Get SMART About Working Smart

Most of us have a Smart Phone. Some of us may have a couple Smart devices in our Smart homes. We may even develop Smart goals to guide us at work. How about we add a Smart Work philosophy to the mix.

I tend to prefer a work smarter, not harder kind of approach. Working smarter is about building efficiency into your work habits and goals, and prioritizing creative problem solving over brut force. This approach is not unique, but it can get overshadowed by a pervasive Hustle and Grit, Do More mentality. Pushing yourself to just do more can be inspiring, but it can also be bad advice. I am not advocating for a slacker society but I am suggesting that the Do More philosophy left unchecked, is a sure way to burnout city. The glorification of Hustle and Grit has turned them into philosophies or strategies (which they are not) instead of characteristics, which is what they are. Try this SMART work strategy to upgrade your work smarter not harder approach. Salt and pepper a little of your own hustle and grit and it may just be the perfect mix to meet your goals.

  • SIMPLIFY Your Work: Ask yourself, is there a simpler way to get done what you need to get done? Take a look at your processes, and your systems, how many steps does it take to get where you want to go? Do you need them all. Do you have a website that uses 10 pages that can do the job in 4. Do you offer 15 products, of which only 10 really sell.

  • Make Work MEANINGFUL: Make sure you know why you do what you do. Work that is meaningful to you, is easier to do. No one else can tell you what you find meaningful. If you find meaning by making more money than your brother, then go do that. Maybe it’s grooming pets, or spreading positive messages through a t-shirt line, whatever it is, be honest with yourself and go do it.

  • AUTOMATE Where You Can: Look at your to do list, how many items actually require a human to do them? You could automate thank you notes to your customers, email sequences to subscribers, appointment booking, invoice sending, social media posting, project management updates to clients, there are many options. Take the time to automate, it will save you time to create!

  • REASSESS Regularity: It is important to check in with your broader goals on a regular basis. Most of the time while doing the day to day of running your business, you don’t have time to step back and take a look around. But it’s important to re-ask yourself those big picture questions. Make sure you are still solving the problem you set out to solve, or serving the right market segment, or are you even happy doing what you are doing?!

  • TRACK your action: Data is your friend, my friend. First define what you want to track like sales, social media engagement, customer feedback, media impressions, etc. Next set your goals. You may want to see x% increase in sales over the previous quarter, or a 98% customer satisfaction rate. Then measure your progress in meeting those goals and adjust as necessary. Allow those numbers to support you where you are going, they are there to help you succeed!

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