The Art of Working Smart: What Needs Your Focus and What Doesn’t

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Are you trying too hard to be competitive? Or trying to prove that you are working even though you are not in the office?


It is quite easy to get carried away with the flow or the pressure of keep going. The world is moving faster and you are afraid: if you stop for a moment you are going to loose. Or is it just your fear? For most freelancers, it is easy to get scared that they will never make the deadline or if they stop working they will miss out on the opportunity. In the end, it’s the same stress and mundane life you have been running away from.


As a freelancing web designer, Alice Walker was always working, designing websites and answering client queries even on the weekends.  This led to an imbalanced life that completely destroyed her personal life. She soon realized her life was heading nowhere. That’s when she stepped back and saw her life and realized she needed to re-organize it.


Separating the Unimportant from the Important


You don’t have to work 24/7 to succeed or to get things done. If you keep working just for the heck of it, you are likely to burn out. Not to mention, your personal life that includes you family and friends will take a back seat. Instead of enjoying an evening out with your friends, you will be stuck working for hours.


If you noticed the world’s top leaders like Steve Jobs, focused on what needed to be done and not on how many things they needed to tick off from the to-do-list. You need to prioritize and separate what’s important and what’s not.  You don’t need to answer all the emails on the same day. You don’t need to attend meetings that have nothing to with what you do. Instead you should get started on your new project – that’s what needs your attention.


Not All Efforts equal Results


You think just because you put 40 hours in a project, it has to be good or be relevant. No, it’s not. What if you have been wasting your time doing stuff that is totally wrong, worse still, your client doesn’t even need it? Is your effort worth the results? The moment you get stuck or think you are spending too much of your time, you need to step back and analyse where you re heading. This will keep you focused.


The 80/20 Rule Still Works


Discovered by the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto in 1790s, the idea of getting 80% output with 20% of effort is the golden rule every successful person follows. This follows the same rule as separating the trivial from the vital and focusing on the vital. That’s exactly what Alice learned:


“Instead of focusing on how much work I needed to do, I just focused on the important part that will make the project head in some direction. I kept cutting off the excess and hence I was able to complete the task using just a part of my resources”


Once you figure out what’s not important, you start focusing on the essentials and hence you save time, energy and your resources.


Choosing what to do and not feeling guilty about the others


If you work from home or you are a freelancer, you need to decide what projects you need to take on. You will also have to decide what you need to leave out and not feel guilty about it. Don’t try to do everything – try delegating and scheduling it for some other time. The thing is to focus on what is important and what needs to be done immediately.


Whether you work for a company or freelance, you need to focus on what is important and let go things that may not need your attention.

About the Author
We are not yet another freelancer’s job site – our main focus is to promote the initiative of putting as many corporate employees to work from home as possible.

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