Working Smarter, Not Harder – Chester Handbooks

Working Smarter, Not Harder

Tips for more effective working

It’s easy to get bogged down in so many ‘urgent’ tasks so it’s important to prioritise and work effectively.

  1. Be committed to what you’re doing and remove yourself from any potential distractions.
  2. Outsource any work that you can afford to that could be taking up your valuable time.
  3. Schedule tasks throughout the day eg check your emails once in the morning and once in the late afternoon. The rest of the day you can immerse yourself in a set task instead of getting distracted.
  4. Adopt the one-touch policy. As soon as you touch that bit of paper, you deal with it. As soon as you open the gas bill, you pay it and file it straight away.
  5. Sit down with a plan of what you’re going to work on and stick to it.
  6. Time block activities – put timings in your calendar to set time aside to work on specific goals.
  7. Don’t multi-task – if you really want to accomplish something, dedicated 100% of your time and focus to that one activity.
  8. Have a dedicated place to work away from your relaxation space.
  9. Preparation is key – what can you do ahead of time to prepare yourself for what’s to come?
  10. Say ‘no’ more. Understand that saying ‘yes’ to something means that there’s a trade off in saying ‘no’ to something else.
  11. Cut down on social media use. A great idea – like with emails is to jump on once or twice a day and set a timer so that when it goes off, you come off.
  12. Shorten your deadlines! Parkinson’s Law says that whatever amount of time you give yourself to do something is the amount of time it will take to get it done. Set shorter deadlines to make different choices and get it done. Done is better than perfect!
  13. Review your goals regularly.
  14. Moderate your screen time. An app called OffScreen – Less Screen Time tracks how long you’re on your phone for. A great desktop tool (also available on mobile / browser) is – it helps you see where you’re losing time each day with in-depth reports and goals. 
  15. Get an accountability partner or a mastermind group – it keeps your goals in mind and you moving forward.
  16. Write a to-do list and prioritise.
  17. Incentivise yourself with rewards – give yourself something to look forward to for staying focused.