Working better, not harder can and probably will make you healthier and happier. Working longer does not guarantee financial security, it’s a  stressful way to live with consequences. You could do better or better still work shorter but still be productive.

Bertrand Russell, the English philosopher, was not a fan of work. In his 1932 essay, “In Praise of Idleness”, he reckoned that if society were better managed the average person would only need to work four hours a day. Such a small working day would “entitle a man to the necessities and elementary comforts of life. —C.W. and A.J.K.D.

–Choose what you love with caution

If your current job is made up of stuff you hate, you might want to consider finding a new one you will love in 2014. If that’s a long shot, consider seeking projects you love to do within your current job.

Passion makes work fun. You can achieve more and get more done in a day when you enjoy what you do. You are driven to apply a continuous cycle of analysis, goal setting, organization, planning, execution, measurement and optimization when you are moved by passion.

But it’s also important to note that passionate entrepreneurs or employees are more likely to work more because they just enjoy doing what they do with pleasure, now that’s also not healthy.

–Work on defeating procrastination

To defeat procrastination learn to tackle your most unpleasant task first thing in the morning instead of delaying it until later in the day. You are more likely to achieve more in the morning when you are most active and refreshed.

Start off each day with the seemingly difficult tasks and wind down with less stressful tasks to close the day. I like the feeling of crossing things off. It makes me feel productive, so I have a to-do list and I cross them off each day.

Consistent productivity will even make you more productive with a positive sense of accomplishment.

Increase the pace, not the hours at which you work and maintain that momentum until you get things done.

–Do a self-evaluation of your task in frequent intervals

Measurement can improve how you work. Take time to analyze how you work and how productive your strategies have been over the week. Can you do better in less hours. What is not working and why is it not working? What are you doing wrong?

Do more of what works and less of what steals your time. Reward yourself when you achieve your task as scheduled.

–Do you know how your day will end?

Make sure you know how you want your day to go in advance, even before you start. If you set out do one thing in the day, get to work as soon as possible and focus on getting it done that day. Once you are able to achieve your daily tasks, you will be motivated enough to get more done the next day.

Take each day as a new opportunity of doing something great! Know your peak cycles of productivity, and schedule your most important tasks for those times. Figure out what needs to be done first and then decide what can be done next.

–Want to be more productive? There are apps for that!

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” ― Abraham Lincoln

Technological advancement is meant to move people from working hard to working smart. There are now hundreds of apps out there that could make your work more easier, freeing you of the time you would have spent behind your desk. Check out some of the most productive apps here, here and here.

Don’t reinvent. Look for available resources that can make you work better, faster and smarter.

–Maintain a steady diet of positive influences–people, ideas, and your own thoughts!

Some people start each day with emails, news and then the actual work. How about read something related to your personal and business development every day. Read a new post by your mentor, read one or two popular posts on LinkedIn Today, get inspired by new ideas and stay motivated to build your career. There are better ways to do everything, you have just not found it yet.

–Declutter your calendar & digital life

Decluttering your day is about reducing commitments, and saying no to the non-essential things. So first make a list of your commitments. Make a list of what’s most important to you (4-5 things) and declutter the rest. Say no to people with a phone call or email, and get out of existing commitments. Email newsletters, blogs, social networks, online reading and watching, forums, etc. — are they essential? Can you declutter them?–Leo Babauta

‘Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.’ ~Dalai Lama

–Slow down!

Life won’t collapse if you aren’t rushing from task to task, email to email. Make the most of your day, plan for work and work smarter.

How do you work better, faster and smarter?

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