Smarter Not Harder: 4 Tips To Working More Effectively

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black-woman-officeA totally effective work day does not automatically equate to hours upon hours spent at the office. It is easy to get caught up in the rat race of full time employment, feeling like you are just spinning your wheels day to day while on the job without making significant headway in your career.

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Though it is possible to be very effective and efficient in your daily dealings on the job, whether you sit behind a desk all day or work in the field as a sales representative, if you are struggling with allocating more time at work than you would like to and yet still feel as if you are not making progress, here are four tips to get you off the “hamster wheel” of working ineffectively.

1) Allow Some Time to Think BIG – Schedule time within your day to fully unplug and think of new and innovative products and/or services that may benefit your company and its employees. Getting wrapped up in mundane daily tasks that offer no semblance of progress can deter your motivation at work. Being able to contribute to new ideas, whether they are ultimately implemented are not, not only shows your forward thinking, it may also get you excited about new projects that you never knew you had interests or talents in.

2) Chill Out on the Emails – The standard reply time for work related correspondence (unless otherwise specified by your employer) is 24 to 48 hours. Sometimes we can get so bogged down on immediately replying to everything that hits our inbox which is not always necessary. Dedicate an allotted time to send and reply to emails so you are not inundated all day with something that can be addressed later.

3) Set Boundaries – As a business owner, I had to learn the hard way that answering a client email at 10:00 pm opens the floodgates sometimes for unnecessary correspondence. It was difficult to force myself to stop answering phone calls and emails at a designated hour, even when an emergency was not upon the horizon. Learn how to set boundaries based upon what’s best for you and your work style. In the long run it will allow you to be more focused during the hours you have trained yourself to be “on”.

4) Be Flexible – Working from home is a gift from God in my opinion. When I worked for a firm a couple of years ago, I had to work from home on certain days because we were expanding and there just was not enough room in the office for all of the associates and interns. I found that having more flexibility on when I started working, how long I worked and where I worked allowed me to be more focused and eager to do my job. If your company allows you to work from home on certain days, and you know you will still be able to fully execute your duties, then by all means try it out. You may find yourself knocking more things off both your business and personal “to do” lists, which is definite attitude adjustor and morale booster.

Rashida Maples, Esq. is Founder and Managing Partner of J. Maples & Associates (www.jmaplesandassociates.com). She has practiced Entertainment, Real Estate and Small Business Law for 9 years, handling both transactional and litigation matters. Her clients include R&B Artists Bilal and Olivia, NFL Superstar Ray Lewis, Fashion Powerhouse Harlem’s Fashion Row and Hirschfeld Properties, LLC.

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