A Value MindsetMarch 17, 2022
Anyone who knows me will know that I am all about working smarter. I think that finding ways to work smarter is the best thing you can do for yourself, your business and your team. It is a powerful concept that will change the way you view problems, and you will find yourself coming up with creative solutions in a new way.
This has been inspired by so many of the key influences on my life and I cannot recommend enough digging into any of these authors to learn more. Greg McKeown, Ed Mylett, Jim Collins, Dr. Caroline Leaf and Lauryn Evarts Bosstick have guided me in so many ways over the years and this list wouldn’t exist without their work and influence.
10 Ways to work Smarter, Integrity Software Style
- Plan your time in advance
- Is it essential?
- Limit your email
- Productive, not busy
- Outcomes over hours
- Do not multitask
- Eliminate the unessential
- Put your phone away
Plan your time in advance
I cannot emphasis this enough. My calendar is planned out weeks and months in advance. This has changed my life, putting everything (and I mean everything) into my calendar has allowed for me to make sure my days are as effective as possible.
Is it essential?
In his Best-Selling book Essentialism, Greg McKeown teaches us to consistently ask this question of all aspects of our lives. Is the task we are doing essential for our vision? This filter allows me to easily remove the items that ask for attention but will not matter in one year.
Limit your email
This has been something that I have applied with incredible results. Closing my inbox and giving myself the space to focus for most hours in the day has seen huge changes in my productivity levels. I now check emails twice a day and the rest of my time is focused on building Integrity Software
Productive, not busy
Recently we have changed our culture to move away from the concept of being busy to focus on productivity. This has meant that we now focus on how much are our tasks contributing and what are we getting done rather than how busy we felt in a day
Outcomes over hours
The natural result of number 4 has been that I have adjusted all our internal performance metrics to focus on outcomes, not hours. I no longer look at how much time was spent on a task but rather what result did the task I work on bring. How valuable was that result to me, my business and my team?
Stick to a routine
One thing I know to be true about myself is that I thrive on routine. Building this into my days., weeks and months has given me freedom in so many ways. The biggest impact has been on my headspace, I no longer have to worry about when should I do something or if I have remembered to schedule an event because the routine means that everything is in place already
Do not multitask
I have to caveat this with saying that I am a huge fan of the passive multitask (going for a walk & listening to a podcast is my favorite) but multitasking in its traditional form is something I find takes away entirely from my ability to work smart. When I try to multitask, I am unfocused, and I often make mistakes that end up requiring far more time and energy than the multitasking ever gave me.
Eliminate the unessential
I often find myself using the alternative to ‘Is it essential?’ and to asking myself, ‘what am I doing that is not essential?’ and then going about the business of eliminating anything unessential that has crept into my day-to-day routines.
Put your phone away
The never-ending distraction that is my cellphone! I daily put my phone on ‘do not disturb’ mode when I am having focused time. The elimination of the distraction of a ringing phone, or my notifications going ‘ping’ has increased my ability to focus, which has meant working smarter throughout the day
Dr. Caroline Leaf has been incredibly influential in a new habit I have added to my days, adding in space to daydream. 5 minutes between tasks to stare out the window and do absolutely nothing. The research behind the benefits of daydreaming is growing at a rapid rate and I personally have found that my focus has improved, my ability to concentrate through the 3pm slump has drastically changed and, most important of all, I sleep so much better which means the next day I am refreshed and ready to go again.
Inspired by “14 ways to work smarter” ~ The Skinny Confidential