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Work Smarter, Not Harder

November 20, 2009



Does your to-do list seem to be on steroids? The more you check off the list, the more it seems to grow. Well, join the club.

Since many of us are taking on more work, I thought I’d share a few words of advice on how to be more efficient and effective and, ultimately, spend less time working hard.

Get to the Point
• When you’re under the gun, think in bullet points. Put the information out there quickly. Your teammates or client(s) will thank you for saving them from searching through paragraph after paragraph.

• Make one list of actionable items and one list of goals, and prioritize them in order of importance. As you complete a task, cross the item off of your list. You’ll feel a great sense of accomplishment even if the list doesn’t get shorter (at least you’re getting things done).

• Enlist your colleagues. Provide clear direction and deadlines to ensure you have a more productive work day. Trust that your coworkers have the ability to complete the tasks at hand, but have an “open door” for questions. 

Measure Twice, Cut Once
• Double-check your work and have a second set of eyes review it before it goes out the door. This will save you time – and potential heartache – in the end.

Be Flexible
• Things change fast these days, so learn to adapt – quickly.

Stay on Track
• Before leading a meeting, create an agenda to help you stay on track and on time.
• If you can cover something in ten minutes, don’t drag the meeting out for 30 minutes to “fill the time.” I’m sure your colleagues will appreciate you respecting their busy workloads and letting them get on with their day.

If we all apply these tips to our busy work life we’ll not only work smarter, we’ll feel smarter by achieving more in our days.

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