The world is changing; people want the most out of anything they do. Things are moving faster than usual; anyone who does not catch up will be left behind. This is why you must learn to work smart in 2017.
Rachael Ritlop describes working smart as:
…figuring out what your strengths are and building a network around you to build upon those in order to reach goals in the quickest and most efficient way possible.
So you see, working smart means using the resources at your disposal to achieve more tasks in less time. Here are 7 things you must do to work smarter in 2017.
7 ways to work smart in 2017
1. Prioritize your tasks
Every night, before you sleep, make a list of everything you would like to accomplish the next day. In my experience, you accomplish more tasks within a shorter period when you know exactly what it is you are trying to accomplish in the first place.
When you list what you want to do, you simply focus on how to do them.
2. Write down important information
You know that feeling where you are trying to remember a particular detail and your brain seems very happy to keep it from you? Yes, that feeling. One way to overcome that is to write important details down. That way, you can access the information without stressing your brain.
Keeping written records can be very effective. The logic is that you don’t need to figure out the same details again. Instead you can pull out the written record and do save your brain the stress of trying to remember.
You don’t even need to carry a notebook if you don’t want to. Since I hate carrying a notebook everywhere I go, I keep my notes on my phone using an app, ColorNote. I can also save my notes on the cloud so I can access them from any device, anywhere in the world.
3. Simplify and automate tasks using mobile apps
Mobile apps are a very good way to build habits and maintain them. Of course, this depends on what you are trying to do but in this time and age, technology continues to provide amazing and creative ways to simplify our daily tasks.
Instead of setting aside one hour to read and another hour to go for a run, you can listen to an audio book while you run. This saves you one hour which you can use for other tasks.
There are so many other apps that enable you to work smarter. You can save your files on Google Drive, for example, and access them from any part of the world using your email and password. So you don’t need to carry a flash drive everywhere you go.
Search your app store and choose any tool you need to simplify and automate your tasks. Working smart has never been smarter.
4. Explore the powers of social media
Social media networks and messaging apps have expanded to be more than places you just get together and chat with folks. In the right hands, these networks are a powerful tools to increase sales, drive traffic and satisfy your customers.
This Accra restaurant uses WhatsApp messaging app to retain over 6,000 customers. The General Manager, Sean Burrowes explains:
“When I send out a WhatsApp broadcast, I often get replies back. Sometimes they want to know if a certain dish is still on a menu, and this is a great opportunity to educate about our offerings and even upsell them on new ones. Other times, they want to flag an important issue they were uncomfortable mentioning in person, and that becomes an opportunity to address a customer service issue and improve our operations. We’ve found WhatsApp to be great as a customer support tool.”
This shows you that on WhatsApp, you can do a lot more than chat.
Facebook has grown to become more than a social media network. You can run a full e-commerce business on Facebook. I explained how you can do that in this article.
I know people who run full-time business on Instagram, twitter and even Pinterest. To work smart in 2017, you must do more on these platforms than just like, comment and share.
You are missing out on a lot of money if you are not using these communication tools to your advantage. And remember, if your business is not online in 2017, you don’t have a business.
Trying to do everything yourself is one of the most self-defeating things you can do as an entrepreneur. You must delegate some of your tasks so you can focus on the more important areas of your business.
Instead of spending 4 hours on a new website, you can outsource the task and focus on fine-tuning your sales generation funnel. In the business world, time is money. The more time you have to spend, the more you can focus on more productive areas of your business.
6. Build a strong network
There is an Igbo adage: Igwe bu Ike (Unity is Strength).
Every man is as powerful as his network. It’s not who you know. It’s how you know them.
Don’t mistake being powerful with being rich. Rich people have money but powerful people build networks of more powerful people.
If you understand this, you understand how having a network lets you achieve more things in less time.
Get out there, meet people who share your ambition for success, connect with them and watch your influence grow.
7. When in doubt, seek expert suggestion.
There’s no shame in getting suggestions or help if you are confused. In fact, it shows you are smart and enthusiastic about your work.
In my interactions with young entrepreneurs, I discover that many people are not comfortable with seeking assistance from more experienced contemporaries because they are reluctant about revealing their own methods. This is one reason many of them fail within a short time.
Whenever you face difficulty in your work, you should seek suggestions from people who have been in the business longer than you have. This is smarter than trying to figure it all out yourself.
To be more productive in 2017, you must work smart.
What are the ways you work smart? Share with us in the comment section.
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