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Work Hacks

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Work Hacks: Ten tips for working smarter, not harder

Getting ahead in your career doesn't always mean sucking up to the boss or putting in 60 hours a week. Some simple mental tricks can improve your efficiency and the quality of your work while reducing job stress - without keeping you in the office all night.

At Best Masters Degrees we decided to bring together some the best job hacks all in one place for easy reference. Here are the 10 best that we came up with:

Tip 1: Keep a progress bar for a key project and fill in the sections as you complete a task. This will give you a sense of accomplishment and progress and help you visualize the project broken down into more manageable tasks.

Tip 2: If you don't need to respond to an email or speak up in a meeting this very second, wait five minutes. This period can help you form a response, and the added time may make you rethink your position entirely.

Tip 3: Prime the pump. Keep your mind sharp by reading things that challenge your assumptions or beliefs. Read something new and challenging every day.

Tip 4: If you've got a particularly challenging issue or project you always seem to put off, devote 30 to 60 minutes a day to that problem and that problem only. If you find yourself with an excuse not to do it, simply repeat, "Do it now."

Tip 5: Work in 20-minute chunks, followed by a few minutes of physical activity such as walking to the water cooler or going to the restroom and taking a longer route back to your desk. Even throw in a few pushups or jumping jacks if your are brave. Studies have shown that humans work best in 10-20 minute concentrated chunks and the physical activity will keep you from hitting that brick wall.

Tip 6: Got a job with a million little tasks? Break them into chunks; set a timer and get as many of the tasks done as you can within that time.

Tip 7: Sometimes you just need to punt and try it again tomorrow. Don't feel hopeless and beat yourself up if you feel like you're dragging your feet in mud. Remember that with a good night's sleep you'll have renewed energy the next day.

Tip 8: Keep a file of positive feedback and revisit it when you are feeling particularly stumped or less than appreciated.

Tip 9: Don't let roadblocks put you in a funk. Pick some smaller tasks you know you can truly complete. Use that momentum to create a snowball effect.

Tip 10: Don't allow your instant communication methods dictate what you get done in a day. Set certain periods of time throughout the day (say, three 30-minute periods) to tackle your email, cell phone and instant messaging). Turn them off the rest of the day so that you can focus and work more efficiently.

Facts About Job Satisfaction

1. 47% of workers report being completely satisfied with the recognition they receive on the job.

2. One in three workers say they are completely or partially dissatisifed with their on-the-job stress.

3. One in three workers say they are enthusiastic about and actively engaged in their jobs.

4. Since 1998, worker satisfaction has gone up about 70%

Job Hacks