11 ways to work smarter and boost productivity at work


The phrase "work smarter, not harder" is often thrown around, but its true meaning and application may seem elusive. In this article, we’ll cover what working smarter not harder actually entails and provide actionable tips on how you can apply it to your daily life.

What does “work smarter not harder” actually mean?

Working smarter does not equal quiet quitting, unfinished tasks or cutting corners during your work day. Instead, it emphasizes efficiency and maximizing productivity without sacrificing mental and physical well-being. By making small adjustments to your work habits, you can strategically leverage your strengths and achieve better results. In this blog post, we will share eleven valuable tips and tricks to enhance your productivity, fully embody a growth mindset, and find fulfillment in your work.

1. Prioritize quality over quantity

When it comes to productivity, it's easy to assume that more work equates to better results. However, a focus on quality should always take precedence over quantity. Rather than churning out a high volume of work that feels rushed, concentrate on producing high-quality output that meets your standards of excellence and your companies guidelines for best practise

2. Optimize your workflow

Take a critical look at your workflow and identify areas where you can improve efficiency. Are there unnecessary steps that could be eliminated? If you’re currently employed, you could schedule a 1:1 with your manager and go over any current processes or tools you’re no longer using. Think about tasks you do regularly that take up lots of time, are these tasks still business critical? Your manager can advise what to prioritize if you’ve got a packed workload. By streamlining your workflow, you can free up valuable time and energy to focus on tasks that require your unique skills and expertise.

3. Harness the power of digital tools

In today's digital age, technology offers a multitude of tools and applications to boost productivity. Consider utilizing project management sites like Trello, Notion, Asana or Miro to enhance organization and task management. Timeline organisers like gaant charts, google tasks and calendar apps can help you organize your time over months, weeks or days. Try blocking out your calendar with time-blocks for daily tasks. Remember to keep time blocks realistic and leave yourself time for lunch and screen breaks if you use lots of screens in your role.

4. Try out AI

In today's digital age, advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) offer incredible potential to boost productivity. Explore AI-powered tools and applications that can automate repetitive tasks, analyze data efficiently, and provide valuable insights. If you’re new to AI, you could consider taking an online course to get acquainted with AI tools and learn ways to use them. Remember, you shouldn't use AI to complete a piece of work for you but instead support with time-consuming tasks. You should always check-over a piece of work done by AI and personalise with your own edits. By leveraging AI, you can save time and allocate your efforts towards more impactful work.

5. Set clear goals with flexible deadlines

Set goals that are clear, tangible, and measurable. It's recommended to jot down your short, medium, and long-term goals in a readily accessible place for regular review. If you’re currently employed, it’s likely your workplace has a target or goals tracker you can use. When setting goals and deadlines, allow more time than you think you’ll need to prepare for unforeseen blockers or other tasks that will be added to your workload throughout your project. This allows you to remain flexible and alleviate unnecessary pressure. Remember, if a deadline is too tight you can always talk with your manager about extending/ releasing other workload in order to reach it.

6. Learn effective time management

Time management is a fundamental aspect of working smart but its often thrown around as a skill that you should have as a default. Sometimes, time management needs to be learnt. To maximize productivity, identify time-wasting activities and minimize or eliminate them. Create a schedule or to-do list, prioritize tasks, and allocate specific time blocks for focused work. Utilize time management techniques such as the Pomodoro Technique or time-blocking to maintain focus and accomplish more in less time.

If you’re entering a new industry or even your first professional role, you may need to develop new styles of time management skills to keep up with your new workload. Multiverse apprentices have access to a personalized coach to support with development areas like this. Each month, you’ll meet with your coach and go over areas for personal and professional development. If time management is one, your coach may assign you tasks to help you develop those skills or recommend tools to help you.

7. Delegate and collaborate

You don't have to do everything alone. If you’re working with a team on a project, discuss with your team what tasks you’d like to complete and what can be assigned to others, allowing you to focus on responsibilities that require your expertise and attention. Collaborate with colleagues to share knowledge, pool resources, and find innovative solutions more efficiently. Effective delegation and collaboration can significantly enhance productivity and overall outcomes.

8. Continuous learning and skill development

Invest in your personal and professional growth by dedicating time to continuous learning. Stay updated with industry trends, attend relevant workshops, webinars, or conferences, and seek opportunities to expand your skill set. By acquiring new knowledge and honing your skills, you'll become more effective and efficient in your work.

If you’re looking to increase your efficiency, expand your skill-set and/or enter a new industry consider enrolling in an apprenticeship. Gain a qualification for free, get paid a full-time salary and get your foot in the door at a top company. Start your apprenticeship journey here

9. Streamline communication

Communication is critical in any work environment, but inefficient or excessive communication can hinder productivity. Streamline communication channels and use appropriate tools to facilitate efficient collaboration and information sharing. It;s good to establish a couple of key channels you use to communicate with your team and stick to them. Use these channels to share what you’re working on where appropriate and maximise visibility your team and manager have. Set clear expectations, establish concise communication protocols, and leverage technology to streamline conversations, reducing time spent on unnecessary back-and-forth exchanges. Sometimes, it really could’ve just been an email!

10. Embrace a balanced lifestyle

Healthy work-life balance is key to achieving long-term productivity. You should always create boundaries between work and personal life, ensuring you have time to recharge and enjoy activities outside of work. If you find yourself regularly working outside of your contracted hours, discuss with your manager about how you can change this. A balanced lifestyle contributes to overall well-being and helps you avoid burn-out which in turn positively impacts your productivity and work performance.

11. Prioritize self-care

Last but certainly not least, priotizing self-care is crucial for optimal performance. As one wise saying goes, "your work ethic is only as good as your rest ethic." Embrace the importance of downtime by exploring hobbies and ideas that genuinely excite you and mastering the art of a lazy Saturday afternoon. Balancing work and play will make your work week truly enjoyable!

Incorporating these tips into your routine will significantly uplift your work quality, reduce stress, and propel you towards greater productivity.

If you want to grow professionally and expand your career, enrol in a Multiverse apprenticeship. As a Multiverse apprentice, you’ll have access to a community of 10,000+ professionals, the support of a personalized coach and apprentice manager as well as a range of events to explore topics like time management and professional development further.

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