23 Ingenious Ways To Work Smarter, Not Harder

Get more done.

Chris Ritter/BuzzFeed
ID: 3685945

Quora users shared their best tips and hacks to be more productive at work:

ID: 3678447

1. Stop keeping a million tabs open.

Flickr: degerstrom / Via Creative Commons

Admit it. You have a problem. Try the One Tab Chrome extension to consolidate all of your tabs into one.

ID: 3676521

2. Increase your typing speed.

You can improve your typing speed, potentially saving yourself hours per week, with just a few weeks of practice on fun websites like Typeracer, which let you learn while racing against others.

ID: 3678366

3. Get a standing desk.

Flickr: jsmjr / Via Creative Commons

It’s not only healthier for you, but will prevent back pain which can seriously cut into your productivity.

ID: 3676886

4. Get up every 45 minutes and move around.

When you sit back down you will feel greatly re-energized.

ID: 3676873

5. Use a Kanban board.

Flickr: orcmid / Via Creative Commons

These help you focus by visualizing what needs to be done now (and next).

ID: 3676975

6. Don’t be afraid to say, “No.”


We often feel like we have to say “yes” to everything at work, but taking on less important tasks that distract you from the important ones is a very bad idea.

ID: 3676920

7. Pretend you are about to go on vacation.

Osuleo / Via on vacation/f=CPIHVX/s=Popularity

When you’re overwhelmed, imagine that you’re leaving for vacation in three hours. It will help you focus on the things that REALLY need to get done.

ID: 3677007

8. Manage anxiety.


The best way to do this is by exercising, eating well, and getting enough sleep.

ID: 3677102

9. Organize your desk/workspace.

Flickr: tedsblog / Via Creative Commons

It only takes a few minutes, and makes a real difference.

ID: 3677283

10. Pick up the phone!


I know, I know. No one likes to use the phone anymore, but if it’s going to take two or more emails to hammer out a problem, it’s much more efficient to just make a call.

ID: 3677249

11. Do the most difficult tasks first.

GlobalP / Via

People often suggest that you start your day by doing the easy tasks, but that often leaves you tackling the hardest tasks when your energy is sapped. Instead, “Eat that frog!” (aka do the most difficult tasks first).

ID: 3677351

12. Don’t be afraid to do crappy work.


Allowing yourself to write a not-so-great first draft means that you now have something you can shape and edit.

ID: 3677454

13. Don’t multitask.

Flickr: daquellamanera / Via Creative Commons

Multitasking usually means doing a bunch of things poorly. You’re much better off giving all of your attention to one task that you really hit out of the park.

ID: 3677490

14. Don’t be afraid to learn new things.


Maintaining a willingness to embrace new ideas, regardless of how long you’ve been on the job, means you’ll always have the latest tools to succeed.

ID: 3677562

15. Have a daily plan.

izustun / Via plan/f=CPIHVX/s=Popularity

As George Harrison sang, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.”

ID: 3677710

16. Embrace ninja keyboard shortcuts.

Jelena Savic / Via keyboard/f=CPIHVX/s=Popularity

Shortcuts like these allow you to navigate your computer more quickly.

ID: 3677801

17. Use macros.

Flickr: kmohman / Via Creative Commons

They let you save time by performing a series of commands with just one click.

ID: 3677935

18. Interact with your co-workers.


In a healthy work environment they will lift your spirits when you’re discouraged and even help you troubleshoot problems.

ID: 3677701

19. Delegate.


You don’t have to do everything yourself. Really.

ID: 3677787

20. Use a time management system like GTD (“Getting Things Done”).


Those who swear by GTD say it brings stress-free productivity to workers who previously felt totally overwhelmed.

ID: 3677903

21. If you can answer an email in two minutes, do it immediately.

Letting your email unnecessarily pile up only causes stress.

ID: 3677969

22. Remember the 80/20 principle.

raywoo / Via 20/f=CPIHVX/s=Popularity

The gist of this concept is that 20% of what you do creates 80% of your results, so you should focus the majority of your efforts on that 20% (rather than the less impactful 80%).

ID: 3678290

23. Ignore your email when you’re swamped.

20th Century Fox

It will ensure you get a good stretch of totally focused work time.

ID: 3678348

Check out more articles on!

  Your Reaction?


    Now Buzzing