What are some uncommon ways to work smarter instead of harder? originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.
- Google: If you're working on any problem, there is a good chance someone else has given it a go or maybe has already solved it! Before you think for hours, use the most apt "keywords" to look up your question on Google. Again, a smarter way of doing it would be to choose the keywords smartly that will quickly take you to the right information.
- Use a White Board: Draw a Venn diagram describing your problem. Find intersections, and work on those first. You'll have bits and pieces of everything, then its just a matter of time before you put it together.
- Be Lazy: My experience -- Get up at 8 for 11am class when you also have homework due, get your laptop, crank up your code engine, get the largest cup of coffee, say it loud in your head THIS IS SPARTAAAAA!!!
- Eat Less: I don't know if it works for others, but the thought of having some nice food motivates me to think for a quick fix and often creative solutions to my problems when I'm working and I'm hungry.
- Split Screen for Background Processes: Have music, funny videos, movies running in the background, stuff that you've already seen, stuff that you like. This ensures, you're not driven to watch/hear it since you've already done it, but whenever there is a moment when you tend to drift away you land across that TV show or movie, only to pause for a minute. Caution: DO NOT watch any of the latest episodes, believe me I've spent days watching TV shows while having my work going as background process!
- Create a Point of Return AKA System Restore Point: Many times it happens that you progress your work only to reach to a point when you don't remember how you reached there and you don't see a way ahead, but you know you had multiple ways when you got there! Always, remember, always create points of returns after every significant development. You surely don't want to waste hours deciphering your own work!
- Buy a Fat Hard Disk: Store everything! Every version, every update! Be smart, no matter how fast your computer is, how good your battery is, how good you are, always, always get backup! Be smart, do backups! One surge of current and booooommmm hours of "smart" and "hard" work gone in vain!
- Find People: Hang out with different people. Problems that are complex for you may be really simple for somebody else. Work in a cooperative way. Exchange ideas and thoughts and reach conclusions quickly.
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