We all want to be the best we can be, but sometimes it’s easier said than done. We’ve found some expert advice from amazing business owners, on how you can work smarter, not harder, and how you can achieve your goals.
Leah Lambart | Relaunch Me
Learn How To Say No To Things
“Learn to say ‘NO’ ! Overcommitting and being unrealistic about what you can accomplish will not help you achieve anything. It will only add to your stress levels which can spiral out of control and lead to burnout. Learn to set boundaries and push back work that you can’t manage within the required timeframe.” Find out more about Relaunch Me by following them on Facebook and Instagram.
MyDeal Pro Tip:
Get more sleep. Sure, Richard Branson, Indra Nooyi and Tom Ford may sleep for three to six hours a night, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be successful if you sleep the full eight hours. Sleep is one of the most important factors for your mental and physical health, and if you let your sleep habits slip, you can accumulate sleep debt, which can be terrible. Sleep deprivation is bad for you, so if you feel like you’re having trouble sleeping at night, hit the hay faster with the help of a bamboo mattress topper. Here are few signs you’re sleep deprived.
Petra Zink | Impaccct
Managing Your Time Efficiently...
“I don’t have time to exercise. I can’t take on further studies. There is no way to fit in voluntary work. Sounds too familiar? Yes, we all have lives and yes, we all have busy lives. A typical day for me starts at 3.45am to get 90min exercise done before 6am and having a long black in one, and my to do list in the other hand by 6.30am to make some magic happen in the next hours to come. Running a couple of businesses, developing new offers, looking after 4 personal social media accounts, being on 2 boards, exercising most days twice and studying new skills to stay relevant is normality for me. So I often get asked how to get so much done? Here is the thing: we ALL have 24h, no matter how successful or unsuccessful we are in life. The only difference is how we spend these 24h and turn being busy into being productive. Maybe sounds weird but I actually never feel that I am doing so much more than others because not only I enjoy what I’m doing but I do follow certain processes and structures that make it easier to tick some (more) boxes before the end of the day. It comes down to Managing your time, your focus and your energy. And here is the thing: Managing your energy and focus directly relates to how you use your willpower because it works like a muscle that needs contraction and relaxation.” Find out more about Impaccct by following them on Facebook and Instagram.
Leila Khan | Life Is Today Academy
Essential Tips, Worth Their Weight In Gold
“1. Put your mental health & physical wellbeing top of the list. Without your mental health, life experiences cannot be enjoyed to the fullest.
2. Understand how & when you work; Do you prefer ten min breaks every 45 minutes?; Are you an early bird, or a night owl? Do you enjoy time to day dream? Do you like to meditate or do some exercise in between tasks? We’re not all robots who work in the same way so take some time out to understand how you work authentically
3. Balance your life experience with creativity, play, fun & chill out time with other people. This is a biggie! Working smart means making decisions to ENJOY LIFE-it’s what we are here to do. Create whilst enjoying
4. Working harder is the ultimate act of ‘forcing’ results to happen. The opposite way and MORE intuitive, authentic way is through doing less, and amazingly accomplishing more. Overloading your mind with information, or physical clutter around you will end up taking you on a merry-go round of thoughts of stress and anxiety. Instead, go against the grain and put your wellbeing first.” Find out more about Leila Khan and Life Is Today Academy by following her on Facebook and Instagram.
Simeon Boseley | BExceptional
“Whether it’s a best-selling ‘shelf help’ book or the 28 million plus links you get when you search Google, there’s no shortage of advice on the subject. But, from my perspective, when you look at working smarter from a neuroscience perspective, one surprising insight stands out as a means to a more productive end, and that is that the brain is not wired to successfully multi-task, in fact, the brain can’t focus on more than one conscious activity at a time. In essence, the brain actually can’t multi-task conscious activities, but switches between activities (switch-tasks), creating the potential for a huge impact on personal productivity. Let me explain with the example of having a coffee with a friend. During this pretty basic interaction, you can breathe, blink and drink your coffee (all unconscious brain activity), whilst listening to your friend (using your conscious brain), but, you can’t truly listen (conscious brain) and talk (conscious brain) at the same time, without switch-tasking. This is because the brain has to switch between two different brain areas and does a cognitive ‘reboot’ for each switch. This might not seem like a big deal, but when you multi-task, studies have shown, that it can impact your productivity by up to 40%, reduce your IQ by 15 points, increase the number of mistakes you make and the length of time it takes to complete the tasks. Every time you multi-task you are literally bringing your ‘B-game’ to the tasks at hand. So, when you have something important to do or you want to do your best work (which I’m assuming is all of the time) uni-tasking i.e. focusing your full attention, in the moment on the task at hand, without distraction or interruption, is the way to go. Now in terms of how to effectively uni-task, I’ll use another example that seems extremely relevant to most and that’s the email inbox. In a McKinsey study, they found that workers spend an average of 28% of worktime reading and answering email and they identified a potential 25-30% upside in productivity by using email more effectively. In the words of Chris Sacca, “your inbox is a to do list which anyone in the world can add an item to”, so getting control of your inbox (someone else’s to do list) and back to working on your own is an essential step towards working smarter.
But how do you do it? First thing I suggest with an out of control inbox and I’ve worked with executives who have literally thousands in there, is to delete or archive everything beyond the last 4 weeks. Then set up a process that uses the inbox as a triage area or as David Allen, puts it as a “staging post” i.e. somewhere emails come for a short period of time to be prioritised, actioned and/or moved. Then ‘batch process’ your email i.e. process emails four times a day (versus moment to moment) and switch off the constant email alerts and notifications, so that when you need to uni-task on important work, you can without distraction. Finally, don’t ever forget the phrase “you reap what you sow”, every email sent can create more work for you, so ask yourself, who is this email for? what’s the simple message you want to send? what response (if any) do you want and from who? and is this the right communication method?” Find out more about BExceptional by following them on Facebook.
MyDeal Pro Tip:
Take breaks every 90 minutes. Your brain is programmed to only really concentrate for 90 minute blocks, so if you’ve been sitting at your desk on your executive office chair for over two hours, you may feel your brain slowly turning to goo. In this case, take a fifteen minute break, stretch your legs and unclog your mind for a little bit. When you sit back down, you’ll feel refreshed to keep your work going.
Nerissa Chaux | Filta Global
Stop Trying To Be An Expert On Everything
“Don’t try and be an expert in everything. The world is a big place, and finding people who can help you achieve your goals – no matter where they are in the world – has never been easier” Find out more about Nerissa Chaux and Filta Global by following them on Facebook and Instagram.
Andrew Ramsden | Alpha Transform
Achieve A Smarter Mindset
“To work smarter we need a smarter mindset: Hard work is just a means to an end. What's the least work I can do to reach my goal? Hard work may still be required—which is fine by us, we're not afraid of rolling up our sleeves—however it should be minimised wherever possible. This allows us more time and energy to do the critical thinking that really takes our business to the next level. The first step is getting really clear on what our goal is—which can also be harder than just slogging away at whatever comes along. But once you have a clear goal, it will be much easier to decide what to say 'no' to. Ask yourself: Will this opportunity take me significantly closer to my goal? If not, say 'no', leave your time open to do more critical thinking and find better opportunities. If your answer is 'yes', then ask: Is this the best opportunity I have? If not, can I easily achieve both and do them well? If your answer is 'no', you know what to do. This could also mean saying ‘no’ to an existing project. Every opportunity is business is an experiment. If the experiment has clearly failed, better to cut further investment and move on.” Find out more about Alpha Transform by following them on Facebook and Instagram.
Maike Sundmacher | Core Power Coaching
“To me, the key to working smarter not harder is to prime your brain to increase clarity and certainty, and to decrease confusion and switching cost between tasks. There are several ways of doing this. One way is to plan your week ahead on Sunday nights and, instead of writing a simple to-do list, align your tasks with bigger goals and the values they fulfil. As an example, whilst sorting out your tax and finances might not be appealing tasks, the goal of paying off your debt or accumulating a certain amount of savings by year-end might be – and even more so might be the value of financial freedom that these tasks serve to ultimately fulfil. Personally, I also pre-date my goals so my mind and body already know when to perform what, and I further review and revise my plan every night to prepare for the next day and the days thereafter. Another great way is to theme your days. For example, as a business owner you could focus on marketing one day and on systems and process improvement another. Again, this increases certainty and focus and decreases switching cost. Alternatively, you could theme whole weeks, months or your entire year.” Find out more about Maike Sundmacher and Core Power Coaching by following her on Facebook and Instagram.