What does it mean to work smart? Do you need to know how to do everything? Is it about managing your time, being able to squeeze a lot more work into your day? These are not what smart people would do. In fact, working smart means you don’t need to work as much as you are working now.
It’s about delegating responsibilities and work to others so that you only need to do what you signed up for in your job. This is more important for business owners who might feel that since they’re still starting a company, they should try to do everything to save on salaries. At the end of the day, you will just be overworking yourself, and you wouldn’t have enough energy or mental clarity to make sound decisions.
Share the responsibility.
It’s as basic as having the maintenance of your office contracted out. The regular cleaning of your septic tank and the checking of your vents and heating and cooling systems should no longer be your direct concern. Schedule it as you would other parts of your operations, but let someone do the job for you.
Learn to say no.
You might forget their smartness, and it’s tough to say no when you want to please others or when someone you perceive is an authority is making the request. Prioritize your time for yourself over getting on the good side of your colleagues.
For business owners, accepting too many projects might overwhelm your small operations. You might tend to accept everything that comes your way, fearing that there will come a time when there wouldn’t be any new projects. But when you’re discerning the projects you accept, clients would appreciate you better because they know you are focusing your resources on them. It’s better to provide fewer quality outputs than have a multitude of haphazardly done projects.
Know your capabilities and limits.
A lot of stress is from the anxiety you’re not capable of doing what was asked of you. If you know you lack something, don’t be afraid to tell your boss about it and ask if it could be delegated to someone else. Better yet, you could request some training or crash course to build your capacity to do it. But it would help if you asked for a longer time to accomplish it.
On the other hand, you could also volunteer to do something if you know you have the expertise and knowledge to do it well. It doesn’t hurt to occasionally take on something that wouldn’t be too much of a burden for you to help your colleagues. At the end of the day, although you don’t want to butter up to everyone, you still have to help each other to achieve your goals. If you’re part of a team in your company, it’s just a matter of delineating the extent of helping each other from making the team too dependent on you.
Share your knowledge.
When you share the responsibility with others, you would assume that the other person would know how to do it. However, that might not always be the case. Have the patience to explain some things if there are unclear parts of the task. It happens a lot, especially when your colleagues are used to having you work on it even if it is not part of your agreed workload.
Working smartly is a matter of knowing the extent of the work you should take on. It’s about understanding the responsibilities and capabilities of all the people in your office or business. Your work should be appropriate to your skills, but at the same time, you should also be open to learning new things and growing in your career and as a person.