Working “smart” can allow you to get more done and be less tired. Making tasks easier can help save energy for the activities that are necessary and important in your life. You can do this by:

Reducing Workload

  • Only do tasks that really need doing (for example, iron only when needed)
  • Assign tasks to others (use cleaning, lawn care and snow removal services)
  • Share large tasks
  • Ask for help

Organizing

  • Get rid of clutter
  • Store things where work is done (for example, at a desk make sure pens and paper are kept in drawers that are close to where you write)
  • Keep frequently used objects at shoulder or hip level
  • Get work tools together before doing a task
  • Handle things as few times as possible (for example, put laundry away as it is folded, get rid of junk mail immediately, sort groceries as you bag them, etc.)

Pacing Yourself

  • Prioritize the work that needs to be completed
  • Divide a job into steps
  • Work at a steady but moderate pace
  • Plan for frequent, short rest breaks
  • Rest before you are tired

Planning Ahead

  • Spread heavy tasks over several days
  • Cook and serve in the same container
  • Alternate light tasks (paying bills) and heavy tasks (grocery shopping)

Decreasing the Stress on Your Body

  • Do jobs sitting down
  • Push rather than pull
  • Lift from the legs and not from your back
  • Avoid stretching, bending and twisting
  • Use a cart, tote, or basket to gather things
  • Work at the right height
  • Push or slide things; avoid carrying
  • Carry items close to your body

Using the Correct Tools

  • Use lightweight equipment
  • Use electric or powered equipment when possible (can opener, snow blower, etc.)

This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the advice of your health care providers. If you have any questions, talk with your doctor or others on your health care team.