How to Work Smarter and Faster

How to Work Smarter and Faster

So you want to work smarter and faster? Who doesn’t?

It’s not that hard but the reason most people can’t is because they get sidetracked constantly by unimportant matters.

This ESL lesson will improve your ability to communicate in English and give you plenty of ideas to work smarter and faster.

Work Smarter – Part I: Let’s Chat about the Photo

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1. Can you tell if he’s in his office?

2. Does he appear to be multi-tasking?

3. Who do you think he’s talking to on the phone?

4. Would you say it’s “casual” Friday by the way he’s dressed?

5. Do employees in your company work in cubicles or separate offices.

Work Smarter – Part II: Take the Survey and Talk About It

1. How would you describe your desk? Choose more than one if applicable.

  • Spotless
  • Cluttered with documents
  • Littered with empty cups and food wrappers
  • Stained with coffee
  • Sticky notes everywhere
  • Covered with plants and/or personal photos
  • Other

2. How often do you check your inbox?

  • Every few minutes
  • Every couple of hours
  • Just between meetings
  • Once in the morning, afternoon and evening
  • Once a day

3. How many minutes do you spend on the phone each day with coworkers?

  • 5-15
  • 15-30
  • 30-60
  • 60-90
  • 90-120
  • 120+

4. How many meetings do you have each day?

  • 0-1
  • 1-2
  • 2-3
  • 3-4
  • 4-5
  • 5+

5. How do you multi-task?

  • I talk on phone while reading and responding to emails
  • I check emails during meetings
  • I text or check emails while walking and/or driving
  • I talk on the phone while driving
  • Other

6. How often do you take breaks from your desk?

  • Every 45 minutes
  • Hourly
  • Every couple of hours
  • Every few hours
  • Not until lunch
  • Hardly ever

7. Do you use keyboard shortcuts?

8. How many browser tabs do you keep open?

  • A few
  • Several
  • Dozens
  • Countless

9. Do you tackle your most difficult task at the start of the day?

  • Yes, I execute right away
  • No, I procrastinate

10. Do you follow the 80/20 rule of time management?

  • Always
  • Often
  • Sometimes
  • Hardly Ever
  • What’s the 80/20 rule?

Work Smarter – Part III: Share Your Opinions

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Discuss the Photo

1. Do you think she’s his subordinate or manager?

2. Does your boss sometimes watch or inspect your work?

3. Wouldn’t she more productive working at a stand up desk?

Discussion Activity

Below you’ll find 9 ways to work smarter and harder.

Imagine you and your classmates are colleagues. In partners or as a group, prioritize which methods you’ll start implementing over the next week in your office.

Give a 1 to the highest priority and 9 to the lowest priority.

    • Stop multi-tasking
    • Power down all electronic devices
    • Take breaks
    • Have a closed door policy
    • Stop talking about how busy you are
    • Learn to say “no”
    • Celebrate small wins
    • Focus on the big picture
    • Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize

Did this lesson engage and inspire your students? Kindly leave a comment below and/or share this lesson.

How to Work Smarter and Faster

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