Every professional sometimes feels that there are just not enough hours in the day to get every task accomplished. Many think that to be the best employee you have to work grueling hours. However, the key is to work smarter, not longer. Check out five of our top tips on how to work smarter, every day.

Delegate

It’s easy to get into the mindset that the quickest solution is to do everything yourself, but being able to delegate work effectively can lighten your load and make your team more productive. Open communication with colleagues will help determine everyone’s workload, establish who’s best suited for a task and allow employees to maximize their strengths. If you are the person receiving the assignment, make sure you get clear communication on project expectations so your time isn’t wasted and you can deliver high quality work.

Schedule Your Work

Set up internal deadlines for yourself and always work on the most important and challenging assignments first. Set blocks of time on your calendar for certain projects, and stick to those planned times as if they were unmovable meetings.  This will help you manage your time and better understand how much time tasks take to help you plan for future projects. Another way to stay on top of your workload is to track every activity you do and complete throughout the day. Putting pen to paper, like Boise multipurpose paper, can give you peace of mind and reassure you that you’re on course.

Limit Distractions

Have you ever had great intentions for a 15-minute empty block of time, only to find yourself going down a social media rabbit hole? Utilize apps and browser plug-ins like Offtime or InMovement to track and limit your use of distracting websites and social channels during the day, making you more productive. Additionally, create a routine of only responding to emails at certain times, like the top of each hour, to avoid distractions.

Organize by the System of Threes

You know what they say, messy desk, messy life. Being organized will help you avoid wasting time finding lost files or notes. Combat the paper and email pile-up by applying the system of threes – file it, work on it or get rid of it. File what you may need later, work on any urgent assignments or get rid of what you don’t need. This will clear your desk and inbox and allow you to focus on items that are more important.

Take Mental Breaks

No one, not even Superman, can be mentally on every second of every day. Take a lap around the office, a walk outside or a five-minute social media break to clear your head and reboot. This will help you recharge to focus on those difficult projects and meet hard deadlines. And remember, always strive to work smarter, not longer!