Here’s How to Work Smarter – Not Harder – in 2020

From making new friends to negotiating a pay raise, 2020 may be the year in which you will enjoy tremendous career success. This involves doing things in a different way you have been doing them before. 

It can also mean redefining your own path. To get started, here are some great ways to work smarter and not harder this year.

Find more Happiness at Work

According to one study, more than 60% of employees all over the world say they don’t enjoy their work. The reasons are very different, and everyone’s attitude to work is unique.

However, there are small ways to improve your work, and these gradual improvements can lead to a significant increase in job satisfaction. In fact, one study showed that changing only a small portion of your work can have a huge impact on overall job satisfaction.

In other words, you don’t have to change everything at work to get significant benefits. A few changes here or there may be all you need.

Minimise Disruptions

Interference from other colleagues, visitors and even supervisors is likely to absorb a large portion of your workday. So, you will need to set boundaries.

Try to set the signal that will let people know when you don’t want to be disturbed. This could be wearing a headphone to show you are busy working on your computer or hanging a “do not disturb” sign on your door – if you have one.

For complex tasks that require a lot of concentration, go to a less populated area of ​​your workplace, e.g. in the conference room or designated relaxation room.

Or just get off the business premises completely, and do your work elsewhere, such as in a nearby cafe. Productivity will increase significantly when disruptions are minimised.

Learn from your Mistakes

If all goes well, we can generally understand quite well why it went well – that is, if we analyse success at all. Preparation, proper planning, and so on, all contribute to things working out well.

But if we fail, we should see it as an opportunity to learn from our mistakes.

For example, if you failed in your personal finances in the previous year, this time around, you can use the lessons of the previous year’s failure to understand your finances, managing your debt, and probably start saving for the future.

Plan Your Day

Imagine each day as a journey. The destination is not important, but how you arrive and the route you take matters.

You know that if you make too many stops while travelling, it will take much longer than you intended. Therefore, choose the most essential tasks and assign them for the day so that you have your route all mapped out and can minimise distractions as much as possible.

If you can find a better and more productive way to get the tasks done, all good and well. This way, you can get more things done faster and even exceed your own target.

But when you start the day without any plan or idea on what to do, you may find that you have achieved nothing at the end of the day.

Thankfully, technologies such as cloud-based calendar applications with AI support can help you plan your workday.


Have you heard of the 80/20 rule? One interpretation is that 80% of your productivity at work comes from 20% of your efforts.

So, think strategically: which 20% of your work will be most beneficial to the company? Once identified, try to direct the lion’s share of your time and energy in this direction.

Listen to Your Body

The modern workplace culture has conditioned us to work to the bone, but this is not always best. Overworking yourself can cause your body to break down, and when this happens, someone else may take over your job responsibilities (unless you are the business owner), because the business cannot suffer as a result of your being unable to continue working.

While it does pay to work hard, it pays more to listen to your body.

The moment your body starts giving you signs that it is tired, take some time off work to rest no matter how briefly. This way, you can come back refreshed to do more.

Although we are already a few months into 2020, it’s never too late to change things in your life. With the tips mentioned in this article, you might find yourself more productive and efficient – and ultimately work smarter.  

Posted in: Personal Finance

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