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Live smarter, not harder

I’ve written about Buffer’s values previously and the fact that I find them pretty inspiring.

One of the values I’ve been thinking about a lot lately is “Live smarter, not harder” and how that applies to me.

According to buffer’s highlights:

  • You value waking up fresh over working that extra hour
  • You always aim to be fully engaged in an activity, or resting
  • You single task your way through the day
  • You are at the top of your game, as you focus on expanding capacity of your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual energy
  • You choose to be at the single place on Earth where you are the happiest and most productive, and you are not afraid to find out where that is

We are working on the last point (finding out where our happiest and most productive place is), but other than that, I’ve been trying to work on my work / life balance, getting more sleep and being focused on one thing at a time.

My average number of hours asleep has slowly been creeping up from about 6 hours a night to 7 hours a night. I think about 7:30 would be good for me, so some work left there.

I’ve also worked hard to not try to multi-task at work and to be fully engaged in an activity at home. I used to try to do other things while watching TV and as a result never really stopped working. I’ve managed to get this right pretty well.

As I mentioned in my 2016 goals post, I was horrified to find out that last year I worked well over 400 hours of overtime… Apart from one crazy ambitious project where I put in about 120 hours of overtime over a period of 3 months, this snuck up on me.

Luckily, this is pretty simple to fix – Just don’t do it 🙂 While this isn’t always easy, just being aware of my tendency to work lots of overtime hours has made a big difference.

I’ve also been working at being more efficient. Less multi-tasking and a better setup has made a big difference. I focused on cutting out mouse usage as much as possible by figuring out a better IDE setup and I’ve upgraded laptop (another 8GB RAM and an SSD) which have had massive improvements on both my productivity and my RSI.

In a nutshell, while there is definitely a lot more improvement to be made, I’ve made huge strides in working smarter, not harder, and it’s had a definite positive impact in what has been a difficult period.