What does it really mean to work smarter not harder?

Jess Shanahan
- Leadership - Dec 09, 2015

We’ve all read articles that mention how we should be working smarter and not harder but very few people will actually tell how to go about that. Here are some steps you can take to start working smarter, reduce your workload and, ultimately, bring in more money.

Spend more

Much of the time it’s good to run a lean business but if you’re using free versions of apps your business needs then you’re limiting your productivity.

There’s a lot of truth in the old adage of ‘you have to spend money to make money’. You just need to spend your money wisely and work out what the return on investment could be.

Let an expert show you how it’s done

If you’ve made the decision to spend one hour on business development every morning but are struggling along with no sales experience or natural ability, you’re not going to get very far. You’ll see that hour as wasted time and you’ll be losing five hours (or more) over the week that you’re just not getting paid for.

Invest in your success and spend a bit of money on a business or sales mentor. Hiring an expert to show you the tricks of the trade can help boost sales and make you more efficient.

This can also be done with social media. You might not need full on training to make the most of a certain social network but a point in the right direction is both affordable and allows you to learn as you go.

Build a support network

If you have people you can go to for advice and help, you’re more likely to succeed than if you go at it alone. These people might be family and friends or they might be peers, influencers or business acquaintances.

You might have to pay some of these people to establish that relationship (such as mentors) but once you’ve worked with them, they’ll no doubt be happy to help you in the future.

Keep these people up-to-date with what you’re doing but keep an eye on what they’re doing too. Building a network of people you can go to when you need advice, how work to outsource, or need dragging away from your desk is so important.

Sell an outcome not a product

Customers don’t need to understand your product in order to buy it. They just need to know how it benefits them. If you can sell a favourable outcome from using your product then they’re going to want to buy it. As David Ogilvy said: ‘People don’t buy drills, they buy holes.’

Your to-do list is so important

Take a leaf out of Tim Ferriss’ book (literally, this tip comes from the Four-Hour Work Week) and get the most challenging things on your to-do list out of the way first. From there you’ll not only feel like you can do anything but you won’t be procrastinating on other tasks in order to avoid the biggie.

You should also prioritise your to-do list. By doing this and giving yourself little deadlines, you’ll be less likely to go off on a tangent and start working on something else.


If there are little, time consuming tasks on your to-do list that can be outsourced then you should seriously consider it. If you can focus your attention on the 20% of tasks that bring in 80% of your income, you’re going to make more money. Those other tasks should either be eliminated or farmed out to freelancers.

Let us know in the comments how you work smarter and not harder then give @BizReviewEurope a follow on Twitter.

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