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4 Strategies for Working Smarter

JW Way Fundamental #14: Work Smart
“Be organized and plan work for maximium efficiency. Have tools necessary before starting your work. Be thoughtful about your schedule and have a game plan for calls, taks, the workday. Establish priorities and work on them first.”  

When researching about this topic, there were four areas that the experts suggested to focus on when wanting to work smarter. 

Communicate and Understand both Tasks and Processes

I used to be afraid to ask questions when given a task.  I would work on the task to the best of my ability and then, inevitably, I would need to do it again because I did not have full understanding of what needed to be done and why.  Ask questions.  Understand both the what and the why. 

Efficient and Effective

Recently I told my son how efficient I was.  He asked me an interesting question “But, are you effective?”  This was something I had not considered.  While someone could be efficient, they could be ineffective! Working smarter not only involves working efficiently, but also requires working effectively.  Efficiency is defined as minimizing waste, time or effort.  An efficient speaker says what needs to be said and nothing more.   Effective is defined as producing a result.  An effective speaker is convincing, relatable and persuasive.  Combining the aspects of being both effective and efficient not only accomplishes task with minimal time but also maximizes the possibility of producing the best result. 

Organize and Prioritize

Develop a daily task list and keep it realistic. Nothing feels better than being able to cross off a completed task and move to your done list.   If you can’t complete a task that day, move it to the next day and try to complete first thing in your day while motivation and energy are high.  If you constantly have 2-5 unfinished tasks daily, you may become discouraged, so reduce the number of tasks on your daily list.  You can always add tasks if you complete your list for that day. 

Be Proactive Not Reactive

Develop an attitude that not only embraces efficiency, effectiveness, prioritizing, and organizing but also is proactive.  Generally, it takes less time to complete a task if you are being proactive. If you are only reacting, then it may take time to determine a cause before you can begin implementing the solution. Frustration – and errors – may increase if you feel like you are consistently fighting fires rather than being able to invest thoughtful time into a project or task. Being proactive adds value and reduces stress. 

About the Author:  Nancy Long is the accounts receivable manager at Jaburg Wilk.  She has experience with efficiency projects in both the medical and legal industries. 

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