In today’s times of cut throat competition, that begins at the industry and the corporate level and trickles down to the owners, management, senior officials and even the youngest new recruits, each and every one of us, irrespective of industry and job profile, are hard pressed for time.
There is always the ‘too much stuff to be done’ in ‘too less time’. One is required to be multi-tasking at his / her best to survive and grow and amidst all this chaos, it’s a mammoth task to remain focused and in control of things and get the better of it all. Clearly, working hard is not an option any more. Working smart is what it takes to survive and be successful.
Why ‘Working Harder’ will never beat ‘Working Smarter’:
Once upon a time, Working Hard used to be a good thing to do. People were focused on doing a single thing, and working hard, or spending more hours on every detail of that work only made his / her excel in that area and become an expert.
But today, the world has changed and so has the work sphere. Today, a person needs to be able to do many things at once but they are required to excel at only one thing – managing time!
The economy is not structured in a way wherein a separate individual or group is doing separate, specific tasks in the society. Current economy and society is a mass of constantly changing dynamic global organism of activity where everyone and everything is interconnected to each other and jointly functioning as a whole to keep the fabric of the current economy and industry running. Hence, spending more time or all your time on specific details are not going to get you anywhere. You might survive but never really grow.
Working-Smarter – The Mantra for Success
Success today calls for being smart. Identifying your strengths and working on it, identifying your weak points and delegating related tasks, distributing your time between the various kinds of work and the different elements of it therein in the most efficient way so that all of it gets done on time and in the quality desired. In other words, you need to be a smart worker, not a hard one. You need to be able to do a lot of things in the shortest possible time, keeping the desired quality of work intact. Want to know the secret recipe? Here goes the 8 steps of being a smart worker:
- Make a To-Do List: Everyone knows this and everyone does it, only that you need to do it before leaving work the night before. This helps you to have clarity when you start work on the next day and saves your ‘fresh’ time when you are most productive in the morning.
- Make a ‘To-Don’t’ List: Something that no one does but is equally crucial as the first one. List all the useless things you should not waste your time on. Useless phone calls, meaningless meetings, repetitive tasks, online chatting, etc. you know best. Make the list and stick to it.
- Notebook and Pen: Always have paper and pen on you like it’s a part of your clothing. Unknowingly this helps a lot. A brilliant idea, a sudden task, a brief plan, anything and everything…note it down and come back to it later when you have time. A very effective way to remain creative as well as avoid missing out on things.
- Elevator Speech: Defined as the 15-second speech that you have to give in an elevator before it reaches the floor, this is a great way to remain focused, express ideas concisely and be interesting. Practice explaining who you are, what you do or the project you are in, in 15 seconds. An important lesson in being smart, quick and concise.
- Learning Machine: Continuous learning is the best way to be a smart worker. Upgrading yourself and moving to better tasks and delegating the others is the surest way to effectively use time for the benefit of your company as well as yourself.
- Calendar Person: Make your calendar your religion. Your day starts and ends with it. Ask yourself about your priorities and assess whether you are spending time the way you should. You are your own calendar so respect it and guard it.
- Deadline Philosophy: Smart workers never say that they wouldn’t meet a deadline. The golden trick here is to under promise and then over deliver. Act quick, deliver fast. Be a hero. Period.
- Respond Quickly: Something that most of us do not do – respond to phone calls and emails quickly. Even if that means just typing one line saying ‘I’ll get back to you soon’. One of the most effective but often forgotten features of working smart. This helps a lot in getting things done quickly, reinforcing a proper communication channel and coming across as a quick and fast worker.