Hard Working Does Not Always Equal Smart Working

by / Wednesday, 10 July 2013 / Published in Professional, Work

Is your head spinning in the rat race or are you too scared to get off the wheel?

You’ve probably heard coaches telling you to “take action” on your dreams. And that’s great. Action is the only way to get things done. But… are you spinning your wheels in place sometimes?

Are you being efficient? Are you being effective?

Efficiency and effectiveness are not the same thing. You could be:

  • Effective and inefficient (working harder, not smarter)
  • Efficient and ineffective (zooming along in the wrong direction)
  • Inefficient and ineffective (blundering into obstacles and wandering aimlessly)
  • Effective and efficient (working smarter, not harder)

Work smarter by marrying efficiency and effectiveness, thats smart working!

Why is this important? Because by self-sabotaging your actions, you are sabotaging your dreams. The root of self-sabotage? Fear!

You may have a fear of failure; success; being ridiculed; being not good enough. Whatever your fears are, taking the right kinds of action can empower you!

Working smart empowers you because you:

  • focus on quality rather than quantity
  • focus your time/energy on the most productive actions

How is this empowering? Because you are in control. Your are directing rather than reacting.

Efficiency is a beautiful thing. Think about some of the things you do efficiently (anything you are good at). But…

Are you efficient at procrastination?

Procrastination is a sign of fear. Give yourself a hard look. Are your days consumed with busywork, or are you actually getting things done?

Tips on smart working:

  1. Narrow your focus. Chasing too many rabbits leaves you frazzled, exhausted and stressed. Choose one important goal, give it your all, finish it and move on.
  2. Plan before doing. Identify the magic 20% of efforts that will yield 80% of your results.
  3. Eat the frog first. Mark Twain said, “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” Start with the one thing you’ve been dreading and putting off. Get it done, out of your mind. The rest of the day will be easy!
  4. Value your time. Time spent thinking about unfinished business; worrying about what might go wrong; sitting in a black funk of creative block; procrastinating; giving in to distractions = getting nothing done.
  5. Focus. Work in short time chunks of laser focus and super-productivity. An hour’s worth of intensity is far more productive than eight hours of la-di-da.
  6. Don’t multitask. Nothing kills productivity more, except procrastination. Do one thing at a time. Do your best. Get it done. Move on.
  7. Create a sense of urgency. Set deadlines that don’t cause stress, give you enough time to do a good job but do not allow for procrastination or distraction.
  8. Take breaks. Take frequent 10-minute breaks to recharge your batteries. Don’t try to get ahead by skipping breaks (a brisk walk or 10-minute catnap). You won’t get ahead, because of the Law of Diminishing Returns.
  9. Unplug from distractions. Hang a real and/or virtual Do Not Disturb sign.
  10. Underpromise. Overdeliver.

Please contact me for help with motivating yourself to work smarter, and to overcome the fears that drive procrastination!

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