Utilize Your Resources to Work Smarter, not Harder.

Have you noticed how the introduction of new systems or processes creates more work? It starts with a learning curve, and then moves to redundancy, but the results are the same – more work!

It is time to break that pattern by working smarter. This starts with taking a break from doing and spending time thinking. (Don’t worry. It won’t hurt much!)

Abe Lincoln once said, “If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend six sharpening my ax.” Those hours of preparation are critical to the success of any initiative.

Start small with fifteen minutes a day and ask, “What one thing will improve my business (substitute department, division, life, etc. as needed) most?” When you have an answer, do it. Continue indefinitely, increasing the time as needed.

Encourage your management team to do the same. You will find that your organization is more productive and successful with less stress.

I find that applying a time limit also works well with the tasks that I don’t enjoy. Give me a problem to solve and I can stick with it for hours, even days, if needed. Food and sleep become annoyances.

Give me paperwork to do and I am distracted after 30 seconds. If I apply the 15-minute rule, then I accomplish what I need to do. After all, it is only 15 minutes! Sometimes I even work past the deadline because it wasn’t nearly as bad as my mind lead me to believe.

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