Work Smarter, Not Harder

By Megan Morrow
Published August 27, 2019

The typical business employee sends and receives about 125 emails per day. Once one becomes distracted from the task at hand, it takes more than 23 minutes to get back on track. The costs of stressed-out employees are staggering. If any of this rings a bell, it might be time to focus on working smarter, rather than harder.

Very few people desire to work more hours or spend more time and energy on the job. If you find yourself laboring too much as Labor Day approaches, consider the following tips for working a little smarter:

  • Focus, focus, focus. Even if you have a mind-numbing number of things on your to-do list, when you use a laser focus, you can spend more time on the things that matter most. What tasks, decisions or appointments will make the greatest impact on your job? What will make a difference and what is just busy work? When you prioritize and focus on priorities, you will get more done—try to learn to let some of the little things go or delegate more.
  • Take advantage of tools. There is literally an app for just about everything today; fortunately, many of these are designed to enhance productivity and workplace success. From password managers for those who struggle to recall all of their passwords to team software that makes it easier for people to collaborate, technology can help you automate and work more intelligently. When used appropriately, technology increases both workplace satisfaction and productivity.
  • Exercise. The human body simply was not designed to sit still for eight or nine hours a day. Moreover, exercise can boost creativity, energy, focus and feel-good endorphins. Whether you take a class during lunch hour or simply make time for walking breaks or meetings, the minutes you spend working up a sweat will yield dividends for hours and years to come.
  • Attitude can lead to aptitude. When you think the glass is half-full, you focus on what you have accomplished, celebrate the big and small wins, and bring your best self to work. On the other hand, if you spend too much time dwelling on what you still have to do, how many difficulties you will encounter or the less-than-perfect circumstances, it is easy to feel overwhelmed by your work. Next time you need a break, take a deep breath and remind yourself of three things that are going well.
  • Simplify. You do not have to wear the same outfit every day, however, simplicity is often very smart. If you simplify your schedule, your systems and your communications, you will spend less time dealing with the unexpected and more time getting back to those things that make the greatest impact.

Whether on Labor Day or any other day, working smarter means creating efficiencies, simplifying tasks and focusing on the things that matter most.

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The material presented here is for information purposes only and is not to be considered an offer to buy or sell any security. This report was prepared from sources believed to be reliable but it is not guaranteed as to accuracy and it is not a complete summary of statement of all available data. Information and opinions are current up to the date of publication and are subject to change without notice. The purchase and sale of securities should be conducted on an individual basis considering the risk tolerance and investment objective of each investor and with the advice and counsel of a professional advisor. The opinions expressed by Ms. Morrow are strictly her own and do not necessarily reflect those of Herbert J. Sims & Co., Inc. or their affiliates. This is not a solicitation to buy or an offer to sell any particular investment. All investment involves risk and may result in a loss of principal. Investors should carefully consider their own circumstances before making any investment decision.

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