5 Ways Being Effective at Work Makes You Smarter

January 29, 2020 • Zachary Amos


Once you get the hang of a new job, it’s nice to feel like your boss made the role specifically for you. You can breeze through projects and lead your team members to success, which fills you with a sense of accomplishment like nothing else. Then maybe your job became a bit more challenging. You had to learn to adapt to the pressure, but you may not feel like you work as well as you used to.

If that’s the case for you, don’t worry. It’s natural to throw yourself into the changing world of a full-time job and sometimes not know what to do. With the right guidance, you can glide through your personal growth and come back stronger than ever.

Check out these five ways being effective at work makes you smarter. You can use these tips in any job or industry, so you become better at what you do and learn along the way.

1. Learn From Mistakes

You probably started to notice that you weren’t as great at your job as you used to be when you started making mistakes frequently. You might have forgotten about a meeting or not completed a project as expected. It’s human to make mistakes, but it’s smart to learn from them.

Reflect on your recent or past work habits that haven’t helped you succeed like you thought they would. Think through each step of your work process to narrow down which parts weren’t useful and why. Once you know what you can improve on, you’ll refine those habits and get better at what you do.

2. Set Daily Intentions

When you walk into work each morning, do you know what you intend to do that day? Generally assuming you’ll click through your task list and clock out when you finish for the day isn’t enough to give you the drive you might lack.

Instead of rushing into work without a plan, set daily intentions and goals so you understand why you’re giving your all. You’ll know what you want and how to get it, which provides a smarter approach to your schedule. You can use this for the rest of your life too so you fully understand what you do in any moment.

3. Tackle Worst Things First

Procrastination sneaks up on people when they aren’t expecting it. Sometimes it strikes as soon as you sit down at your desk. You might glance at your calendar and dread something you have to do in the afternoon, so you slog through your morning work as if it can slow downtime.

Switch things up by tackling the worst part of your day first. Getting those boring or dreaded projects out of the way is great for a couple of reasons. You’ll work on them when you have all your energy and focus first thing in the morning. You’ll also enjoy your day more afterward since you have nothing to dread.

Use this tip to become more effective at what you least enjoy doing, whether you’re at work or starting on a list of chores at home.

4. Create a Backup Plan

If you want to work more effectively, you should take a second look at how you spend your time. What does your daily schedule look like? Devoting too much time to small calendar events will leave less room for you to refine the bigger ones later on.

Once you have your day sorted out, create a backup plan in case your schedule gets knocked off track. Your boss may ask you to do a quick project for them or a meeting might move to another day. Your backup plan will either help fill in the new empty time or assist in rearranging your future schedule without compromising other deadlines.

5. Review Your Results

After you get used to your new way of approach your job, your efficiency will become a new skill. Even when you feel like there’s nothing left to improve, review the results of your efforts and never stop learning. Remaining proactive about monitoring your efficiency helps you stay relevant in the professional world during any period of your career. Reflect at the end of the day, week or month to see what worked and tweak what didn’t.

Share What You Learn About Being Effective at Work

You’re not alone in feeling like efficiency could change how you think about your job. Doing more with less energy is always a great skill to have, as long as you learn along the way. Share tips like these that help you in your professional development journey so others can grow alongside you, making your entire team more efficient.