Work smarter, not harder!

It’s a tough economic climate right now. Many companies are running operations with fewer workers, and requesting more of remaining employees. Profitability can increase for the company, however the increased demands on employees can have a detrimental effect. Employee burnout and a loss of any work-life balance which may have existed, are frequent consequences.

So what can “work smarter, not harder” mean for a business owner?

One key aspect for me personally, is “mindset”;  for example, exploring other possibilities. I need to think beyond the normal “day to day” activities, look at the bigger picture and always strive to see a different solution to a challenge.

As a business owner, you can all too easily fall into many traps, such as:
– getting bogged down in day to day operational issues,
– assuming direct responsibility and associated workload for challenges which arise,
– an unwillingness to “let go” and let others actually do their job.

I’m sure you get the (bleak) picture. All you are doing it ensuring “you” as the business owner, remain FIRMLY working “IN” the business – you become a king-pin. Possibly good for the business in the short term to overcome a hurdle, however in the long term, it’s bad for the business and you personally.

I suggest a change in mindset will help immensely.

As a business owner one of your most important tasks is to grow the company and manage the growth in a sustainable fashion, after all “you” have the vision. You need to be able to take a step back; take that family holiday and allow your mind to rest easy that the business will continue – successfully!

Some pointers:

1) Keep an open mind – there is generally more than one way to solve a problem.
2) Systemise – use appropriate tools to help you.
3) Delegate – assuming you have a team – use them – that’s why you employed them!.
5) Utilise and build on your strengths; acknowledge your weaknesses.
6) Seek help and guidance when required.

I will leave you with three thoughts:

1) Think about your actions going forward. Ask yourself the questions:
Is this action/task going to make life easier or not? Am I working “Smarter” or simply “Harder” ?

2) Seek help, it is not a sign of “weakness or stupidity” – it IS a smart move. People are specialists in “their” field – use them!.

3) Don’t assume the “status quo” is correct! Question it, you will be surprised by the results …

Now it’s your turn. What do YOU do to work smarter not harder?