7 posts tagged with personal

June 6, 2016
The Greatest at Personal Branding

On Saturday I woke up to the news that Muhammad Ali, arguably one of the most well-known sports figures of all time had passed away. My first reaction was a bit of surprise as I had been fairly unaware of his detiriorating condition. My next thoughts went instantly to the highlight reel in my head of the best moments, quotes, and interviews with the legendary loudmouth. As I Googled my way through the classics a new thought began to enter my marketing mind…

I was front-row firsthand witnessing a master of personal branding. As I reflected on this fact I tried to put my finger on a few of the reasons why I found myself admiring this master marketer. Here are the five big takeaways that I believe make Ali “the greatest” even in the world of personal branding.

Ali was bold

No one would ever accuse Ali of not speaking his mind. One interview would quickly prove that Ali was bold in his approach. He spoke frequently about his abilities and his talents. But not just bold in words. Muhammed was bold in other areas of his life as well. He stood by what he believed whether that was related to religion, politics, or boxing. After beginning life as Cassius Clay he boldly changed his name in response to his conversion to Islam. When the United States attempted to force Cassius to join the military during the war he boldly stood up for his beliefs, not to be defiant, but to be resolute and true to his own beliefs.

Ali was creative

As I stated in the beginning one of the first things that came to my mind when I thought back on the life of Muhammad Ali was his colorful and creative use of language and even poetry. I’m sure almost everyone knows at least one famous quote which began “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.” (Can you finish the couplet?) Ali never failed to flash a great big smile before dropping some creative rhymed taunt aimed at his opponents. He used this creative talent to make his name and his brand memorable and enduring for generations.

“I wrestled with an alligator, I tussled with a whale, I handcuffed lightning, thrown thunder in jail, I’m bad man….Last week I murdered a rock, injured a stone, hospitalized a brick. I’m so mean I make medicine sick.”

Ali was not afraid of offending

Secondly, Muhammad was clearly unafraid of what others thought or what their reactions might be to his life and his vocal outspokenness. This was not because he didn’t care, but more that he was so completely compelled to be himself and share those beliefs he was not deterred by the response he might receive. If someone was offended by him, well that was their right and freedom to be so. But that potential offense would not keep him from broadcasting his beliefs and speaking his opinion. The key thing to remember is what motivated him. He was driven incessantly by his beliefs and convictions. He didn’t offend just to offend someone, but he wasn’t afraid of offending when it contradicted his passionately held personal beliefs.

Ali owned up to defeat

While it might not have happened often there were a few times that Muhammad lost the fight. These were very telling moments for Ali. Rather than faking it or falsifying the truth the world renown fighter owned up to the defeat. He may not have humbly rolled over and claimed complete failure; but he did give credit to the victor. There’s plenty of evidence to this fact, one of the most memorable for me is an interview before his infamous “Rumble in the Jungle” fight. Ali praises a litany of his competitors for their victories in previous fights. It takes a big person to humbly accept praise in victory, it takes an even greater individual to be gracious in defeat.

Ali wrote his story

The last point I dwell on is perhaps the most important and also the most poignant. Ali was his own biggest promoter. He constantly referred to his skills, his abilities, his talent. He never sat back and let others describe his character or his performances. If Ali was in the room while someone was sharing something about him, Ali would immediately speak up (usually louder) to share his own opinion and view of himself. One of the most entertaining things to watch is any instance when Ali begins to pontificate on his own abilities and his greatness. And here’s where I think we learn a valuable lesson from Muhammad Ali. He branded himself as “The Greatest” – this was a self-claimed title. And yet, within hours of his passing, the branding he had worked on building his entire life, the story he had spent every interview instilling in his audience was fixed and established forever. “The Greatest” had died.

This is the ultimate in personal branding. Ali provides us with an excellent example on how to brand ourselves. We must be bold to share what we believe. We must be creative in how we share those beliefs. We must not be afraid to stand up for what we believe in (even when that boldness is potentially considered offensive by some). We must be gracious when acknowledging the successes of our competitors And finally, we must never give up writing our own story. Tell the world what you want them to know about you. Craft your own successful image. Be relentless in the pursuit of your goals and be intentional in sharing your story with others.

The world has lost one of the greatest sports figures of all time. Perhaps even the greatest. But the lessons we can learn from this persuasive, powerful master of their brand will continue on forever.

Social Fighting and the Consequences

October 8, 2014
Social Fighting

Everyone has seen the interactions between individuals on Twitter or Facebook. Sometimes we laugh at them, and sometimes we cringe. There is always the opportunity for conflicts and differences of opinion to surface when talking in a global setting. The very nature of social media is for the purpose of discussions and information sharing. But of course with this sharing comes disagreements. We are all unique individuals with different backgrounds, life experiences, and outlooks. While there is nothing wrong with different views it does lead inevitably to debating and discussing those differences.

Fighting

Fighting is the next step in the debate/discussion cycle. When people discuss their differences we involuntarily try to “win” the other person over to our point of view. When that doesn’t happen we tend to become antagonistic or even take the debate personal. Once things become personal it quickly deteriorates to a social fight. Social fighting is bad for many reasons. Here are three popular reasons why social fighting is a bad idea.

1. Social Fighting Involves Everyone

Unlike in person meetings when disagreements and debates (which lead to fights) occur, when you are holding these conversations online on a public and wide open social network you are allowing everyone to sit around and observe. No longer is this a private matter between two people but it turns into a public stage with the world watching. I’ve seen times when this public stage and global focus has been an extremely positive thing in helping the debate to reach a right conclusion; but I’d venture to say the majority of the time the arguments would be better served to be carried out in private. There’s no need to involve the world in your argument about the proper way to recycle pizza boxes. (I’m being facetious of course…we all know the right way is to throw them in the compost pile).

Too many private battles begin with an innocuous tweet or status update which leads to a disagreement which leads to mud-slinging which leads to a bare-fist twitter brawl. Because a conversation can degenerate so quickly from something so small as a tweet it can be difficult to monitor and nip it in the bud before it turns into something bigger. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to be aware of it.

2. Social Fighting Is Permanent

There are times when you watch a fight happen live on social media. You sit on the edge of your seat (or maybe through spread fingers with hand over face) and you hold your breath as you wait for the next message to be posted. You probably keep up with the conversation throughout the day and then when it reaches a conclusion you move on with what you were doing. Sometimes you may never think about the subject again. If you were one of the people involved in the debate you may spend a bit more time thinking over your responses and the replies you received. Perhaps you will even reflect back on it the next day as you decide if you were correct in your posts. But eventually you’ll forget the debate even happened. You’ll also go on with your life. You may even have subsequent conversations with the person you were fighting with and find that you both made mistakes and reconcile with each other. You may very well meet them in person at some point and talk out your differences. But the problem with social fighting is that the fight is now permanently recorded.

The fight which in real-life may have blown over in a 30 minute or hour long argument and then left behind now sits dormant on the internet. Ready to be uncovered by someone new at any point in time. Forever. Your words written in haste or written incorrectly are forever recorded to be found and read and analyzed by the world. This is very different from other situations and yet another reason why social fighting is a very bad practice. Don’t make your negative thoughtless comments and arguments be what you are forever remembered by online.

3. Social Fighting Wastes Time

I don’t know about anyone else but interacting on social media is an extremely time intensive process. To do it well and do it right you have to listen. You have to pay attention to what’s being said and what’s being shared and then you have to respond to each message. While in person this is the single focus of your efforts and you work through your debate and then walk away (as we looked at previously); when you debate online and in social media you end up trying to multi-task. I would wager that most of us do that rather ineffectively. We make our comment and then we return to our other tasks on our task list but all the while keep one eye trained on the top right corner of our screen waiting for the notification of a reply. Our minds are not engaged in what we are doing but rather constantly distracted waiting for the imminent reply. This completely ruins our ability to concentrate on other tasks and as a result slows our progress. Social fighting is usually about something we’re passionate about. As a result our passion drives our thinking and our thinking affects our output.

While you may think you’re managing your time well I would be bold and say you could be managing it better. The constant distractions and the disruption to your thinking which occurs each time you jump back into a social fight slows the progress you would otherwise make.  Never forget the person picking fights, looking for ways to stir up conflict, or just being contrary in their messages usually is the one with the most amount of time to spend.


It seems to make common sense that social fighting is not a good thing but sometimes we can forget about it when we’re in the heat of the moment. Hopefully these three points will stick your mind and the next time you find yourself enthralled in a 140 character war of words you will think of them and change your approach.

If you’re able speak to people one-on-one. Take the time to make a personal connection and make the effort to communicate effectively. Yes, differences occur and yes there are times when arguments will erupt-but social media is not always the place to hold them. Make your interactions meaningful. Make your social media meaningful.

 

Stretch Yourself

September 19, 2014
Stretch Yourself

No, I don’t mean physically stretch (though that’s important also!) I mean mentally, personally, internally stretch yourself. Life can be easy at times. Following the same routine and the same day-to-day activities and performing the same job with consistency can be easy. Easy in the sense that you get comfortable with the schedule. You will find yourself beginning to relax a bit in the every day. Sure, maybe you shake things up by eating dinner a bit later on Friday night or you order something slightly different from that little lunch place you visit every Wednesday. These are minor little differences in an otherwise same routine.

This relaxed and casual life can lead to complacency. You get comfortable and you neglect to improve yourself. You quit striving for better things or you stop worrying about trying to accomplish your goals. Maybe you think you’ll get to it tomorrow but telling yourself you’ll get to it the next day soon becomes just part of the routine. Eventually you’ll even get tired of saying the words and you’ll just ignore it all together. I encourage you to stretch yourself. Here’s what I mean.

Do something different

I don’t mean different like a new lunch choice; I mean different like a different ethnicity for your lunch choice. Go to a place you’ve never been and perhaps would never think to go. That’s different. Stretch yourself to look beyond what’s comfortable and what you are familiar with and ry something different. Maybe you have an incredibly sensitive stomach and different foods are simply impossible. Or maybe you don’t have anything close you can try. Find something else you can do different. Take a different way to work and don’t use your phone to give you the directions. Find your way. There was a time not too long ago when we had to use little GPS units created specifically to help us (remember those large blocks with 2 1/2 inch screens?). And it wasn’t too long before that when we didn’t have anything but those giant paper maps (which I could never really fold back the right way). There’s a sense of excitement with trying to find the way to get somewhere without following the same, old, beaten path. Do something different.

Learn from someone else

Learning from someone else means finding someone different from you. Don’t seek our your coworker who you’ve known for a half-dozen years and has shared every detail of their life with you already. Seek out someone else. It doesn’t have to be a deep and lasting connection. Maybe you’re incredibly shy and you don’t like to speak to others. I get that. I’m a bit of an introvert too. You can learn from someone else without even engaging in conversation with them (though I encourage you to do so as it’s definitely the best). You can also just listen to others talk, or watch how they interact. You can learn from how they perform a task or interact with others. Everyone is unique and has different life experiences. The stories they have and the memories they have made in their life time are vastly different from your own. And you can stretch yourself by learning from them. Push your own thinking and your own views and opinions by seeing life through someone else’s eyes.

Show unexpected kindness

The keyword in this last idea is unexpected. It’s easy to show kindness to someone who is our friend or family. We naturally want to please them and be kind to them. But unexpected kindness means seeking out someone that does not expect your kindness. Be generous with your time. Maybe even generous with your money. Showing unexpected kindness stretches you in several ways. In fact, it helps you as you do something different or learn from someone else. In addition it causes you to stretch yourself with what you would normally do or how you would normally spend your time or money. And trust me-the feeling you’ll receive by showing kindness to someone is unmatched. The challenge exists of course to find someone to whom to be kind. This challenge leaves you looking. Searching for someone to demonstrate a random act of kindness towards…and this will stretch you. It will awaken you from the steady stupor we so easily sink into from the routine of life.


There are an almost innumerable list of benefits you can receive by stretching yourself. You can improve your attitude. You can improve your life. More importantly you can improve your world. Taking the time to wake up, smell the coffee, and stretch will make you enjoy life more. And who knows. You may change someone’s day, or even their life through what you do.

 

Ultimate Productivity App

July 3, 2014
The Ultimate Productivity Tool

If you’re anything like me you have a list of tasks a mile long you need to complete. This list might exist in your email, your calendar, or possibly even just a piece of paper you’ve scribbled things down on. Bottom line, you have tasks. I have a secret to share with you. The ultimate productivity tool.

Did I get your attention? Here it is. You. That’s right. The ultimate resource at your disposal for getting things done is quite simply yourself. Why is it then so difficult to get things done and to be productive? Why do we spend so much time searching for the perfect app or the perfect tool to do the job? We seem to hope as if by some miracle we’ll find the project management tool that organizes things perfectly! (and even do the work for us)

Procrastinating Is Easy

I have found myself doing the same thing. Procrastinating but pretending I’m actually doing something useful. Productivity means not procrastinating. Sounds simple but as humans we’re extremely good at fooling ourselves. (Sometimes it seems we only fool ourselves). We procrastinate by claiming we’re looking for a better tool. Again, the tool is not going to get the job done for you. The tool merely organizes information.

Of course you need to use tools and you need to be organized and yes, there are different tools with different focuses, but if you spend all your time looking for a different tool which will help you more you’ll never get anything done.

Here’s a simple rule of thumb: Don’t spend more than 30 minutes looking for a new tool. If you can’t uncover something better than what you’re currently using in 30 minutes stop looking and get back to working. You can always look again later.

Busy Does Not Mean Productive

We tend to trick ourselves into thinking if we’re doing something…doing anything…then we’re busy and we’re productive. In reality being busy is not productive. I often think the more I’m doing the less productive I actually am. Shouldn’t the most productive person be the one who does the least because when they do work they work efficiently and quickly? A productive person will be busy in short bursts rather than live in a continual state of busyness.

If you’re busy look at what is making you busy. Are you busy doing tasks or are you busy looking busy? If you’re busy doing tasks are you working smart? It takes thought to make sure you’re doing the right tasks and working effectively.

Practical application: Break your work time into distinct blocks of time and take breaks. Force yourself to stop and step away and come back. The goal is to get your mind disengaged and then re-engaged when you return. You want to make your time productive and work in short bursts of high efficiency instead of a continually busy frame of mind.

Don’t Chase Rabbits

There’s a number of other reasons why working in shorter time periods is smart. We’ve touched on one already. A second reason is the infamous rabbit trail. For me all it takes is a look up from my computer screen and I find myself hundreds of miles away and thinking about some completely random and totally unrelated topic. If you sit at your desk all day and never take a break you’re encouraging yourself to let your mind wander. Your brain needs breaks. If you don’t plan for breaks in activity then your brain will take its own break whenever it pleases.

There are numerous studies which outline the attention span for humans. And no matter how much you try to convince yourself otherwise – you need breaks. The key is not to try and fight the mental rabbit trails but to control when and where they occur. Enjoy the daydreaming. Great things can happen when you let your mind wander.

Practical application: Don’t attempt to keep your mind from wandering, instead try to keep your day dreaming to those times you have set aside as breaks. Stay focused on your tasks while you’re in your work block of time. If something drifts across your mind, write it down so you’ll remember it for later. Then get back to work. When your breaks do come, change your scenery (get up), change your posture (move around), and change your mind (chase those rabbits).

Do Something

The last productivity tip we’ll talk about is doing versus talking. Of course planning is important and you must be thoughtful about what you do. But this does not mean you should spend your entire time discussing your options or reviewing every possible outcome. If you spend all your time analyzing and debating your course of action, you’ll never have a course of action. It’s a balancing act between discussing and doing. (I wrote about these two roles in a separate blog here.)

When you find your time being spent discussing and debating every task and the way each task should be completed; it’s time for a change. (Keep in mind the talking can be just with yourself!) Stop talking and start doing. Even if you find out later there’s a better way you could have done the task. The goal is progress (forward progress).

Practical application: Keep a close eye on the time you spend between discussing the task and doing the task. If you start to elaborate too much or plan for every possible unknown then force yourself to pick a path and start work. Don’t lose time worrying over each and every decision. You can always make changes later.

Here’s the bottom line.

Most of us already know what it takes to be productive. We understand the steps necessary to get things done and we absolutely know the importance of using our time wisely. What we often fail at is implementing and following what we know. Hopefully these productivity tips will help affirm what you already know and encourage you to re-examine your workflow. It’s not the tool or the app which will make you successful and productive. It’s you.

Remember we’re all in this together.

the power of personal branding

June 16, 2014
The Power of Personal Branding

When you’re working for a company in today’s world there are many more opportunities for sharing and discussing your opinions with others around the globe. Your ability to gain a personal following of people is greater than ever before. How does your personal branding interact with your work life and why does personal branding matter?

Many companies now like to impose certain limitations on social postings when it relates to their business and what employees can and should say in their personal social networks. Why should they care about those personal branding opportunities and what should be the accepted solution? Personal branding is a hot topic although perhaps not with that term. A more familiar term might be personal social networks. Or who you are online. Or to put it simply – what you say and do.

Why Personal Branding Matters

“Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
– Jeff Bezos

What people post online matters. It matters a lot. The reason why is because the internet of today has allowed for audiences and networks of people to connect who never would have connected before. The stage is much bigger. As a result what is said online and how it is said matters because it is powerful. Why do companies limit social network profiles of employees? Unfortunately they limit them because of fear.

Company Interaction

Most companies worry about lots of things. They worry about their competitors, they worry about the market, they worry about revenue, and they worry about employees just to name a few of the worries. Everyone missteps and makes mistakes and a company is no different. To grab a famous quote:

“You can please all of the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time but you can never please all of the people all of the time.”

The larger a company gets the more likely they will at some point make a decision not particularly appreciated by everyone. Companies fear this moment. They use words like backlash and scandal to describe these moments. As a result they try to monitor and limit personal social networks to help ease this fear. Is this acceptable? Should a company be allowed to dictate what is or is not shared on social networks? I believe that’s the wrong question. The better question would be: Has the company hired the right type of employee?

The Right Employee

If companies are hiring the types of employees who love their job and love their company and resonate with the core beliefs and missions of the company then their online personal branding will also reflect this. Of course I would never be so bold as to assume that if a person agrees with their company vision they will never have a difference of opinion or be disgruntled over a decision. The difference is the reaction. It always comes down to the reaction. Sometimes there is no power over the decision made, but there is always power over the reaction.

The right employee understands more than just the decision made. The right employee understands the intentions and motivations of the company and interprets the decisions made through those beliefs. No, they will not always be right. But understanding the heart of the company results in a different reaction. And elicits a different response.

The Right Company

It’s not all about the employee. The right company makes the decisions which best follow the mission and values established. Making decisions that match up to these core beliefs allows others the opportunity to acknowledge why a decision was made and the thinking behind the choice. The weight of a good decision is indeed a heavy one but the right company handles them through careful listening and proper communication.

Personal Growth

Secondly, online personal branding matters because it provides a way for you to grow as a person. A personal brand is an opportunity to expand. An opportunity to make new connections and to grow beyond a current position.

A personal social network provides a platform to share thoughts, connect with others, and to grow. Ultimately self-improvement occurs. Beliefs are shaped, friendships established, and opinions formed as a result of social network interactions and the availability of others. This personal growth also allows for personal branding. Posts and thoughts shared help to establish a niche. No longer are social conversations limited to a small and local audience. Voices are much louder. You now have the ability to expand your horizons. And you should make the most of it. Force yourself to grow, challenge yourself to think and encourage others to become better as well. Your personal brand matters.

Community Perception

The community perception is the last point we will look at quickly in regards to why your personal branding matters. By community perception I mean what does your personal branding say about you to others. We’ve looked at the risks and fears of personal branding to corporations; and we’ve looked at how personal branding can encourage your own growth. Now let’s look at how personal branding shapes what others think of you.

I left this point until last because this is the most common way personal branding is interpreted. What you say and do online is most commonly associated with how others think about you. As you’ve seen above however it is much more than just what others see. Personal branding affects where you work, how you work, and how you grow as a person. Only after those things begin to take shape do you really notice how others view you.

3 quick tips when establishing your personal branding

I’d like to offer three very quick tips to help you as you establish (grow) your personal branding. Follow these and you’ll find satisfaction in your personal brand efforts.

Be true to yourself

Your personal brand should be a true reflection of who you are. Don’t try to be someone you’re not to please others. Don’t put on a fake persona purely to reach a certain market share or demographic. Your social networks, your connections, your communication should be a true reflection of who you are and what you believe. Anything else and people will see right through you.  Be honest with yourself and with others. Your personal brand should always be genuine.

Be considerate

Your personal brand should always be considerate. Learn how to disagree with respect and dignity. As mentioned earlier you will never agree with everyone 100% of the time. Understand you’ll disagree with others. Handle personal disagreements with character and grace. You’ll gain their respect even if they still disagree on your opinion. Being considerate also means listening. Don’t talk down to others or attempt to force them to agree with you. Listen to what they say and understand why they think the way they do. Your personal brand should always be considerate of others.

Be bold

Never be afraid to share your thoughts and your opinions. They are yours. No one else holds the power over your feelings. It’s easy to think of boldness as loud. I recommend trying to be quietly bold. Be bold, but not brazen in your approach. Yes, you are in control of your own feelings and opinions, but temper them with consideration. Be respectful of others while still expressing yourself. Your personal brand should always be bold.

Remember your personal branding efforts should never be established because of a desired outcome. Your personal branding should be a genuine reflection of who you are and what you believe. You should be considerate to others and you should be bold to share and interact in the community. Personal branding is an image of you, a reflection of your values and beliefs.

Your personal branding is powerful. And your personal branding matters.

May 5, 2014
A Personal Update

moving boxes

Many of you who know me personally know I’m incredibly busy with a number of ventures right now. For those who don’t I’ll give a quick personal update on some of the stuff going on.

It was with some hesitation that I began the process of moving our office into our new location. Why hesitation? Because this is the first office building we’re actually purchasing rather than just renting. The space is large and new, and once the dust settles I’ll probably post some pictures of it. It’s a fantastic opportunity which was pretty much dropped in my lap. I hadn’t really planned on moving or even been looking. But this particular location came by word of mouth from a friend. Long story short what began as a possible rental ended up being a purchase instead. After a bit of back and forth, the usual inspections and due diligence the papers were signed and I had keys in hand.

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks as we packed everything up from our old location and moved them to the new space. Thankfully they are not too far apart from each other and so the move time was minimal. However, we had painting, and new furniture to take care of before we could move in. I learned its important when placing furniture to pay attention to the layout. The company we hired came out and measured each space and provided mockups for what would work best in each office. It was very nice to not be relying on my own guesses but allow the pro’s to work.

We’re just now getting settled and beginning to adjust to work in the new office. I admit it was stressful, but a good experience and it’s exciting to feel like we’re a bit more established now. I’ve also been working hard on letting others do what they’re good at. I’m a dabbler. I love to learn and as such I love to be involved in other processes (like the furniture situation). But I’m learning a valuable lesson. Spend time wisely. Sure, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to know the process and being involved and learning, but at the end of the day, trust the team you have around you. Let them do their job.

The move didn’t just affect us internally though. It also affected our clients. We had to be clear with our clients what they could expect. And ask for them to be flexible with their schedules as we transitioned. I did my best to be open and transparent as I spoke with them and personally conveyed my appreciation for their understanding. I know we have great clients, but I think you’d be surprised how many people will be supportive if you are only honest with them about what you have going on. And of course there were times when I was sitting cross-legged in an empty office with nothing but a laptop on the floor so I could carry on a conference call. Because it’s not just the client that needs to be flexible.

Anyway, there’s a quick update and thought from my personal experiences recently. I’ll probably share some others in the future. I hope something I share helps you as you work through your own personal growth and development.

April 25, 2014
Outside the Box

image

I’m sitting at my desk after pulling another all-nighter working on a last-minute deadline for a project. And before you ask let me tell you, I don’t like it. 

Late Nights

I’m not opposed to hard work, in fact, many would say I work a bit too much. And I love working late at night and early (wicked early) in the morning. There’s something relaxing and exciting about being up when the rest of the house is dark and quiet. It’s peaceful…well, it’s peaceful if there’s not a last minute deadline that you’re cramming to finish your work for. 

As I was wracking my brain with a problem I couldn’t seem to solve and had spent several hours working on it I realized something. It’s not about working harder, but working smarter. I know, I know it’s a very well-known saying and most of the time I do a great job of getting the right amount of sleep and thinking before writing, but sometimes I don’t realize until it’s too late. So what exactly does it mean to work smarter? 

Working smarter means being willing to think outside the box.

When presented with a problem don’t blindly accept a given solution; especially if you find yourself spending hours and hours running in circles without a getting the work done. Thinking outside the box means finding alternative solutions to the problem. If something’s not working and you’ve exhausted your resources, take a minute (doesn’t have to be long), take a deep breath, and take a fresh look at the problem. Look for alternate solutions which you’ve not explored. It may mean a short term expenditure of time, but long-term you could see massive time savings. 

Working smarter also means prioritizing tasks.

Don’t get stuck fighting with a minor problem when you could make great strides forward by focusing on a different part of the job. When you pick your tasks correctly you’ll find you personally feel better because you’ll make progress. Yes, it’s a mind game you’re playing with yourself. But it’s ok, the result is positive. I know it helps me to make progress on things in any form. So moving to a different task which I can quickly complete helps keep me motivated and energized.

Working smarter means sharing responsibility.

Don’t do it all yourself. If you’re anything like me then you struggle constantly with the feeling that you should be the one doing the work because you know it best. But trust me, from personal experience I’ve learned a couple of things. First, I don’t know best all the time. Second, you should take advantage of the skills of others and allow them to succeed at those things they know how to do. Many hands make light work and working as team will accomplish much more than you could ever get done by yourself.

So, where does this article come from? It comes from a long night of hard work where I look back and start to wonder if I’ve been working harder or working smarter. I’m pretty sure this time around I’ve worked too hard and not smart enough. I spent some time doing my research today and have found better ways I could have worked. So this is a lecture to myself as much as it is advice for anyone else. I’ll leave you this time with a quote from a somewhat funny old television show quote.

I’m pullin’ for ya. We’re all in this together.
Red, The RedGreen Show