Four of the most effective methods to work smarter instead of harder revolve around four key concepts: planning, focus, flexibility and feeding the brain. Putting these concepts to work increases productivity, efficiency and creativity, eliminating many of the bad habits that create harder work.
Use planning tools, such as to-do lists and calendars, to map out the hours and days. When all the daily tasks, unfinished projects and goals are clearly outlined, it's easier to focus on what needs to be accomplished now and to eliminate the distractions. As Inc. points out, breaking tasks into pieces or working in shorter blocks of time instead of multitasking increases productivity. Flexibility not only decreases stress, but it also opens the door to new ideas and solutions. Feeding the brain means taking a step back from work to focus on getting enough sleep, healthy food and regular exercise.