79 - Unique Ways to Work Smarter Not Harder (with Arne Giske)

The secret to making every weekend, a three-day weekend...

Working SMARTER not harder.


You’ve heard this expression before and we've been talking about four-day workweeks and three-day weekends all month long, but instead of seeking out entrepreneurs who are living the four-day workweek lifestyle, I decided to poll a few of my online communities, one of which I’m very active in, managed by Jill and Josh Stanton called Screw the 9 to 5 (S/O to all the good Scroupies out there). 

I asked my communities on Facebook the following: What's your best example of an innovative thing you do to work smarter, instead of harder?

One of the answers I received I thought was very good.  The respondent’s name is Arne Giske, a fellow-podcaster and host of The Millennial Entrepreneur Podcast...I liked his answer so much I invited him on the show for a mini-interview; a little snippet of insight if you will...

I really appreciate all the feedback I received from everyone who gave their feedback on working smart and I hope you do as well. Transcripts of each answer and it’s author are included below.  Let me know if you have any questions for the those who responded and I’ll be sure to get them to the right person.

All that being said, I know you’ll enjoy my this solo-pisode presentation of The Make it Snappy Productivity Show.


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Polling comments to the question: 

"What's your best example of an innovative thing you do to work smarter, instead of harder?"



  • Caroline Oblack - "Unsubscribe from unneeded email."
  • Brittany Joiner - "I have system where I assign points of value to my weekly tasks so that I focus on the highest priority ones and not just ones that are the most work. I also don't allow any tasks on my weekly tasks list unless it has a label that's fits into one of my priority categories. That prevents me from working on anything that isn't related to my priorities." 


Podcaster’s Secret Weapon

  • Anthony Metivier - "Memorize Chinese vocabulary (and other things). Memory is my thing." 
  • Chris W. Green - "I use the voice memo app on my iPhone when I record in the field. The audio quality is good and it saves me the cost of buying expensive portable recording equipment.Plus with one button I save it in my Dropbox so I can take it off my phone and edit it when I'm ready."


Screw the Nine to Five

  • Dawn Kotzer - "'Think it- Ink it Notes.'Focus is a RESULT of setting up an environment that fosters focus.But when I'm focused on something that captures my spirit, revs me up, curious options,ideas and spin offs can easily bubble up.What to do?Deflecting down a new rabbit hole wastes time and energy ... and can ruin focus.NOT capturing these spin offs is a waste of productive synapses.Think it-Ink it Notes.When a great idea/spin off pops up... I write it down on an over-sized post it pad I keep close at hand. The KEY is to add a ONE word Title so you know which idea file to pop it into. Tada. Idea captured. Focused barely rippled. Work carries. Win- win"
  • David Martinelli - "Hiring people! Even if you have to start with a virtual assistant. Hire ASAP"
  • Johnson Tosca - "Volunteer at a co-working office in exchange for free office space..."
  • Braydon Alexandjdre"I believe that working smarter refers to leveraging your time to supersede the 24 hour glass ceiling that exists by building residual automated income. Work smart =automation."
  • Brian D. Bagdasarian Method of Time Management - a-may-zing"
  • Heather Towsley - "Hire, defer payment, barter or partner/collaborate!"
  • Claire Emerson - "Focus on one task at a time - focus-tasking"
  • Deb Ash -  2 principles - "1. The low hanging fruit. Focus the most attention on the things or the prospects that are right in your existing pipeline instead of jumping through hoops to find new prospects to warm up. So if you have 1000 members in your FB group or 1000 solid FB fans, nurture the heck out of them instead of focusing your attention on getting new ones. 2. The 80/20 rule. 80% of your success will come from just a mere 20% of the activities that you focus on. Think revenue generating activities vs all that other crap we focus on."
  • Jackie Muscat - "I make sure every step is working towards my goal. So currently I'm in growth having not long launched so every shiny new object I get distracted with I just ask myself "is this helping me grow?" If not I drop it. I also do the pomodoro technique and do 25 mins on one task then 5 mins break. Plus I bulk my activities together so all my writing in one or two pomodoros, all my research in one or two pomodoros. It works for me as I have a part time day job, plus another side business which takes me away from the PC for a full day (I'm a muralist). So I have small stints of concentrated work. Hope that helps and I'd be happy to provide more detail if needed. Jackie"
  • John Cornelius McCaskill"I never agreed with this notion. I believe the two have to work simultaneously. Working smarter still requires work...do you know how hard thinking is? If it was easy everyone would be able to do it. Even if you think of smarter ways to run your business it requires the "hard work" to find out exactly how"
  • Shelsey Cayer - "It sounds counter intuitive, but when I feel the most pressure is when I step back. Because usually when I do that, I find that a) the task isn't as necessary as I thought, or B) I find a better way to do it"
  • James Robertson - "I feel the best way to work smarter is to ensure that the work you do involves tasks that bring value to you and increase your sense of passion for your work.There is no stress in fulfilling your passions. Bottom line"
  • Julie Odler"Making connections with people in South Central Europe. By learning Croatian/Bosnian/Serbian I was able to hire a few people for MUCH less than in the US.. and didn't have to take my chances with Fiverr. Good quality tech and design people there. Still looking for a VA. Innovative, but probably not time-saving if you factor in learning another language... most people speak excellent English but it gives you a more solid business relationship, I think. I have had major tech headaches solved with a simple "dobro jutro, kako si ti?" convo over coffee"
  • Amanda Elisha Nelson - "Play more.Connecting with my inner child helps me stay creative so I'm not getting stuck in the details or worse, no ideas.I color (Notes from the Universe by Mike Dooley), write poetry, play in the pool or beach,break out my cards and play a couple games of a solitaire, dance to my favorite songs(Disney or Broadway Musicals), go to an arcade, visit a museum, etc. My business muse has challenged me to 3 hours a week of creative play. And in ONE week I've been doing it, I'm feeling calm, working strategically, being decisive, and laughing more."
  • Dallas Ryans - "Hire smart competent people that you don't really have to manage"
  • Arne Giske - "Great question. Outsourcing tasks I'm no good at, automation on key pieces of the biz, streamlining activities, leveraging what I've already built, and borrowing attention from other audiences via media exposure."


  • Show Starts [2:55]
  • What's your best example of an innovative thing you do to work smarter, instead of harder? [3:35]
  • Caroline's answer [4:17]
  • Brittany's answer [5:10]
  • Anthony's answer [7:10]
  • Dawn's answer [8:29]
  • Hether's answer [10:14]
  • Deb's anser [11:22]
  • Arne's answer [13:26]
  • Interview with Arne [14:00]
  • Fishing instead of hunting [16:01]
  • How do you leverage these tactics, these smarter methods? [17:24]
  • Borrowing an audience and call to actions [18:40]
  • Where to find Arne [20:11]
  • John Cornelius' answer [21:44]
  • Shelsey's answer [23:10]
  • Amanda's answer [23:30]