If you would like to make a New Year resolution and start anew to make everything different this is an ideal article for you. Before you make a promise to yourself read this text first.

Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian

Source: Jutarnji list

Jutarnji list published a special in Croatia on how to be more successful at work, have more spare time and to be happier.

This should be a short text because, realistically, you’ve got work to do and so do we. We are busy, never enough time. Totally busy! That is one of the main ways used to show others that we are important. Because if we are not busy and never run out of time we are not important. True? Categorically untrue! There are ways to be less busy, have more time and be more productive. It is called – smart working. Whether you own a company, you are a manager or employee, with help from technology, you can work smarter, be more successful and earn more money and have  happier co-workers. This is how…


The myth of busy working has been debunked by Ed Baldwin, a business consultant, who with his article Busy is the new Stupid opened a Pandora’s box. We live in a new digital age where the technology enables us to work smarter, have more time, be more productive, an age where creativity is valued and jobs get finished on time – wherever you are. Some of the most productive and busiest people never let on how busy they are. They will find time and give you their full attention and continue with what they were doing. Is it because they are more organised and know what their priorities are? Most of us waste time because being very busy is cool. Being busy has stopped being cool. Living happily, healthily and in harmony with nature, eat well, have free time – is now a status symbol enabled by the technology. Working smart is making us happy. Here are a few ways  how to achieve it – in a smart way…

1. Sort out your Inbox

Every day you spend a couple of hours reading your emails, according to McKinsey Consultancy. Does the work you do 25% of your working time bring 25% of your income. If not you need to optimize that 25% of your working day. Not all emails are important. The email from your manager is not the same as a weekly newsletter. Dan Ariel, one of the most renowned behavioral economists from the Duke University decided to be selective about his emails as his inbox was overflowing with hundreds of emails.

“I do care how badly we treat our health, how badly we manage our money and our time. Time is the easiest to optimise, maybe not perfectly but we can make serious inroads” , he said

How? Based on the research, Ariel came to the conclusion that 12% of emails should be responded to in 5 mins, 7% in an hour, 4% in four hours and 17% at the end of the day, 10% at the end of the week, 15% sometime and 35% we don’t even need to see. This was the basis for the Filtr app which determines the timing of email arrivals in your inbox. The app users can set the app to have family emails appear instantly and newsletters at the end of the day. Ariel also took part in developing Shortvale app which helps to sort your emails.

2. Work 20% of time for 80% of your income

Working smart is achieving the same results in less time. It is important to focus, be faster and more organised. Sitting in an office for 10 hours is irrelevant. The well known rule 80/20 states that 80% of your results are achieved by 20% of input from you. Companies are aware that most of the income comes from only few customers, and most of the results from a very few tasks. So, if you double your time dealing with the more important tasks you will double your results and spend 60% less time – which means that you will achieve in 4 hours what you used to achieve in 10. Let’s take Tony as an example. He is a copywriter working for agencies. During his typical working day   he writes his e-newsletter, trains on line clients for an hour, rings 10 potential clients, deals with bills and tidies up his work station. He can work at home, all he needs is a fast internet connection, he can save data in the cloud and work on any computer anywhere. He thinks that he has to do all those tasks, but training the clients and talking to potential clients are the only activities bringing money in. He should be dealing with clients more than with his bills. In fact, he can employ an accountant from the income off just one client. Even if he became 10% more efficient in communicating with his clients that would add much more value to his business than all other activities put together.


More Caffeine and long to do lists will not bring you closer to your goal. Really productive people do not want to do more tasks, it is counterproductive. If you really want to be productive, you must focus on less tasks according to Tony Wong, a project manager and productivity expert who worked for Toyota, Honda and Disney.

Cut your list in half

Instead of doing 30 things in one day, focus on really important tasks.

Have more breaks

Feeling pressure in your head after few hours of work should be a signal to take a break. The brain has used up all the glucose and you need to take a walk, have lunch or meditate. Don’t have just one break during the day, you need several short breaks to recharge your batteries.

Focus on yourself in the morning

Checking emails first thing in the morning is the productivity killer. What that means is that others are dictating what you should do. Focus on a  good breakfast and exercise. This will give you fuel for the rest of the day.

Solve the most difficult tasks before lunch

Solve the most difficult tasks whilst your brain is still fresh. Save the meetings for the afternoons.

Stop multitasking

Don’t do 10 things at the same time. Changing tasks 10 times a day lowers your IQ. Focus on one task and finish it before you start another one.


Coworkers don’t have to be in one office, all you need is Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook online on any computer. Several people can work on the same document at the same time and store data safely. Companies need innovation to get the best people and there are several ways how best to keep them:


You don’t have to work in an office anymore. Most projects can be done remotely; all you need is a fast internet connection. The benefit to the employer is that they can choose amongst the best freelancers in the world, and the benefit to the freelancer is that they can do the job anytime and anywhere. The technology allows all the team members to work wherever they want and have same access to documents in real time. The cloud tools allow sharing of documents and access from anywhere as long as the internet is fast. Google Drive allows several people to work on the same document even if they are on different continents and time zones.

Better communication

Chat apps like Slack or Basecamp make it possible for the employees to see in real time what’s happening with their projects. Better communication leads to better productivity and increases employees satisfaction.


More and more jobs are done on the computer and more and more millennials have adopted a trend of not working in an office.

A laptop becomes an office, all you need is fast internet. You don’t have to work from home, you can be out and about, at the seaside, in a cafe, on a sunny terrace having a coffee. If it’s urgent you can do it on your tablet or mobile. If you are working on a project with others, you can see all that’s going on in real time, save your work in the cloud in case you have a problem with your laptop. An American research on remote working showed that 91% of people working from home feel more productive than working in an office. Whoever works from home will tell you it’s a brilliant thing. But, if you think you’ll be super productive by making your own timetable, there are some shortfalls. You’ll lack motivation, concentration and organisation. This is how you solve these problems:

Let apps help you

Are you struggling with your priorities or focus? Once you realise what your biggest problem is you can use the tools to help you. Download Trello to help you manage your projects better, TextEdit to make your lists and Rainy Mood for better focus.

Don’t underestimate interference

When you work in an office, interference is all around you – a colleague who’s talking loudly on the phone, office gossip, somebody’s music… It might annoy you, but the truth is small interruptions are allowing your brain to have short pauses necessary to go back to work. Maybe a work atmosphere full of interruptions is what you need. So, on one of those days when you can’t find inspiration or concentrate, pack your laptop and go to a cafe or sit in the park. You have the luxury to work where you want. The idea is not to exchange an office for an office at home.

Use the flexibility

You don’t have to work eight hours everyday. Sometimes you might do ten or twelve hours and sometimes you might have a day off in the middle of the week. Sometimes you might have to work weekends or holidays if you have a deadline. But not in the office but on a beach for instance.

Take breaks

You must have a break during the day to allow your brain to rest. Make a lunch or eat out. Try to be active and don’t think about work – do something else or read something unconnected to work.

Richard Branson: Exercise and look after yourself

You can’t be productive if you are not healthy. Virgin founder, Richard Branson, gets up at 5 o’clock every morning and does exercises. – I can achieve double if I’m in good shape. My brain functions well because of the exercise – he said in an interview for FourHourBodyPress. Some like getting up early, but exercise during the day gives results too. British University Leeds Beckett study showed that employees who exercise during the day are more productive.

David Karp: Don’t start your day with emails

David KarpTumblr founder, only starts looking at his emails when he gets to his office around 9:30. “Reading emails at home is not productive. If something is urgent someone will call me or message me” he said in an interview for magazine Inc.

Bill Gates: Get enough sleep and wake at the same time

Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Apple’s managing director Tim Cook, and Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington sleep at least 7 hours. The scientists at the Helsinki Institute of Health discovered that people who don’t sleep at least 7 hours have more sick days. Sleeping 7 or 8 hours is best.

Elon Musk, Tesla and SpaceX founder, wakes up at 7 every morning, after 6 hours of sleep, including weekends. Although it’s tempting to lie in during the weekends to make up for the week, waking up at different times will disturb your rhythm. If you wake up after your usual time you might feel tired and disoriented. When you wake up ready for work on Monday you’ll be less productive.

Mark Zuckerberg: Simplify your choices

We all have to make loads decisions every day, the trick is to simplify the process – according to the Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Every morning he puts on the same uniform – jeans, trainers and a gray T shirt, to avoid thinking about what to wear. He doesn’t waste time with indecisions and focuses on the important things during the day in his company worth 480 billion dollars.


It seems almost impossible to be able to find a job in Croatia and live 12 000 kilometers away from Zagreb – in Bali, Indonesia. I worked as a journalist for many years and then moved into content writing. The key thing if you work online is a good Wi-Fi. The second thing – it is very hard to concentrate when you are working in a beautiful tropical garden in Bali. I worked hard in Balangan Garden whilst my friends partied, I was typing furiously in Bangkok during Songkran – their New Year when everybody is partying 24 hours a day. I didn’t have a drink in Seoul until I delivered the finished job. You have to stick to the deadline. Also you have to be connected. This year, I was just about to go for a picnic on Mt Agung (yes, the Balinese Volcano that erupted) when I had a ping with an offer of a job. I stayed in Amed, a seaside town, and worked on my laptop. There are no free weekends, holidays nor annual leave. One of my photographer friends says that we never work and always work.

Whilst we’ve got the technology to upload text at 4 in the morning from Koh Lanta island in Thailand we are not complaining.
And the other way round. I’ve just finished the January edition of The Bali Pocket magazine in English from my home in Zagreb. The world is truly a global village and I love living in this digital age. I used it to be free.