10 Ways to Work Smarter


We all need to find ways to work smarter these days. So much going on. The need to do more with less time. Being connected 24/7. We are all there. You can find so many Tips and Tools to help you work smarter, and not harder.

Here are 10 tips on how to work smarter:

  1. Try a reality check – Track everything you do in detail for 2 or 3 days. Journal tasks in 15-minute increments. You will get a reality check on how you really spend your time.
  2. Assess your tracking – Now that you’ve done the journaling, what trends show up? Where are you wasting time? What’s your most productive time of day?
  3. Drop the drains – Your time drains offer you the least pay-off of your time. How can you change, lessen or completely drop these?
  4. Stop multitasking – Trying to do two things at once actually slows productivity and drives up your stress level. Focus on one thing at a time.
  5. Batch your tasks – Opposite of multitasking is batching. Stop switching from one type of task to another. Instead, focus on doing one kind of thing at a time.
  6. Streamline repetitive tasks – You can use templates or apps to automate your regular tasks to save time.
  7. Filter emails – Don’t waste time on unproductive emails by filtering them to skip your inbox and automatically land in another folder.
  8. Find your productive time – Focus on the important stuff at your most productive time of day to get more done.
  9. Work with a timer – You’d be surprised at how well this works. Set a timer for 20 minutes, then assign yourself a task to complete in that amount of time.
  10. Outsource – Delegate the tasks you don’t enjoy, are bad at, or would be cheaper for someone else to do. You won’t have it nagging you anymore.

The need to do more with less time. Being connected 24/7. Click To Tweet

Need more ideas on how to work smarter? Read these:

How to Use Your Sunday to Start the Week Off Great

My 5 Focus Essentials

How to Solve the Manic Morning Rush

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Janet Schiesl

Janet has been organizing since 2005. She is a Certified Professional Organizer and the owner of Basic Organization. She loves using her background as a space planner to challenge her clients to look at their space differently. She leads the team in large projects and works one-on-one with clients to help the process move quickly and comfortably. Call her crazy, but she loves to work with paper, to purge what is not needed and to create filing systems that work for each individual client. Janet is a Past President of the Washington DC Chapter of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) and was voted 2016 Organizer of the Year by the Washington DC Chapter of NAPO.


  1. Seana Turner on April 20, 2020 at 9:28 am

    I was pleased to discover, upon my recent phone upgrade, that the timer function now has a visual countdown feature. I love this, because it can sit off in the corner and allow me an easy way to glance up and see how I’m doing. Setting the timer can also make it easier to get started, because you know there is an end in sight. I’m finding it challenging to be productive at this time, having better luck with relatively “brainless” tasks than ones that require great focus. However, I figure any progress is progress, right?

    • Janet Schiesl on April 20, 2020 at 12:23 pm

      I’m with you Seana. I start every day with a positive attitude but my productivity isn’t what it usually is, so i am looking for small wins each day. A timer is a great way to push yourself to get things done.

  2. Linda Samuels on April 20, 2020 at 11:07 am

    I love timers and use them frequently. As a matter of fact, I have one set now which will cue me when it’s time to stop what I’m doing now and transition to my next appointment. What I especially love about using timers is that it allows me the ability to hyperfocus and know that a “ding” will stop me when I need to move on. Without the timer, I become more easily distracted.

  3. Melissa Gratias on April 20, 2020 at 11:55 am

    The “reality check” is often skipped, but oh, so, important. Thank you.

  4. Janet Schiesl on April 20, 2020 at 12:27 pm

    I think the ding is a timers super power. The anticipation of the sound makes you focus.

  5. Ronni Eisenberg on April 20, 2020 at 4:25 pm

    Whenever I have clients track their time, they are amazed at the time traps they discover. It really is a great exercise.
    I am with you, multitasking doesn’t work, as the research points out. The brain can’t handle doing several things at once. Personally, I can toss salad and watch Netflix. That’s about it.

    • Janet Schiesl on April 20, 2020 at 7:38 pm

      We are alike. I like to listen to TV while cooking. Time tracking is great.

  6. Nancy Haworth on April 20, 2020 at 4:41 pm

    These are great tips! Your first tip of a reality check by tracking everything you do for a few days and how long you spend doing each thing is so important for better managing time. There are so many things that drain our time, we just don’t realize it until we start keeping track!

    • Janet Schiesl on April 20, 2020 at 7:40 pm

      I agree Nancy. Looking at what you are doing now is a good way to learn what you want to change.

  7. Julie Bestry on April 20, 2020 at 8:59 pm

    These are all superb tips, Janet, but I find 4 and 9 to be the most important. Multi-tasking not only doesn’t get either job done well or quickly, but it creates so much irritation that I find myself being less productive for hours after I’ve attempted to read while listening, or talk while “doing.” And timers are magical. Pomodoros for counting down; stopwatches for getting a sense of how long things take. But I’ll admit I’m terrible at outsourcing; I’ll have to work on that.

    • Janet Schiesl on April 21, 2020 at 9:06 am

      I agree Julie. I commented to Linda that the ding of a timer is it’s super power. Working with a time does help you focus.

  8. Janet Barclay on April 21, 2020 at 6:43 am

    Great tips, and very “timely”. I definitely need to apply some of these!

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