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Work Smarter Not Harder: Using Strategy to Improve your Business

By Ellen Samiec |

Do you find yourself working another 14-hour day and having nothing left to give, yet not satisfied with what you've accomplished? You've been so busy doing "what has to be done" that you don't even have the time or energy to think about what you really want to do. If you can't work any harder, then you need to think about working smarter. Your health and happiness depends on it.

Working smarter means focusing on what's truly important to get the results you want. By working smarter, you choose where to direct your time and energy for greater impact. You will accomplish more and have a greater sense of satisfaction with your life plus have more time to enjoy it all.

The first step to working smarter is to take time to determine what you truly want. It takes time to make time. If you don't do it now, your life will continue on the way it is now. Consider this an investment in yourself and your life. You already know that there's always enough to do to fill time.

The road to success is paved with hard work, but so is every other road. So shorten the road. If you are working a 10-to 14-hour day, take the first or last hour off for yourself. Make the commitment to yourself and do it .

Once you have carved out a daily piece of time, give some thought to what you want in your life. Make sure the road you are on is headed to where you want to go. This means taking a step back from your daily activities to develop and maintain a better perspective.

Imagine "The Big Picture". What would your ideal life be like? Visualize it. What are the important values that matter to you, that make this ideal life a compelling image? Is it financial compensation, constant challenge, recognition, fulfilling relationships? Knowing what your values and goals are will help you determine what is going to give you the greatest satisfaction and will help you set your priorities in these areas. Now write these goals down. What would your life look like if you had this? What is the first step you can take towards it?

Another key to working smarter is work from your strengths. Focus on your talents, what you are really good at and what you love doing. These special abilities will get you the results you want with less time and energy expended. Typically people spend less than 40% of their time doing what they really enjoy. How much time are you spending on enjoying and developing your strengths? Do you leverage your time to do what you're good at and what you enjoy? If you are not happy with the answers to these questions, it's time to make some changes.

If you can do it all, you are probably doing too much. Ask yourself: What is complicating my life? What is draining my energy? What do I need to eliminate? What takes up too much time? Ask yourself, "does this task really need to be done?" If the answer is no, then the problem is solved. If the answer is yes, who else can do it? Can you delegate it to your staff, hire and assistant or hire an outside service that will do the job?

Make time to set your priorities, work from your strengths and get rid of the rest. Focus on what's important to you and enjoy doing it! You'll get where you want to go faster!

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