Work smarter, not harder

13 april 2017

With our hectic schedules nowadays, we would all wish we had 6-hour work days like the lucky bastards in Sweden. Or at least another day off to add to the weekend,  so you actually have enough time to Netflix and chill. But the truth is, we're often working overtime while the work is never going to stop piling up anyways. So instead of stressing out about it: stop working harder and start working smarter! Here's how.

Take (more) breaks
So many people skip their breaks, eat their lunch behind the desk and just go, go, go. But there's a story about a woodcutter whose saw gets more blunt as time passes and he continues cutting down trees. If the woodcutter were to just stop sawing, sharpen his saw, and go back to cutting the tree with a sharp blade, he would actually save time and effort in the long run. It comes down to stepping back for a second, recharching yourself, freeing your mind and then when you go back to work, you will be far more productive. Also, a few short 10 minute breaks will be enough to recharge during the day, instead of taking a 1 hour lunch break.

Stop worrying about evertything
This handy book about changing the way we think (called 'Omdenken', it's Dutch) states the following: 'Do you have a problem? If the answer is no: don't worry. If the answer is yes: can YOU solve it? Yes? Then don't worry. Is it out of your hands? Then don't worry either. We stress way too much because we feel so responsible for everything we do. Which is good, but sometimes it's important to just let go. A clear mind is a more productive mind.

Take naps
Yes! Naps are actually really good for you! Not like the 2 hour naps, no, we're talking about the 20 minute power naps. Naps lead to improvement in cognitive function, creative thinking, and memory performance. So if you can and you feel like you need to recharge, take a powernap and you'll feel totally re-energized and ready to tackle the work.

Don't check your email on your smartphone
Are you one of the many people who read their emails on their smartphones, leaving you 'working' till late in the evening while you should be relaxing instead? There's only one solution to really seperate work and personal life: delete that inbox from your smartphone. It's a proven fact that we are less focussed and more likely to get sloppy after 8 hours of working. So stop sending those emails late in the evening and get back to them the next morning, when you will be far more productive.

Organize your work space
Do you recognize that feeling when you desperately need something asap that you know is somewhere on your desk, but you can't find it? That state of panic and frustration probably sounds familar to many people, as it is just so hard to stay organized when you've got so much stuff and so much to do. That is why organizing your desk and workspace is so important. Stack your stuff in drawers, desk organizers and keep pens in pen cases. A clutter-free desk will start your day so much better! Another great item you need to have if you're someone who needs to write everything down in order to not forget: a deskplanner! Dutch law student Lily recently launched her own desk planner, and it is the prettiest one out there! 

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