Working Smart – Know Your Tasks to Find More Time!

Working Smart Egg Timers

Working smart means knowing your tasks!

Working smart is just … smart! When you have limited time and energy, using both to their optimal potential is a goal we all strive for.

And during busy times — like right now — working smart relieves stress and helps you put yourself in a position to enjoy your moments fully, every single day.

So, in yesterday’s post we looked at how knowing yourself and your natural work style is a fundamental key to working smart. And today I’d like to share key #2 – knowing your tasks.

Working Smart – Your To-Do List

The more clear and comprehensive your knowledge is — of both the items on your to-do list and of the time they are likely to take — the better you can plan for accomplishing those tasks.

So here are three tips that will help you get the upper hand on your task planning:

  • Scan the Horizon: Take a moment at the start of each day to look ahead. What needs to be done today? What are the top priorities? What can you let go of? Make a list and be clear about what’s important and what can be released. And don’t forget the regular tasks that you do every day and that sometimes can get ‘lost’ because they are so familiar. Remember that they take time, too.
  • Create a Simple Plan: This is where the rubber meets the road. Quickly review your list and assign an amount of time to each task. Be as specific as you can. It helps, too, to use a timer and track how much time your tasks actually take as you do them. Doing this periodically informs your planning and keeps it realistic.
  • Use the Times-Two Rule to Finalize Your Plan: Once you’ve created your plan — your prioritized To-Do List combined with the time allotted for each task — multiply those times by two. This gives you a more realistic picture of how your day is likely to play out, because of small interruptions, unexpected events and glitches, etc. So then go through your list again. How much time are your tasks going to take now? Make note of the places where you have flexibility and may be able to let go of something as your day progresses.

Having a plan like this in place means that you have a clear sense of the terrain of your day AND have the ability to respond to the unexpected while maintaining your priorities.

That’s working smart!

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