How to Work Smarter - A 5 Step Guide
So we know that you work hard. You may work incredibly hard. But I'm sure you know that unless you have a huge team of people to help you with absolutely everything, that to do list and endless list of projects doesn't get any smaller.
Athletes are constantly busy and before securing sponsorship deals, many will have part time jobs to fund their training and competitions.
So, if we work hard already and the amount of work isn’t going to diminish any time soon.....what do we do?
We work SMARTER.
Smarter doesn't mean we should work twenty hours a day (I'm making a reminder to myself right now that I've just said that out loud). Rest, watching films, playing and performing music, reading and writing are activities that I have to have in the day as "time-out" activities or I simply cannot function.
In short, trying to work all the time simply doesn't work. Like other muscles, our brains get tired.
Here's a run down of our tips for working smarter:
1. Feed your creative soul
Like I've said, if I don't do some writing, reading, playing or listening to music and watching films and improv shows then I cannot function. Whilst meeting a strong creative need, those activities make me feel and home...and safe. Whether you know what our outlets are or whether you still need to search, I promise it's worthwhile.
2. Get up earlier just to make breakfast and chill before you head out
Now, that's obviously very specific and seemingly contradictory to the not working all the time line. I spent some time in Borneo and nearly every day, arose at 5am so that I could watch the sunrise, take in some amazing food, search for wild animals, write and go to yoga or on a nature walk, all before 7am. Since then, I try and wake at 5.30am everyday so that I can make a great breakfast before I leave the house, pack my lunch for the afternoon, maybe tidy up a bit, put the news on to see what’s happening and relax whilst I get ready prior to leaving the house. I'm also the only person I know who watches about 1/3 of a film whilst they get ready in the morning (well, it's a great way too see all the latest releases)
3. Plan how you're going to work productively
Research shows that on average, your brain is able to remain focused for only 90 minutes, after which you will need 15 minute break. The research also showed that by taking breaks every 90 minutes, you can allow your mind and your body to renew, then be ready for the next round of activity.
So after I've talked about trying to build a routine in and practice making yourself more productive, something we have to remember is that we are all different. Creative people can be annoyingly different. Sometimes things just wont come out, or there's a block or we're too emotional thinking about something else. After years of trying to work out how to deal with this, I find that at the beginning of the week i.e. Monday and Tuesday, sticking to a plan is no problem. By Wednesday or Thursday, the creative mode has kicked in and is a little more temperamental.
Just try and work out through practice how you work best...taking breaks when you feel unproductive and taking time out to read, write, watch a bit of a film...and so forth.
4. Drink a lot of water
This is tried and tested by myself and I can tell you that drinking at least 1.3-3 liters of water every day. It aids concentration levels to a truly noticeable amount. We couldn't do without it.
If still water doesn't excite you, then try sparkling or hot water, perhaps with some juice added. Here are some more benefits of drinking water
- Increases Energy & Relieves Fatigue
- Promotes Weight Loss
- Flushes Out Toxins
- Improves Skin Complexion
- Maintains Regularity
- Boosts Immune System
- Natural Headache Remedy
- Prevents Cramps & Sprains
- Puts You In A Good Mood
5. Have an end goal in sight
We talk a lot about goals and goal setting and finding an emotional need and connection to your goals. To work smarter, we need to be sure what we're actually working for. If you're not sure what the point of something is, or what you're aiming for, then you may well spend most of the day thinking about how rubbish everything is and how upset you feel. We utterly agree that you need to register and understand such feelings and to express them but when you're trying to actually work in a smarter way isn't the most helpful!
We worked hard to produce this 5 step guide - WAIT - we worked smarter. I have to admit that we weren’t working quite so smartly when we edited it on the second day because someone had really annoyed us that day...and so we kept thinking about that instead.
So what we're really saying is, we exercise, be creative and practice our favourite...yes, meditation to quiet our minds and work more smartly.
After all of that - we're off to finish watching the football, have a drink and then get to sleep and try to stop getting upset and agitated about some of the people we meet. Also if people could stop shouting at the football on the television, it would be really helpful.