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5 Ways to Work Smart, Not Hard!

What is it about the American culture that insists we work hard to earn a living?

The truth is, being the hardest worker in the room doesn't make you the smarter or best-paid. Often, it means you are not efficient and don't quite know how to get your job done. As the wise Tim Ferriss once said

"Doing less is not being lazy. Don't give in to a culture that values personal sacrifice over personal productivity."

As a young analyst, I remember entering the workforce and thinking, "if I put my head down and work hard, I will be successful." Oh, how wrong and naïve I was. After having a few conversations with my mentor, I understood that how you do things is just as important, if not more important, than what you do. He also taught me that people are not always aware of your work, and you must often self-promote. Below are some of the ways that I have implemented working smart instead of hard. I also have curated a list of favorite productivity tools for you.

Stop multitasking

Multitasking is a myth; to me, it just reads as a lack of prioritization, nothing to be proud of. Multitasking is stressful, and it often can affect your mental health. Stop letting your work suffer, and instead, single-task your way through the day.

Shorten your to-do list

Instead of having a big notebook for your to-do list, try folding a page 4 times and only focusing your task on things that can fit there. A smaller to-do list is less intimidating and more achievable. Be sure to start with your most important tasks.

Turn off notifications

We live in a world where apps constantly want our attention and things always pop up (i.e., emails, texts, Facebook, IG…etc.). to single-task and focus, you will need to turn off those distractions. I have all notifications turned off on my phone. I only look at things like social media when I want to, not when other people want me.

Take breaks in between tasks.

Without breaks, our brains get tired, and we get distracted. Looking at a task with a fresh perspective is guaranteed to make you more effective. Research has shown that your brain is best able to focus for 90 minutes at a time. Consider taking more breaks and dividing your day into 90-minute or two-hour segments. This will help you maximize your brain's natural ability to focus and improve your overall productivity.

Plan your Week on Sundays

Planning your week ahead of time will eliminate rushing around and being surprised by important meetings. I love to plan my week on Sundays right after our weekly newsletter is published. The She Alpha newsletter is packed with information you need to crush the week ahead.

Keep in mind...

Working smart comes down to finding the most efficient and effective way to reach your goals! After implementing these five easy must-dos to my week, I can share that everything runs smoothly, and I no longer stress about my to-do's. If you are anything like me and have a full-time job, run a business, have mommy duties, and look for personal time, this will help ease your weeks.


Laura has a strong commitment to women's empowerment, health & wellness, diversity & inclusion. She is a mom, wife, and women's advocate. She also enjoys blogging about her travel adventures to over 35 countries and her journey through motherhood.

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