3 Steps To Working Smarter—Not Harder blog image from jonhorton.com

3 Steps To Working Smarter—Not Harder

You’ve got a million things on your to do list, and you just added one more. You’re working nights and weekends trying to catch up. You miss your family. Often you miss special moments from your kids because you’re so preoccupied with “just more thing.”

Sometimes it seems that you’re married to your computer. You think to yourself—there’s got to be a better way!

(Hint: there is.)

Workaholism is rampant. A recent study on How CEOs spend their time shows that the majority of business leaders and CEOs work an average of 62.5 hours a week and many also admit to working most nights and weekends. With too much to do and never enough hours in the day, how can you focus your efforts on what needs to get done instead of surrendering to the tyranny of the urgent?

We offer up 3 questions you can ask when a new task, project, or conversation presents itself to help you be better equipped to use your most valuable resource wisely.

1. Is this in line with the vision of my company?

Forgive me if this is too obvious, but one of the most inefficient things you can do is doing something well that shouldn’t be done at all. Yikes. Despite its simplicity, how many of us charge full steam ahead, excited to be making progress, doing something well, without ever asking ourself if it should be done in the first place?

“There is nothing quite so useless, as doing with great efficiency, something that should not be done at all.”
—Peter Drucker

Before you set out to accomplish any endeavor, first ask yourself: should I do this? Will it help me accomplish my vision? If so—awesome! Give it your all, inspire your team, and accomplish something great.

If not?


Put the pen down.

Don’t do it.

Re-evaluate and change directions.

Put your energy toward implementing an idea that helps fulfill your vision, and you’ve taken your first step to working smarter.

2. Is this something I can delegate?

How many times have you heard the phrase, “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.”? How many times have you said it?

As someone who’s uttered this phrases countless times, I understand the struggle!

The lie we tell ourselves is that we’re the only ones capable of doing something right. At its core sits a fundamental distrust of others and often an understandable challenge of taking a step from that comfortable place of the familiar to the unknown of where you want to be.

You can work hard and cling to the mindset that you have to do everything.

Or—you can take a step into the next level of your leadership by delegating tasks AND ownership of projects to someone else on your team.

By having the courage to delegate, you unlock two very important things.

First, when you delegate not just a task, but ownership over that task to your team, you’ve inherently started the process of developing leaders on your team. You’ve given away responsibility and called someone to step up. As a result, you’re bringing your entire team up another level. Imagine how your culture might change if the people that work with you saw themselves as owners and not just doers of tasks.

Secondly, as you delegate to others on your team, you’re freeing yourself up to lead and focus your energy on what only you can do. Think about it—whether you’re the CEO, a director, or team lead, what’s the best use of your time: getting stuck in the minutia and details that someone else can handle—or spending your time on those items that bring the most value to your organization?

Are you spending your time doing things that someone else can do? Delegate.

What are the things that only you can do?

Go, do those things first.

Change and growth are right around the corner, but someone has to go first—and that person is you!

3. Does technology exist that can replace a repeated task?

When you’re entrenched in an industry and you’ve been doing the same thing for years, it’s easy to miss the sweeping changes that technology can bring. Technology has changed the way we work and communicate. It’s put entire companies out of business and opened up equally more opportunities in fields that didn’t exist merely a decade ago.

  • You used to lose hours of work if you forgot to save your Microsoft Word document; now you have Google Docs in the cloud that autosaves as you type.
  • You used to have handwritten calendars; now you can schedule time on someone’s calendar with services like Calendly.
  • It use to be impossible to know if a consumer watched one of your ads on TV; now you can re-market ads to people that visited a product page on your website.

Technology has made it possible to work smarter unlike ever before, but it requires you to take the initiative to implement it.

What tasks do you repeat often that technology could improve or even eliminate?

What if you found a way to save an hour each day by automating a particular task—how much time would that free up over the course of a year?

Imagine what you could do with an extra hour each day.

Equipped with this knowledge, commit to investing 30 minutes to an hour of your time to see what you could implement to work smarter not harder.

Need an outside perspective or advice to guide you? We’ve got you covered.

While we hope these three steps gave you some immediate areas to evaluate and put into practice, these are just a starting point. In what other areas can you find ways to not just work harder and harder, but to try something new and work smarter?

Whether you’re looking for a better way to align your projects with your company’s vision, find opportunities to delegate, leverage technology to work for you, or don’t know where to start and need a guide—NewCulture is here to help help you succeed every step of the way!

We’ll analyze your current process and help you discover ways to leverage technology to work smarter and improve your efficiency.

As a result, you gain tremendous value by working smarter, freeing up time, and ultimately growing your business.

August 26, 2019