Five Strategies For Working Smarter Not Harder
Most people have heard the advice that they should work smarter not harder yet very few people actually follow that advice. Most business owners and executives these days are working long hours in order to achieve their goals. If you have to work more hours than the normal business day in order to complete your work then you are doing it wrong! Here are five strategies to help you work smarter not harder.
Strategy 1: Focus
How many minutes do you think that you are fully focused in a typical work hour? It may surprise you to find out how few it really is.
Research has shown that most people can be 5 to 10 times more productive in each work hour. If that sounds like exaggeration to you then try this simple test.
Keep a pad and pen beside you and start becoming aware of your level of focus. Whenever you realize that you have not been fully focused on your work jot down how long you have been distracted for. If you do this exercise well then you will totally shock yourself.
If you can develop the skill of being totally focused during your work hours you will be amazed at how much you produce.
Strategy 2: Leverage
Leverage is the art of using tools to increase your quality of your work and/or your productivity. The tools could be technology, such as computer software, or they could be organizational strategies such as better systems.
What leverage are you currently using to maximize your results?
For example, a salesman who sells via seminars or teleseminars is likely to gain greater hourly returns than a salesman who sells one-to-one.
What could you do to leverage your time, knowledge, or skills?
Strategy 3: Delegate
A special class of leverage is delegation. Delegation is getting other people to do aspects of your work so as to free up your time for more profitable activities.
Let's look at a sales example again. If a particular salesman is very skilled at closing sales then it may make sense to delegate the administrative tasks associated with sales so that the salesman can spend more time closing. If the profit from the increased sales is greater than the cost of delegation then you have a good system.
It always amuses me to hear business owners complaining that their sales people hate prospecting and are really bad at it. In my businesses I've always hired professional prospectors who were good at it and freed up the sales team's time to do what they are good at; selling! Of course this is a very profitable strategy and everyone is happy.
Strategy 4: Time Management
I often hear business owners saying how great a particular staff member is because they always stay back extra hours to get the work done. I have the opposite opinion. If you can't get your work done in a normal day then you are probably lacking in focus, leverage, or delegation skills or you are a poor time manager.
Time management is the art of organizing yourself so that you get all your work done in a standard business day. If you combine it with the other skills, outlined above, then you can achieve an enormous amount of productivity in that working day and have no need for extra hours.
Organizing a day starts at the end of the previous day. If you do this then during your sleep your brain will help you become more efficient.
It has been estimated that 50% of your sleep time is devoted to your brain organizing and structuring knowledge and experiences gained during the day. If you pre-program the next day's activities you will find that the natural mental processes during sleep are working with you to help you achieve your schedule.
Learn the basics of time management and use them every day.
Strategy 5: Discrimination
I'm sure you know the 80/20 rule; 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts. The reason that this is true for most people is that they don't know which of their efforts is producing the best results. If you keep good records then you can shift the 80/20 rule to work more effectively for you.
If you knew which 20% of your activity produced the best results then you could organize yourself to spend more time on those types of tasks and thus increase your profit per hour. If you knew the characteristics of the 20% of your clients who gave you 80% of your business then you could target those types of clients.
Frank Bettger went from a failing insurance agent to the highest earning insurance agent in America by using the 80/20 rule to his advantage. His books are still available and well worth a read.
Your Strategy: Put the Five Strategies to Work in Your Business
You now have the five strategies. All you have to do is to look at ways that you can apply these strategies to yourself and your business.
About the Author: James Delrojo would like to help you by giving you his
ebook "Unleash the Success Power of Your Mind"
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