4 Tips to Work Smarter, Not Harder

work smarter

If you’re anything like me – no matter how many hours you put in or how much work you do, the never-ending (and painfully growing) to-do list just keeps growing.  For me, as a full-time freelancer –  it’s a blessing and a curse.

In my day-to-day hustle, you’ll find me going from professional business meetings with potential clients to coffee dates with other writers and eventually huddled over my laptop at my coworking space, MakeWorks trying to write articles, like this one. Each and every single day is a challenge and sometimes a struggle. While I’m sure our day-to-days may be different, I’m sure both of our days have similar ends: worn out and beat down. Trust me, I know that feeling all too well.

When we started 2017, I made the commitment to myself that it was time to start working smarter and not harder. So if you’re a workaholic like me and need some tips to make that work week a little more manageable and provide yourself a bit of a work/life balance, then read along. I’m sure some of these tips you may already know but some of them you may be wondering why you never thought of before:

1. Breathe, no but really…

This may sound super corny but mindful breathing can be really helpful. I know that I wasn’t sold on it at first, but simple breath techniques can be used to lower your blood pressure and reduce anxiety. I was introduced to mindful breathing practices via a seminar we did at my coworking space when we used a tool called HeadSpace, but really you could use anything! Mindful breathing can be done anywhere — before a meeting, in an elevator, and at your desk and the best part – it’s free!

work smarter


2. Eating is essential… Duh.

We know we have to eat to survive, that’s a given. But if you’re like me, you’ve probably worked through lunch before and then ran out for some fast food because it was quick and easy. One of my tips to better prepare for the week is meal planning. It sounds exhausting but it’s actually not that hard to do! For breakfast, make and prepare batches of President’s Choice® Overnight Steelcut Oats with Chia (recipe here) which can be done in mason jars the night before and topped with fruits. By doing this you’ll be starting your day by fuelling your body and brain off on the right foot! Pack snacks with you like fresh fruit, vegetables or nuts. For lunch, grab another mason jar and pack a brown rice salad with arugula and feta (recipe here). Meal planning will help save you time throughout the week and hey, why not use that money you would have spent buying fast food to save on a potential trip?!


3. Learn how to say no

So this may seem like an odd one but sometimes in order to make our work lives easier, we have to learn to just say no. Successful people are really good at saying no and because of that, they’ve been able to get super far ahead in life. So when you’re approached with a new activity or a new task, think about the following: is this somehow bringing you closer to your overall career goals, do you have the time (and capacity) to do the thing and finally (the most important), does this activity or task make you happy? If the answer is no, then you should probably just say no. Don’t be afraid to harness that energy and say no.

work smarter


4. Find clothes you can you can use for day and night

As soon as you wake up in the morning, you should already have an idea of what you want to wear in the morning. This can be difficult if you have a variety of different events to go and people to impress. Yes, it’s hard out there to be a fashionable and appropriately dressed professional. But finding beautiful basics that can be transformed from day-to-night can be found at Joe Fresh®.

When I wanted more of an edgy, playful look for meeting with potential clients and friends, I found these cute faux leather pants ($39) paired with a white and black rimmed shirt ($29) and layered with a grey kimono knit jacket ($49). It is easy on the wallet, but also fun and fashionable.  

work smarter joe fresh


For days when I knew I had more formal events, I went for the simple and more elegant little black ponte shift dress ($34) and paired it with a dramatic cape ($34) for a pop of colour without a lot of thought.

work smarter joe fresh


What I loved about Joe Fresh® was the ability to find pieces that could be worn as separates and created a strong foundation for my day-to-day work attire or pieces that could be mixed and matched with each other for any occasion. Each look cost under $100 and as someone on a budget, that’s a big win!

RELATED LINK: 4 Winter Skincare Tips for the Lazy Girl

What are some of your tips to make your work/life balance easier? Share them in the comments or tweet us at @ViewtheVibe, we would love to hear them!

**Disclaimer: This post was created in partnership with President’s Choice and Joe Fresh, but all opinions are my own.**

Ama Scriver

Ama Scriver

Amanda (Ama) Scriver is a passionate storyteller, community builder and a loud and proud feminist and body image activist. She freelances for several publications including Foodism, Paste Magazine and BizBash. In her off time, she lives for coffee, trashy reality television, hip hop and all things drag. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram via @amascriver on at her website AmaScriver.com
Ama Scriver