way to get out is to work smarter not harder.
Here are the tips to avoid the possible trap:
1. Take a break.
Taking a break is very important for both body and mind. If you force your brain to work non-stop, it will become unproductive. You’ll lose focus. This is because your brain can only remain the focus for 90 minutes. Beyond that, your brain’s capacity may deteriorate. This is the reason why you need a 15-20-minute rest. A short break is enough to revitalize your brain and regain its ability to focus.
2. Take a short nap.
If you feel so tired, just take a nap. Research has shown that a short nap boosts significant improvement in your cognitive functioning. Some of which is increased in creative thinking and memory performance. Taking a nap can help your brain store information better.
In addition, and probably the most important is that taking a nap can help you avoid burnout.
3. Spend some of your time with nature.
Living in an urban area makes your mind preoccupied. This is due to the countless stimuli you encounter every day. Those things that surround you demand your attention. As a result, your mind is restless.
On the other hand, rural areas are calm. These places are perfect for your mind to relax. With less amount of noise, you’ll be able to enjoy the silence. Serenity makes your mind more productive.
4. Track your time.
Tracking your time allows you to monitor how much time you already spent or need to finish the project. Researchers found that people who monitor their time were able to increase their level of productivity by 27 percent.
Tracking your time is one of the ways to spend your resources wisely. You don’t have to work extra hard every day. Work smarter not harder.
5. Write your goals.
Planning is everything. You need to write all your goals the night before. Research shows that when you write your plans, your behavior will just follow our plan. In fact, people who write their goals have a better chance to accomplish their goals compared to people who don’t make plans.
6. Cultivate happy feelings.
Happiness is one of the keys to productivity. A study found that happy people were more productive than those who are not happy. Dr. Eugenio Proto one of the researchers said that: “We have shown that happier subjects are more productive, the same pattern appears in four different experiments. This research will provide some guidance for management in all kinds of organizations. The goal, striving to make their workplaces emotionally healthy for their workforce.”
In addition, Sonja Lyubomirsky in her book The How of Happiness stated that: “In sum, across all the domains of life, happiness appears to have numerous positive by-products. Few of us have taken time to really understand. In becoming happier, we boost experiences of joy, contentment, love, pride, and awe. We also improve others aspects of our lives. Energy levels, our immune systems, our engagement with work and with other people, and our physical and mental health benefit.”
Some people may find it hard to stay happy. But it should not be your case. Happiness is not about having everything; it’s about having a healthy mind and body. If you want to improve your happiness, try meditation, daily exercise, and healthy eating. At work, you can be happy if you learn to work smarter not harder.
Organizing things can help you a lot to stay focus. The researchers at the Princeton University Neuroscience Institute found that too much clutter can distract the brain’s functioning. As a result, you may not be able to accomplish what you intend to do. Keeping your working place clean and organized will help you stay focus and undistracted.
8. Do not multitask.
To work smarter not harder involves focusing on one part of the task at a time. Why? Because your brain simply can’t handle multiple tasks simultaneously. “The brain cannot be in two places at once, so what people are referencing as multitasking is actually what neuroscientists call task switching and that means rapidly moving back and forth between different tasks,” said Devora Zack.
Multitasking does not only lowers the brain’s capacity, it also shrinks it. “When you overload your brain trying to get it to task switch, you shrink the grey matter in your brain,” she says.
This means that multitasking is simply unproductive. The more you work hard, the lower your productivity rate. Why not decide to work smarter not harder?
Understanding your strengths and how your body works will help you work effectively and efficiently.
I’m a licensed psychometrician, author, and blogger. I’m currently working as a University instructor teaching psychology. I love writing and doing psychological research.