How To Work Smarter Not Harder

Individually and as a team, tech companies—or any company for that matter—can benefit hugely from working smarter. We’re seeing the shift toward automation of mundane tasks within large bureaucracies, of course, but individuals can also apply some best practices to work smarter and improve their performance.  

Learning to work smarter, not harder, can improve your productivity and performance while increasing your overall job satisfaction. It can also make you a valuable asset to the organization for which you work, increasing your job security. How can tech teams and individuals harness the power of working smarter to improve their work and their lives?

What Can You Do Right Now To Improve Your Productivity?

If you work in the tech field, the list of tasks you must accomplish daily is large.

The trick is to look at all your trouble tickets or other daily tasks not as a whole, but as segmented pieces that you can knock down brick by brick.

But where do you start? Consider the tasks with the highest impact on your job requirements. Concentrate on those “burning platforms” that your team, your boss, or your company consider mission critical. Go for the low-hanging fruit on your task list that will make the biggest impact and tackle them first each day.

Also, set boundaries for your work. This is especially important if you’re working from home. Knowing when to quit is just as important as knowing which tasks will impress your boss the most. There’s research that shows taking a break from your work for a set amount of time during the day can help you be more productive. There are lots of developers that spend 15+ hours a day on their computers because their idea of a break is to play video games into the wee hours of the morning. We’re suggesting that you unplug, go outside, and take a break from the digital space for increments throughout the day. You’ll come back with a sharper focus and knock down more tasks more quickly.

You can work smarter by segmenting your tasks into batches. Stop being so reactive. Instead of answering Slack, texts, and emails as they come in, set aside an hour each day to respond.

Do the same with meetings, by scheduling:  

  • A block of meeting times; 
  • Followed by a block of mental focus time for a heads-down project; 
  • And then a block to respond to respond to email and instant messaging.

It’s context switching that can slow your brain down. Think about it. There’s a reason developers put their headsets on to focus on their code. When your train of thought is interrupted, it takes time to get back into the same headspace. This slows you down and wears you out.

How Can Tech Teams Work Smarter?

If your organization is seeking a way to work smarter, consider a partnership with Prosum. We help our client’s work smarter by handling the sourcing, recruiting, and hiring of their IT talent. This frees up your HR team to work on brand building, candidate experience, and staff retention. Together, we help our clients achieve a smarter way to work that also reduces their time to hire. Ready to work smarter? Contact us today.

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