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10 Tips on How to Work Smarter, Not Harder

Content from this email provided by Jason Tweed at Leading Home Care

http://www.leadinghomecare.com/pdtoday/20110129.html

10 Tips For Working Smarter Not Harder

In 2010, I made a personal New Year’s resolution to “work smarter, not harder” and it worked well for me. At the beginning of this new year, I started thinking about the things I’ve done that helped me accomplish that goal. I thought I would share some of them with each of you today.
ASK MORE QUESTIONS – Business owners get in the bad habit of answering questions. Unfortunately, this can lead to your employees depending on you for decision-making. Ultimately, the major decisions should be made by the owners and chief executives, however, empower your employees to make decisions about the daily operations. When they come to you, ask them questions to stimulate their own decision-making.
SCHEDULE TIME FOR YOUR INBOX – If you’re like me, you get 100 emails a day and about 50 are junk. Another 30 are interesting, but not valuable. Ten are useful. Eight are important, but not urgent. Two are critical. I never open my email first thing in the morning. It’s full of mostly junk and it distracts me from starting my day. I check it once in the morning and once in the afternoon, taking time to delete, read or respond as necessary. Let people know your process as this will help the two people who sent critical emails to make a decision whether an email or a phone call is more appropriate.
VITAMIN C – I take Vitamin C each day. It’s not a cure-all, but it helps me stay healthy. The point is, the most effective and productive leaders are healthy leaders. Pay attention to your health. Get enough sleep, make better choices at meal times, and squeeze in a little exercise. Your body and your company will thank you.
LAUGH – The world around us can be ridiculous…. LAUGH AT IT!
READ – My eight-year-old son prefers math and science over reading and writing. I had to explain to him that even scientists spend a huge amount of time reading what other scientists write. They learn from others’ mistakes and from others’ examples. Whether you’re 8, 38, 68 or 98, reading is essential for growth.
SET LOFTY GOALS – My future scientist already has lofty career expectations. “I’m going to try to find a cure for that cancer that ladies get, or maybe I’ll figure out how to make disabled people learn to walk, or maybe I can even invent a new snack food!” Design your goals to impress yourself, and then go for it!
PET A PUPPY – I work at home with several cats and a Labrador Retriever. The sense of companionship I get from a sleepy dog at my feet keeps me grounded. It helps me keep in mind that no matter how hectic life can get, it’s still not enough to wake my puppy. (By the way, my puppy weighs 90 pounds now.) Find your own source of serenity, and escape to it once in awhile.
CREATE GOOD HABITS – Everyone has something they could do better. Benjamin Franklin tells us, “Do something everyday for 12 days and it will become a habit”. It’s surprisingly simple to develop a good habit.
ELIMINATE A BAD HABIT – Ben’s advice goes both ways. Give something up for 12 days and you will probably no longer feel the need.
SAY “THANK YOU” – I get lots of help everyday and probably say “Thank you” a hundred times. My mother is proud of my good manners, but that’s not the point. Take some time each day to specifically thank one person who has made your life better. Go out of your way to send them a note, a card or a gift. Call them just to say “Thank you”. Giving thanks actually does more for the giver than the receiver.

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