How to Work Smarter

How to Work Smarter

A New Year spells a new start for many people, at work as well as at home. And, if like me, you’re thinking of how you can manage your work/life balance better, then the phrase “work smarter, not harder” could be our inspiration.

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Of course, we all pride ourselves on working hard. But the old adage makes us think about the quality of time we put in at the office, rather than the amount of effort. After all, an hour of productive work is better than a stressful day spent procrastinating. It’s all about getting the results we want faster, concentrating more and performing better rather than burning the midnight oil. 

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Our work lives can be full of distractions, whether from our colleagues, clients, customers or from technology. For example, it’s wonderful that we are able to be in constant contact with people via email, instant messaging or Skype. We can keep up to date with what’s going on throughout the world thanks to Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and a thousand other social media and news websites. Technology means running a business is easier than ever before, with time zones and geographical borders no longer a hindrance. 

But technology can also be one of the biggest distractions too. Is it me, or does the technology which is meant to save time, often invade our time? I can be working on a project, such as writing this blog and then an email alert pops up on my screen and I’m whisked off to another task because the first few words of the alert interested me enough to make me click on it! I know, this is where I need to show some self-discipline!

I guess the reality of the situation is that no matter what advances in technology we surround ourselves with, time management needs some fundamental skills and a commitment from us to:

  • Be clear about what we want to achieve and what times scales we have to achieve it in
  • Define our boundaries or limits
  • Work through tasks in a progressive, structured manner
  • Use time management techniques we find useful – I am an avid user of a traditional to-do list and a ‘please do not disturb sign’ when I’m concentrating on a big project
  • Be committed to prioritise a task and to see it through to the end

We should never underestimate the importance of managing our time well.  The skills and attributes have a powerful impact not just on our working life and how stressed we feel, but also on personal and family life.

Do you find yourself distracted by technology?  Do you have any hints or tips for effective time management that work for you?

Julie Gordon is Managing Director of cHRysos HR Solutions, a Doncaster based HR training and consultancy company providing CIPD and CMI accredited qualifications, apprenticeships and HR Consultancy Services, nationwide and overseas. Contact Julie on or call +44 (0)1302 802128.

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cHRysos HR Solutions are a UK wide HR training and consultancy company offering CIPD accredited qualifications, Apprenticeships, Training and HR Services to SMEs. For more information about how cHRysos HR can help you or your teams successfully achieve further qualifications, contact us on or call 03300 562443.