Yep, working smarter can lead to a longer life. I have not conducted an official study on this but I’m pretty sure I’m right. Repetitive, dull, clunky tasks cannot be good for your health.
Getting stuff done and getting it done fast on the other hand allows you to be creative, work on loftier projects, maybe squeeze in a laugh or two or nine and feel fulfilled in the knowledge that you achieved what you wanted to achieve, in perhaps half the time, and that means you’re great!
Here are the 3 main ways to work smarter:
- Don’t resist change, embrace it
- Get the right tech
- Don’t hesitate, collaborate!
I’ve often spoken about my incredulity at the fact that going to work means, for most people, travelling back in time. To an age much like the 80s or 90s but without the good bits like bright knits, high quiffs, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, all the synth soundtracks or Brit Pop.
It is a world of paper, dusty filing cabinets, Excel spreadsheets, manual data entry and old PCs (or software that only works on desktop). Now, that doesn’t exactly spell “smart”, does it? Especially if it’s been the same way for the past 30 years. When our personal lives are permanently about making things easier, faster, more connected, why oh why are our work lives such a drag? Change needs to happen.
Don’t resist change, embrace it
“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”
Now, this quote has been attributed to Henry Ford, Albert Einstein and Anthony Robbins. Regardless of who said it, it’s bloody true. And to keep improving you must keep learning. And to learn means to embrace change. To be adaptable and receptive. To be open to the infinite posibilities that come with our capacity for knowledge.
There are studies showing for instance that in most organisations, the finance department spends the equivalent of Monday AM to Wednesday lunchtime just processing invoices and payments. That’s half a week wasted on pushing paper and manual data entry. That. Is. Insane.
Changing this is vital to the long term survival of a company. And that’s just survival! Keeping competitive or even ahead of the competition means embracing change asap and working together as a team to implement it, work with it and adapt to it.
Get the right tech
Nothing has been more helpful to our efficiency than technology. The advances made in the past few years have transformed the way we live our lives. We have access to services and goods in minutes, we pay for things with our thumb print and make call through our messaging apps.
Yet again, if you don’t work for a tech company — you will need to leave all that digital efficiency you know and love at the door as soon as you step into your offices. A lot of businesses look at tech with a breed of fear usually reserved to entering a pit of bears whilst smothered in honey and rolled up in ham. But getting the right tech will make your work life better. It will improve your 8 hours no end. You’ll find not having to push paper around or make 23453287645 calls or save new versions for 973664576123 spreadsheets very liberating. You’ll be able to look up from your desk for the first time and walk around freely, doing your tasks on the go. Just like you do at home. A few clicks and you’re done. The right tech can be the difference between a budget sinkhole to a revenue generator (for all the bosses out there).
Don’t hesitate, collaborate!
Cheese but true! Work with your teams to get change implemented and new tech assimilated. Just like a brand new employee, give change a chance. So many companies try their hand at something new for a couple of months and then decide it’s too hard and they give up and go back to the 80s.
Giving yourself time to adapt is key here and getting the whole team/company to do the same is an absolute requirement for success. We are all creatures of habit but when the habit is bad for you, you have to make that change and stick with it. Give it six months, give it a year — then draw a line and see how your life’s changed.
Supporting eachother and working together to improve will bring you all together. It will be an exciting challenge you can embark on together and let’s face it, variety is the spice of life. You spend over 8 hours a day at work, there is absolutely no reason to have a shitty time whilst at it.