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Six Tips to Working Smarter

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Make a plan
Planning ahead is crucial to ramping up your productivity. Between juggling multiple projects and running from meeting to meeting, you’re busy. Plan ahead by adding your assignments and their deadlines to your calendar as soon as you get them. You’ll now have an at-a-glance view of where you stand—and so will your boss.

Check off small goals
This may seem counterintuitive. However, accomplishing tiny wins—even a few returned phone calls—will give you a feeling of accomplishment. And that will spur you to focus on more crucial tasks. In line with this strategy, try starting the day by tackling something you’d rather not work on. Get it done and feel the relief wash over you!

De-clutter
Clutter has a way of making us feel out of control, even when we know exactly where to find everything on our desks. So clean your desk at the end of each day, and stack important papers to one side. Going forward, you’ll be amazed at how much calmer you’ll feel and how much more you’ll get done.

Schedule regular meetings with your boss
You can meet at the start/end of each day, or even at the start/end of each week. You can meet face-to-face, via Skype, or on the phone. Your meeting can run 10 minutes, or as long as necessary. Use this time to make sure you’re both aware of and agree on priorities. (Don’t forget to refer to your at-a-glance plan!)

Find daily blocks of quiet time
Research reveals that in just one hour with no interruptions, most of us can accomplish tasks that would normally take up to four times as long with distractions. So close your door (if you have one). Make a certain period of time off limits each day. And politely inform colleagues that you’re too busy to chat.

Work faster—literally
If you have a 2 p.m. deadline for an assignment, pretend it’s due at 11 a.m. Do this with as many projects as you can. It might be hard to push yourself at first, but as the Nike ad says, “Just do it.” You’ll be amazed at how much more you’ll accomplish in a shorter amount of time!

 

 

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