How to Work Smarter Not Harder

How to Work Smarter Not Harder



hello i'm jennifer whitt director of projectmanager.com well welcome to our whiteboard session today on how to work smarter not harder I just recently celebrated an another birthday and people asked me what I like the most about getting older and I said it's actually getting smarter so I remember back in the day when I started my first corporate job after college and I noticed that I was always the one working late is everyone else kind of waved goodbye you know at five o'clock and I was still there till all wee hours of the night and I thought wow how do they do that they're so much smarter and they kind of smiled and they always said great job Jennifer you're working so hard and so I was so proud of myself because I was working so hard and that got me even more projects and more responsibilities and I thought that was great until I finally caught on so if you're one of the ones who are working late while everyone else is going home or you're getting all the harder projects and everyone else is getting all the cushy jobs well let me give you a few tips I've learned along the way so first of all assess and ask yourself why is it important for you to work smarter because I decided there's actually our own triple constraint we're working with because you might want more time you might want more money like how can I do more with less and make more money at the same time or what about scope how can I get more deliverables done how can I get more done in my day and maybe quality quality of life for me now as I'm getting older and smarter I'm actually more interested in my quality of life my life balance so assess yourself and decide again what makes it smarter what are you trying to accomplish what are the results that you want so once you do that and know why then here are just a few things I want to share in how the how to work smarter so number one check your abilities check your abilities on what you're doing and ask yourself am I the best person to do this I know even in the realm of project management there are some things that I like to do better than others there's some things that I can do better than others so I decide if I'm to do this or not so I find is this a team member who can do this better or to have a colleague to have someone else in the group or organization and I re according to abilities number two boundaries always looking at boundaries and making sure I set my own boundaries where people aren't able to come in and decide that I need to reshuffle my schedule on their behalf because of some lack of planning they're doing or maybe people just come into my office or my cubicle or maybe they hijack my meeting so I have to set my own boundaries and learn to say no and make sure people understand that the next item is your calendar your calendar your schedule the days you work the hours you work I remember when I first started out of college it was important for me to have to come in early so I would get in early at 6 a.m. from so 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. I would plan all of my activities and then when my team came in then I would be able to to work with my team meet with my stakeholders any other project team members and then at the end of the day it was important for me to go do my exercise routine so at a certain time that I wanted to leave at the end of the day then now it's almost reversed so now I start my morning out with my routine my exercise routine the things that I need to do for me to get quiet maybe I meditate or maybe I get my quiet time so I don't even start my workday until 10:00 a.m. and then I end my day at 2:00 so I can do the planning for the next day and then I come in and then everything set so you've got to be able to set your own schedule and your own calendar and then one of the things I see with some of my mentees is and I used to do it myself when people would call and want to change meetings around well you can do that you know things do change but you've got to be able to control your calendar and and understand how that impacts your day in your projects so being able to manage that effectively the next one is mentors and I'm constantly engaging new mentors for myself because I'm I want to find people who have been there done that for the things I want to do because I feel like I can learn from them so I engage them and I ask some questions like how am i doing I have them assess me they get to look at my work habits what am i doing how am I doing it and they get to question and they get to see where maybe I have gaps where I can't see for myself so they may offer different suggestions of things maybe more abilities that I need to learn more skill sets I need they may see habits that I have with maybe not setting boundaries and not being able to own and manage my calendar and then mentees I think it's important to have mentees people who are learning maybe they're trying to learn things that I know how to do so they constantly ask questions I'll never forget an environment I was in where we had people who had just been hired on some people were new out of college some people were new out of other companies but they were considered the new people and so I remember there was one guy in particular who always had these great ideas creative ways to save us time maybe money energy and he was told that he was young so the new people are the new people were to be seen and not heard and I thought that was so crazy so later I would always pull him aside and I would talk with him myself and question him and I always got new ways of doing that so I've never forgotten that so I always solicit and I always feel I have certain something to learn from my mentees just like they have something to learn from me as their mentor so I think it takes both mentors and mentees and then number the the one for processes it's always great to have processes or systems established documented repeatable measureable processes for those who may work in different fields where there's the Carnegie Mellon capability maturity model there may be ISO there may be other standards but those are the components that they look for being able to document things so people who maybe you can hand work off too so it's a documented proceed procedure it's and it's also measurable so you can't improve anything if you can't measure it so those measurements help you to improve and then question always question is this something I even need to be doing anymore is this the way I need to be doing it because as things change we always need to be able to update how we're doing things a good example is I have a someone in my group who is still using Excel and so we started looking at it and back in the day Excel was a way to make things better it was a an improvement over doing things manually so to put something in Excel was a step up it actually improved and saved time but now we've learned that because their online systems online project management systems we can actually put that in a project management software and they can do the calculations without doing Excel so Excel is now an old way of doing things where the new project management system is the new way of doing it so it's always questioned so these are some of the ways that I found over time as I'm getting older and now smarter and there's some of the things I just want to share and I hope they help you too if you're looking for a tool they can help you work smarter not harder then sign up for our software now at projectmanager.com you