Steps to Management Success – Step 33: Work Smarter, Not Harder

Written By Rick Frishman Published March 31st, 2010

STEP THIRTY-THREE

Work Smarter, Not Harder

Working long hours is accepted by many as the essential ingredient for productivity and success. But the fact is, that assumption is quite often wrong. Sure, ninety-hour workweeks make you look busy—and they may even be the norm in your office—but if it’s taking you ninety hours to do what could just as effectively be done in forty or fifty . . . well, how smart is that?

WHAT IT MEANS: Success is really about how effective you are, not how long you work. The main thing to keep in mind is that quantity does not equate with quality or achievement. Burning the midnight oil may be what’s expected of you. It may even be standard operating procedure—but that’s exactly my point. If everyone else is doing it, then you’re really doing no better than anyone else. If you truly want to be outstanding, you need to get more of the right things done.

ACTION PLAN: What does it mean to work smart? It means being aware of what you’re trying to accomplish, having a clear and commanding sense of your priorities, delegating when possible, taking advantage of technology to be more productive when possible, staying organized, avoiding wasted effort, and being more focused and frugal about your time.

EVEN BETTER: Regularly evaluate what you’ve accomplished over the past week or two. Does it sync more or less with what you set out to accomplish? What got in the way—and was it the best use of your time? Are you delegating as much as you could? Are you micromanaging or letting things get too lax? Focus on establishing what needs to get done and getting it done, and not just on putting in long hours.

(Excerpted from: 10 Clowns Don’t Make a Circus. . . and 249 Other Critical Management Success Strategies by Steven Schragis and Rick Frishman)


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