One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident


Work Smarter NOT Harder

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“Work smarter not harder.”

A friend said that to me a few weeks ago and I can’t get it out of my head.

I’m a worker bee. Always have been.

I got my first job at 14 and never looked back. I flipped burgers at McDonald’s, waited tables, worked retail, made calls as a telemarketer (for a dating service, THAT was fun!) and even put overtime in at an industrial electronics factory.

Once I graduated college, I started a career as a multimedia programmer. A few years later, settled into an Assistant Professor position at a local community college.

Regardless of the job, I gave each and every one of them 100%. Always taking on extra responsibilities, going in early and staying late. Whatever was asked of me or whatever I thought needed to be done, got done.

Now I blog. There are no hours. The office doesn’t close. I have no punch card or time sheet. Social media outlets are active 24/7 and there’s always something that needs to get done. Always.

I work. A lot.

Too much.

Over the next few weeks I’m making an effort to put those words of my wise friend to practice. I don’t want to stop working, I just want to work smarter (and not feel guilty about it!)

I plan on sharing lessons learned as I figure out exactly what “working smarter” looks like and, as always, I welcome any advice!

Have you found a balance of working smart but not necessarily hard?

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There are 11 comments so far.


    August 2, 2011

    Well uh obvivously I have lots of thoughts on the subject ;-) but my first is GUILT SCHMILT.

    Save that feeling for when you violate your moral code.



    August 2, 2011

    I am in need of tips on this so can’t wait to hear what you learn :)
    I find I work and then think about ways I could have done it better or quicker or something that I didn’t think of at the time and always feel guilty for it.
    I need to learn to work smarter :)


    August 2, 2011

    Definitely something I’m striving to figure out as I start to work from home. Need to find the best way to have a healthy balance.

    Cynthia (It All Changes)

    August 2, 2011

    I’ve found the balance for my full-time job but as a blogger it seems like things are never done. I’m always taking photos, thinking of receipes, etc, etc, etc.

    I have a hard time turning it off because I’m on the computer all the time.

    My best trick has been using to set time limits for tasks. The clock is a great reminder for me to work smart on a task with a time limit than going willy-nilly.

    Liz B

    August 2, 2011

    I need the answer too!
    A few things I have found useful:
    any project I do repeatedly I make a check list for and then dig it out next time
    Like Cynthia, setting myself timelimits makes me much more productive.


    August 2, 2011

    I am usually able to “work smart” after “working too hard” the first few times! LOL Especially when it comes to losing weight.


    August 2, 2011

    I can’t profess to have any answers as I am still working on balance myself (and I don’t even have a spouse/kids!) But here’s one tip that I heard at a conference and I’ve been trying out:

    Put everything for the week on one to-do list. Home, Work, Volunteer, Exercise, Errands, etc. It’s a long list, yes, but I can more easily see which tasks are actually urgent and then prioritize each day based on what’s left, or what’s come up. Sometimes I realize that a task I thought needed to be done this week isn’t really that important after all. And I guess that’s where I am getting a little smarter?

    chris brown

    August 3, 2011

    As a working mom (with kids now in their 20’s) I am looking back at the other side of the balancing act. I worked like crazy and juggled sooooo many balls in the air. Never letting up on taking care of the kids/husband/house and of course all the demands of work, means that I came last.

    Keeping time with friends, finding time to exercise, and time to just enjoy life were things that didn’t demand attention. I think you’re doing an amazing job of navigating the teeter-totter to balance “it all.”

    It’s hard not to think of your work as your job with a boss that always wants more… but as a solopreneur (or whatever you want to call it) you’ve gotta manage that “boss” in your head who wants you to do more, more more, before you can manage all the millions of to-do’s.

    One thing that’s worked for me is writing down goals in all the segments of my life and tracking accomplishments. When I look at the goals, I prioritize so that I know what can slip/back burner vs what is a non negotiable. When I look at the accomplishments (end of every quarter) it helps me realize I am making progress — Which especially helps on those days when I feel like I’m getting no where.

    Being a mom is a full time job… and running a business is too. And you’re doing a fabulous job at everything while taking care of yourself too!!


    August 9, 2011

    I absolutely love this saying and say it all of the time!!


    August 10, 2011

    Seriously cant wait to hear about your tummy tuck as that has been a desire of mine for years…I keep chickening out


    September 7, 2011

    Work smarter not harder has been my motto for years! I am always striving to be just that efficient………..