It’s no secret today’s world is fast-paced with multiple tasks competing for every business owner’s attention. But how can you ensure you leverage your efforts to the best effect – achieving the best results possible without wasting time and effort?

It’s all about working smarter, not harder, and in this Business Wisdom podcast we look at how that’s done, including:

  • How to ensure the work you are focussed on correlates with your business goals and plan
  • The best strategies to save time in business, without compromising on quality
  • The top tools for managing your time, along with how to establish boundaries in both your personal and professional life.

It starts with goals and priorities

If you’re looking to work smarter, not harder, it starts by knowing exactly WHAT you’re trying to achieve.

Set clear long-term goals that you then break down into smaller, manageable tasks and ensure these goals are SMART, as in specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.

It’s also about understanding your priorities. Use techniques like the Eisenhower matrix to prioritise tasks based on urgency and importance. Focus on tasks in the ‘urgent’ and ‘important’ categories to maximise your impact.

Time management tools

With time in short supply, it’s critical you manage this resource effectively. Use tools like to-do lists, calendars, and time blocking to allocate your time wisely. Take regular breaks to maintain productivity and avoid burnout.

Where possible and appropriate, tap into technology to automate routine tasks, such as email filtering, data entry, and appointment scheduling. This will free up your time for more strategic and creative work.

Technology can also enhance your productivity, keeping you on track and abreast of what needs to be done, and when. Tools that can assist include project management software, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, and collaboration tools. Choose wisely and use them to their full potential.

Meanwhile, consider whether the task is one that you actually need to be doing. Or could it be completed by someone else? Identify tasks that can be effectively outsourced to other members of your team and empower them to take ownership.

It also pays to consider the things that sap your productivity and distract you from the task at hand. Is it social media, an ever-growing email list that you feel compelled to check, or perhaps noisy co-workers?

Identify and minimise those distractions in your work environment. Create a dedicated workspace, use website blockers, and establish boundaries with colleagues and family members.

It’s a mindset

Working smarter, not harder is a mindset as well as a practice. Not only does it involve understanding exactly what to focus on, then finding the right tools to assist, and dedicating the required time to completing that task efficiently, it’s about ensuring you gain the work/life balance you deserve.

As part of this, incorporate mindfulness techniques, such as meditation and deep breathing exercises, into your daily routine to boost productivity, reduce stress, and enhance concentration and decision-making abilities.

Make a habit of incorporating short breaks into your workday, and make sure to take longer breaks, such as weekends and holidays, to recharge and maintain overall well-being.

Importantly, learn to say no when you need to, and this applies to both your personal and professional life.

Along the way, periodically review your work strategies and performance, reflect on what’s working well and what needs improvement, and be open to making adjustments and adapting your methods to better align with your goals and changing circumstances.

Working smarter, not harder is a strategic approach that allows you to achieve more with less effort. By incorporating the principles and strategies, you can take significant steps toward working smarter, and achieving your goals in shorter timeframes, with greater ease, and more satisfaction.


Resources Mentioned in the Podcast

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Talk Strategy with Clive

With more than 30 years’ experience in mentoring small to medium-sized businesses around Australia. Clive works with company owners and their teams to grow their business and achieve goals through strategic coaching.