Mashable author Jenni Ryall suggests that there are “5 simple steps to work smarter, not harder” that should simplify your work life immensely. She suggests that we plan, outsource, automate, avoid meetings, and use downtime to accomplish smaller tasks. While all these things are necessary for determining only what tasks absolutely require your attention, the article lacks any mention of how to actually work smarter.
Planning your work is only half the battle, and at times it’s far more difficult to have the determination to plow through an overwhelming task list than it is to simply create that list in the first place. So how do you actually increase efficiency by working smarter? There are plenty of exhaustive answers to that question, but a good place to start is with time management techniques such as the Pomodoro Technique. The technique teaches you to break up your work into 25 minute chunks, provide more accurate estimates for how long particular objectives will take you, and also increase efficiency by avoiding external distractions during your 25 minute intervals. Planning is only half the battle, working smarter is a process of continual improvement over the course of a career.