Category Archives: employment

“Work smarter not harder.” – Duh!

The way we approach annual goals, meaning our specific work practices as opposed to sheer effort, does indeed provide greater results.  Think about those goals you have previously identified for the year.  Are you making forward progress?  Is your pace of progress on track?

Confined only by walls you buildWith the mid-year mark approaching, circle back on those goals and key activities being engaged.  Are you working harder? Smarter?  Neither? Both?

If you find yourself working harder, be aware!  You are spread too thin and falling into the complexity trap.  Thus, working smarter holds great truth.  Confirm that you have clear direction, reclarify your goals, and literally focus on “fewer” activities.

The smart way to work is literally “do less, then obsess.”  By no means does this imply slacking off – quite the contrary.  Author of Great at Work, Moten Hanson, sums it up perfectly – “As few as you can, as many as you must.”  By this he means we should do everything possible to discard non-essential activities.  Take the fewest steps – while retaining everything necessary to do great work.  Rather than “do more, then stress” we should “do less, then obsess.”

Reconfirm those goals.  Recognize the most critical activities needed.  Invest huge efforts into each activity and obsess over them!

What will you obsess about?

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.

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Quitting is not a good choice; except when it is your best choice

“Pain is temporary but quitting lasts forever.”  Sound advice, right?  Maybe or maybe not.

That was a quote from Lance Armstrong and his belief, do not quit at all costs, ended up costing him everything.

quittingSince childhood, we’ve been taught that quitting isn’t an option; that “winners never quit and quitters never win”.  Sounds great on the surface, but let’s be real – quitting is sometimes the best option.  In fact, I would argue that success demands we be perpetually course-correcting, a.k.a. quitting.

Back to Lance Armstrong.  What if he had quit doing the wrong things so that he could do more of the right things? If only he stopped taking those performance enhancing drugs he would likely have some “legitimate” tour de France records.  But he didn’t quit and those seven consecutive records have since been erased from the books.

Herein lies my point, there are times when quitting is the right decision.  Quitting can be a positive process of choosing the path that more fully serves you personally and professionally.  Quitting can be simple tweaking and refocusing in/on a more positive direction.  Quitting can be learning to be more productive, efficient and effective.  It all depends on what you are giving up and why.

Reflect on and identify any areas where your intentions don’t match your actions; where your actions do not match your desired outcomes.  “Quit” those activities/habits which no longer bring you closer to achieving those dreams and goals.  You owe it to yourself!

And while your parents were right that completing what you start is an excellent rule of thumb, it’s not always the best option.  After all, if Lance Armstrong had quit “winning at all costs,” his legacy would be far different than what it is today.

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.

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