17 Uncommon Ways To Work Smarter Instead Of Harder

Akash Sehrawat

5 min read | May 2, 2016

I wrote this answer on Quora first. 1https://www.quora.com/What-are-some-uncommon-ways-to-work-smarter-instead-of-harder/answer/Akash-Sehrawat-1

 

Here Are 17 Uncommon Ways To Work Smarter Instead Of Harder

 

1) Find Your Passion

 

Life becomes much easier in the long run. Sure, when you start out, there will be doubts! No one will believe in what you are doing, but you need to keep moving no matter how much criticism you face! All this doesn’t matter. What truly matters is the belief in yourself.

 

2) Passion Is Not Enough. Find A Purpose

 

Doing something which you are passionate about is good. But it is selfish. Nothing wrong with that. Now take a step forward and find a purpose. For example, I am passionate about building muscle and becoming healthier. Good. Purpose: My mission is to help a million skinny guys gain muscle and become healthy. Great!

 

3) Once You Find Your Passion And A Purpose, Profits Will Come

 

Baba Ramdev is passionate about yoga and Ayurveda. Purpose: He propagated Yog on TV through his books and DVD. And now, through his company’ Patanjali,’ he is providing natural ayurvedic products at reasonable prices!

 

Patanjali’s Predicted Revenues by March 2017= INR 10,000 Crores. Profits will come eventually. Just focus on helping a lot of people.

 

4) Create, Consume, And Communicate, In This Order

 

Create- Creating is the highest form of intelligence. Here are a few things you can create.

 

-A life that you want.

-Write a blog post on things that you are passionate about.

-Paint.

-Create a company.

-Create Products and Services that will make people’s life easier, and so on.

 

Consume- While you are reading this article, you are consuming. Reading fiction, non-fiction, watching TV etc., are all forms of consuming. Firstly, the majority of us consume too much, just too much. But librarians are not smart or rich!

 

The idea is to consume the right stuff. It is to consume something which will help you reach your goals. So consume biographies, consume awesome posts by great bloggers (like this one..haha..)

 

Secondly, we consume mostly entertainment and not educative stuff. We love watching cricket, our favorite comedy shows, and reality TV. These things provide immediate pleasure or gratification but don’t provide any long-term value. I am not asking you to cut out completely on entertainment; limit it to 10-20% of the things you consume.

 

Communicate- God has given us 2 ears and 1 mouth. He wants us to speak less and listen more. In this age of Whatsapp and Facebook, there is too much noise and mindless chatter going on! Just too many opinions about anyone and everyone! My advice is to talk less, listen more and do more:)

 

5) Do Something Important

 

Before venturing into Tesla, SpaceX’s Elon Musk knew his odds of success were very less. To this, one interviewer asked him why he still went ahead with it, and his answer was that it was important and the right thing to do.

 

6) Measure How Much Time You Waste Every Day, And Then Aim To Reduce It

 

Watching TV, gossiping over the phone, chilling with friends, late night outs, and spending excessive time on Facebook are all-time wasters and usually don’t provide any educative value.

 

The first step is to become aware of how much time you are actually wasting on these activities every day, every week. Then aim to reduce by 10%, then by 20%, and then move up to 50%.

 

Just imagine the awesome things you can do with these many hours saved, like spending more time with your family, starting a blog part-time alongside your job, devoting more time to your hobby and so on.

 

7) Walk And Burn

 

Do yourself a favor and buy a fitness band. And set the target to 10,000 steps daily. This will help you burn roughly 500 calories daily, which is equivalent to 3,500 calories in a week or 1 lb of fat loss a week, 4 lbs a month, or 48 lbs a year (21.8kg). But, of course, most of us don’t even need to lose this much in the first place!

 

8) Lift Heavy Weights

 

Weight training is concentrated work! However, working out just a few hours a week can provide you with immense benefits.

 

Related Article: 14 Awesome Benefits Of Weight Training

 

9) Wake Up Early

 

Sure some people do their best work between 11 pm to 3 am. I was one of them a long time back until I became a morning person. Then, I realized I am much more alert working early mornings. Usually, after an undisturbed night’s sleep, I can really focus and focus hard.

 

Whereas working at night was always erratic. Usually, something or the other used to come up, friends’ birthdays, family get-togethers, movies etc. Most people in this world are asleep from 5-7 am. So you can do your best work at this time.

 

10) Build A Routine That Works For You

 

Willpower is not enough. You plan 10 things the night before. You are all charged up and promise yourself that you will accomplish all the things on the list. What happens the next day? You snoozed, and as a result, you lost a few hours of your precious time. You start to feel guilty, and the whole day spirals downwards!

 

Don’t feel like writing, sit down, open your Mac and start typing. A rough draft is better than an empty page. Don’t feel like going to the gym. Stop thinking, wear your shoes and go. Once you are at the gym, you’ll be glad you came. Successful people build routines and not willpower.

 

11) Start A Stopwatch Before Every Task

 

Oh, this one really works! When I know the clock is ticking, I am way more focused.

 

12) Divide Your Day Into Small Chunks

 

I don’t enjoy F1 races much! But I have learned by watching that the team who wins is the team who takes timely strategic pit stops! In the long run, what really matters is that you have the right amount of fuel in the gas tank, your tires are not worn out too much etc.

 

The same can be applied to your work. I personally can focus intensely for 25-30 minutes. After which, my mind and my body ask for a break. Usually, when I am excited or with my team, I override this stress signal, make myself a cup of coffee, and keep working! Not a wise move!

 

After some time, my body starts to release stress hormones like cortisol, adrenaline etc. This makes me anxious and jittery! In order to work smarter, I can do to take a break after a period of intense work.

 

– The break should be no more than 5 to 10 minutes after 25 min of work.

– And 15 to 20 minutes is long enough if you work for 45 to 50 minutes.

– During the break, don’t check Facebook or chat with your friends.

– Instead, do these things: Go for a walk and take deep breaths simultaneously.

– Meditate

– Listen to great music

– Take a power nap

 

13) First Things First

 

Now, I am of the notion that if it has to happen, it has to happen first. You see, we have limited willpower. Roy Baumeister’s experiment proves this fact. If you complete all your important tasks before noon (exercise being at the top of the list), chances are very high that they will get done! 2https://www.pdfdrive.com/willpower-rediscovering-the-greatest-human-strength-e191502270.html

 

14) Do Less

 

Less is more. Less is productive. 20% of the things you do will give you 80% of the results. That 20% of things are hard to do. Usually, we try to avoid them! And choose to stay in our comfort zone. The majority of us are busy but not productive.

 

Related Article: Are You Really Being Productive Or Simply Wasting Your Time Being Busy?

 

15) Keep Asking This Important Question

 

Is this the best use of my time? If the answer is ‘No,’ then probably it is. Re-assess and strategize. Figure out what things you should be doing instead.

 

16) Plan Plan Plan

 

Abraham Lincoln said: If I had nine hours to chop a tree, I would sharpen my axe for 6 hours and cut the tree for 3 hours! Always plan the next day or the night before! This habit has helped me save tons of time! Plan every hour, every minute. It’s okay if things don’t go according to your plan. Just improvise as you go along:)

 

17) Reserve Sundays For Weekly Planning

 

Measure, and analyze progress. How can you improve on something that you don’t know? Keep a document detailing how you spend every hour of your day! I know it may seem like a big task initially, but over time, it builds into a solid habit. This way, you have a clear idea of where your time is going.

 

Every Sunday, you can take a look at the various things you have accomplished throughout the week. You can then work towards improving.

 

How do you work smarter instead of harder? Have anything you like to add? Let me know in the comments below!

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About Akash Sehrawat

Akash is a creator of 25+ programs and certificate courses in which more than 200,000 students have enrolled both on Udemy and Fabulous Body's native platform. Akash is also an author of three books that can be found on Amazon. His answers on Quora have gathered more than 12 million views in less than a year.

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