Work Smarter … Not Harder
Simple. Not so easy, right!? I don’t know about you, but at every point in growing my little empire, I’ve had to be very intentional about what working smarter means. I grew up with the message “work hard and you can achieve anything”. Hopeful … helpful … right up until it’s sooo not. That programming had me connecting my output with my value. And that, my friends, is simply not true.
I continue to immerse myself in that which helps me to work smarter NOT harder. Here are three tips and strategies that work for me:
- Focus on your 20% – the Pareto Principle tells us that 20% of what you do drives 80% of your results. But you’re a smart person, you know that. Here’s the rub … your 20% is constantly shifting and moving. Periodically block time (more to follow on that) to THINK about what your 20% is. Create some “white space” so that ideas flow. Figure out what your Zone of Genius is and stay there. As the leader of your organization, your 20% absolutely includes strategy and vision – you need to see around corners (thank you COVID for making this crystal clear).
- Spend time each week to PLAN your week. Write it all out – block the time on your calendar. I’ve been talking about this for years – it’s powerful. I color code my calendar:
- Green – revenue producing
- Yellow – leadership
- Purple – content building and speaking
That’s my 20% and I make sure that gets about 80% of my time. The rest are coded as BLACK so I can clearly see when I have too much that falls outside my Zone of Genius.
When I plan my week (which I like to do on Sunday evenings) I also block time for exercise, inspirational time, professional development time, working on key relationships, FUN and even a bit of meal planning, The truth is that represents “all of me” and unless I block time and plan, something is NOT going to happen – leading to stress and underperforming – not for this gal!
Also, explore front loading your days (eat the frog) and your week. My energy is higher earlier in the week than later in the week – I block time accordingly. It’s almost magical.
- Delegate, delegate, delegate. Lately I’ve been marinating in Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker. Now, frankly I’ve built a formidable organization, but I am, by no means, finished. Profit drives possibility and massive profit drives massive possibilities. I am here in the world to make an impact.
Harv says millionaires earn at least $500/hour – so what is keeping you from focusing on producing $500/hour (every hour). What are the tasks that take you out of your Zone of Genius. For me, it’s the “administrivia” and the detail work . I can do it, but it takes a TON of energy. It’s the bookkeeping, the social media (which is a rabbit hole for me), the CRM tasks, internet research (did I mention seeing around corners), the project management details and so much more.
Consider tracking your time to see where you are “leaking” time. We have a Time Tracking and ROI tool I am happy to provide (email me) — it will help you to determine what your Zone of Genius is and what is keeping you from that. And equally important, what your ROI on delegating those tasks might be – I’m guessing it’s way more than you think.
Simple, not necessarily easy. Right? And it’s a process, not an event. Keep coming back to it. Trust me, it’s worth it.
And speaking of your 20% … building influence is DEFINITELY part of your 20% so join us at my next Business Growth Series webinar: The Power of Influence (and how to get more).
Donna Miller is a Business Growth Consultant and Chief Visionary Officer at C3Workplace. She and her team have helped literally thousands of companies to start and grow. She has an innate ability to help you focus what will drive your business forward and produce massive results. Enjoy this podcast interview of Donna on The One Thing podcast (another a-mazing book) for some great insight into pivoting your business.