7 steps to working better now
BY ROBERT LEVIN
What does it mean to work better now? It means working smarter, not harder, to achieve your goals. Work smarter, not harder—sounds familiar, but how do you actually make that happen?
1. Have a vision
Yogi Berra famously said, “If you don't know where you're going, you might not get there.” It is easy to get caught up in the day-to-day work, which is why it is critical to have a vision. With a vision, you have the basis to be proactive and be the master of your destiny. Without it, you are reactive and your success is determined by others. And when you share your vision with your team, it allows them to to be truly empowered and make decisions on their own (see #5 below).
2. Allocate time for important and strategic work
Whether you are a CEO, business owner, or executive, your job is to lead and set strategy. For most, the challenge with doing strategic work is that it never feels urgent (certainly not as urgent as the unread emails piling up, along with the line of people who are waiting to speak with you). Consequently, it gets pushed off time and time again.
I refer to strategic work as the work that will add a zero to your company’s value. That’s pretty important. Accordingly, it is critical to put aside time on your calendar when you will not be interrupted to focus on your company’s strategy. I set aside blocks of time each week to just think.
3. Delegate effectively
There are two parts to effective delegation. The first part is to free yourself from activities that are not of high value. After identifying those lower-value activities, delegate them to someone else. Don’t have someone in the company that can take them on? Hire a freelancer. Or, consider a virtual assistant.
The second part is to make it clear to the person you are delegating to what the work product should look like. Do this and you are more likely to get what you are expecting. Don’t, and you will spend more time than if you did it yourself (which defeats the purpose). The important thing here is not to describe how to do it. Rather, be as clear as possible with regard to your expectations.
4. Think “who not how”
“Who not how” is a core tenet of the Strategic Coach philosophy and is a game changer for many entrepreneurs. Simply put, instead of figuring out how you will solve a problem, figure out who is the best person to figure out how to solve the problem. Check out this explanation of the concept from Peter Diamandis.
5. Empower your team
As mentioned in #1 above, your vision, along with your mission and values, will go a long way toward enabling your team to make decisions. You also need to create and nurture a culture of celebrating successes, and of accepting failures as a normal byproduct of business.
One benefit of automating your business includes reducing errors, which frees you and your team up to do more important things and improves the client experience. The technology to automate just about all parts of your business, from accounting to marketing, is affordable for any business.
7. Take care of your body and mind
I am excited that the topic of taking care of yourself is now a part of the discussion when talking about business performance. Here are a few areas that I am focusing on, along with a resource for each (I encourage you to do your own research as well):
Once upon a time, not too long ago, conventional wisdom said success is about working harder. Hard work is table stakes. Success comes from working better.
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