How to work smarter in 2021

work smarterB
Set deadlines

Even if you work for yourself with a great level of flexibility or have a generous boss who always lets deadlines slide, setting yourself deadlines and doing everything in your power to stick to them is such a useful time management tool.

Write the deadline down. Schedule it in your diary. Sort and prioritise your to-do list in order to achieve that deadline goal. Hold yourself accountable!

Pick up the phone

We get it, a lot of us prefer to email, text or instant message but sometimes picking up the phone is just a faster, more efficient way to get the information you need quickly. If it’s a quick easy question that you need answered fast, sometimes the good old-fashioned phone is best. Likewise, it’s a complex issue that needs to be talked over, a scheduled phone or Zoom call could work to your favour.

Use productivity tools

If you’re still struggling with your productivity, consider downloading some apps to help you. There are loads of technology-based productivity tools out there now. Some good ones include: RescueTime, Focus Keeper, Toggl, MindNode and Trello, just to name a few.

Learn, learn, learn

Even if you’re an expert in your field or have been working within it for decades, there is always something new to be learnt or skills you can develop. Consider taking a short course, dedicating yourself to watching informative LinkedIn learning or YouTube videos weekly or even pursuing further study at a university level in 2021. You may surprise yourself.

Look after yourself

Wellness at work was a big topic in 2020 and will remain so going into a New Year. Equally, you need to ensure that wellness is a focus on all aspects of your life. As more of us work from home, striking that work-life balance becomes increasingly crucial. Set yourself daily and weekly health and wellness goals, comitt to an exercise programme you enjoy, eat well, sleep enough and take time just to relax and wind-down. Your productivity relies on it.

Cut down on tabs

Having loads of tabs open at the top of your browser can be one of the worst distractions as you’ll be tempted to switch between tasks and, as we all now know, multi-tasking simply does not work. Try to keep just a few tabs relevant to the task you’re working on open. If you struggle with that, try out an an app such as OneTab.


We can never stress this enough – prioritiese items on your daily to-do list in order of importance, include just a few items per day, and stick to it! If you don’t finish all items in your allocated work time, the next day should begin with the remaining tasks.

Consider your work space

The space you work in sets the tone of everything you do. Try to keep it tidy, organised and comfortable and do incldue personalised touches such as family photographs, your favourite fragranced candle or even wellness items such as some sage to burn at the beginning or end of your day, calming essential oils or a salt lamp.

Utilise templates

At ROI, we always encourage the use of simple templates to help guide your project management. These templates should be customised to suit the culture and needs of your organisation. Chat to us about how templates can help your team.