Working smarter, not harder, is an age-old adage.

In pursuing your goals, it is always important to plan ahead and act towards the path of your success. However, working hard is not always the most effective way of doing it.

To illustrate working smarter versus working harder

Let’s take two employees working in an office.

Both are doing the same tasks, say computing.

Both employees have a calculator and computer in front of them. One used the calculator. The other one used the computer. Now, both worked hard. They finished the tasks given within the day.

But who do you think worked smarter?

The one who used the computer, EXACTLY!

Why? Because all he had to do was to input formulas, and the rest is history. Unlike using a calculator where you have to push buttons all the time to get the desired output.

Working smarter means consuming less time and exerting less effort yet arriving at the same results as doing just the plain hard work. Plus the added benefit of doing so much more in the given working hours.

It’s just like that with freelancing.

Instead of putting in those extra hours, working your butt off to earn a few bucks, you can become more effective at work by focusing on what really matters. Manage your time wisely and take strategic breaks. Provide value to your clients so you can ask for higher, reasonable rates. That way, you can earn more while working less.

How do you do that?

1. Prioritize

Make a list of your tasks. Be sure to double-check the list to ensure that no task is left behind. Cross out the finished ones so you can see your progress.

Also, you can decline in working opportunities when you’re loaded. You don’t have to rush earning. Accepting more would mean doing more especially if the tasks are different from each other. Learning to say no would save you a whole lot of headaches and rush. This would allow you to avoid over-scheduling and would give you ample time for your current tasks.

Try to avoid multitasking as much as possible because you’ll often be finishing less than more because your mind would be switching back and forth from one task to another. You’d be rattled and overwhelmed. Just pick one task at a time to focus on and set sufficient time in finishing it.

2. Properly deal with clients

Communicate how you’re going to get the job done and what the normal turnaround time would be. Never accept a “bad” job. Low rates with a lot of tasks to do would fall in that description Negotiate if necessary. This could be done before accepting the job especially if it’s a rush job.

3. Get more in less time

Consider and prepare the tools you need in working. Make your methods as efficient as possible.

Try to re-strategize your process in a way that you could be faster yet maintain the same quality of output you’ve been producing, if not improved. This would entail looking for shortcuts. Not for the sake of being lazy nor doing it the easy way but being wise.

You could also delegate the tasks to the right people if you have people. Avoid procrastination by pushing yourself hard to do work when it’s time for work.

4. Take care of yourself

Your wealth will not matter if your health is failing you. Rest, take periodic breaks, and stay hydrated.

NOTE: LIMO – Less input, more output!

We only have 24 hours a day so let’s make the most out of it.