I think, most of us would like to be more efficient and generally achieve more in our lives, but preferably without having to work hard on that. The perfect variant would be to wake up in the morning, and voila—you know a new language, you can play guitar, you know how to code. Well, I do not promise you miracles, but I do know how to get this kind of things without honing your skills non-stop. The secret is simple.
Last year, I managed to learn a new language, read the books I always left for later, sort my numerous photos (the whole bundle was stored in one folder on my laptop for years), and I started to do exercises regularly (which helped me to lose 17 lbs). As I am writing this article, I myself feel amazed by how much I managed to do. But in fact, it was not strenuous, I did not have to push myself and exceed my limits. All these achievements became possible because of the small habits I developed during the year. The general idea is to do little, yet do it every day, over an extended period of time.
So as I know it from my own experience, I may say, that if you do not have a deadline, it is better to work smarter, not harder. And here is what I mean.