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Decrease your urgency and increase your efficiency: work smarter not harder.

Decrease your urgency and increase your efficiency: work smarter not harder.


Does this sound like something you have ever said to yourself or said to someone else?

In “Merica”, we are busy. We live in a culture that thrives upon the idea of hard work to get what you want in life, and while I certainly believe in hard work to get results in life, just putting your nose down the grindstone 24 hours per day is the last thing you want to do is you REALLY want to be successful.

We live in a corporate world of mandatory overtime, on call weekends, and 8 day work weeks, but how many of us actually do the amount of work that we are capable of during our work hours?

So many of us run around with a dire sense of urgency in our day to day lives that it can be exhausting and borderline impossible to take a step back and truly look at what we are doing and how we could be doing it better.



Take a step back to look at the bigger picture.

In a world dictated by manual labor and simple tasks, we often get incredibly fixated on the daily issues of maintenance in our lives. Take for example paying our monthly mortgage and bills, many times we become so fixated just on making our monthly payment, that we neglect to take the time to figure out how we could change our life to make it EASIER to pay the mortgage.

When we are incredibly busy, the last thing on our mind is usually taking a step back to consider, observe, and plan, but it is often the most effective thing we could really be doing with our time.

Not only is neglecting to look at the bigger picture a sure fire way to make mistakes and decrease efficiency, but it is also very likely to cause you to end up doing things that are completely unneeded or wasteful.

Say you are running late for work, because you stayed up all night working on finishing a school project, so you rush out the door in the morning to head to work only to realize you forgot to submit your project, so now you have to drive to campus to hand deliver your work to the professor making you even later for work than you would have been. Just a few minutes to calm yourself and think through everything you needed to do could have made all of the difference.



Too much urgency can cause mistakes, procrastination, and mismanaged actions.

What you should really do when you are feeling overwhelmed, and busy beyond what you feel you are capable of achieving, is ask yourself “What can I do to make this process easier or less demanding?”

Rather than forcing yourself to work 12 hour days to catch up on your work affairs, perhaps you could ad a short 5 hour workday on Saturday, hire an assistant, or cut lunch from 1.5 hours down to 45 minutes each day for a month.

We often think that the solution to life’s problems all lie with working harder, but many times choosing to work smarter is where the best solution can be found.

Next time you feel overwhelmed with business, try sitting down for 10 minutes and thinking through all of your current challenges and problems, and try to think of at least a few things you can do in order to make yourself more efficient or better able to handle your challenges.

When is the last time you thought about how to make your work better instead of just obsessing over how to get it all done?  Have any other productivity tips or comments for the other reader of our site?  Leave a comment below or leave us a comment on facebook and let us know what is on your mind.

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