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Inefficiency and disorganization can be two of the biggest reasons people are ineffective in their careers. While it’s easy to attribute failure to laziness or the lack of skills, talent or knowledge, it’s rarely the case. Many times, people are working hard -- and, they know what they are doing. But, it’s just not enough when they could be working smarter.
What does it mean to work smarter? It simply means leveraging efficiency and process systems to work for you, leaving you more time to grow your business and focus on the tasks that focus on the future.
In my experience as a process systems expert, I’ve identified the top four rules for working smarter, not harder. They are:
Develop self awareness: Everybody works differently and has unique strengths. Analyze your habits and determine how your efforts are efficient, what distracts you and ways you can improve. Identify any systems you are having problems with, especially if the process, itself, seems flawed. Recognize your most effective work patterns and learn to delegate activities you are not especially adept at. Basically, know what you’re good at and ask for help with the rest!
Identify issues and fix them: Too often, we establish that a process is broken or not functioning properly, but it’s too much trouble to fix it. So, we continue to trudge along with it, regardless of how much extra time it takes to complete associated tasks. Stop it! Once you’ve determined that a method needs attention, do the work to make it an efficient process. The longer you avoid addressing the problem, the bigger it will become. Developing solutions early on will alleviate many challenges (and, headaches!) down the road.
Establish new ways to accomplish cumbersome tasks: Does it take forever to invoice your customers? Or, does the quality control process hinder production? Your business’s systems should not be disjointed, difficult or clunky to implement. When the process creates dread each time it’s time to use it, that’s a clear indicator that it needs new steps or parts to ensure its success. Analyze the task and use a new direction to complete it.
Prioritize your life: Your career and workplace are not your only priorities. Getting away from your career responsibilities recharges you, giving the energy and fresh outlook necessary to work efficiently and optimistically. When you spend too much time absorbed in work tasks, you run the risk of getting stale and burning out. Give yourself the chance to succeed by taking time away. When you return to your office, you will be sharper and enthusiastic about your goals.
Working smarter isn’t always easy to do. When it seems that you have barriers to being more efficient, despite your best efforts, we can help. Your business can only function as fast as your slowest task. Give us a chance to streamline and improve your efforts!
Learn the four rules for working smarter, not harder. Clear Simple Business can streamline your cumbersome tasks and let you focus on the essentials.
Discover the “Top 4 Rules for Working Smarter, Not Harder” from Clear Simple Business. From self awareness to fixing what’s broken, learn about how to increase your productivity in the most recent blog post!
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