Working Smarter, Not Harder….Or Are we Just Being Lazy?
“I will always choose a lazy person to do a difficult job, because he will find an easy way to do it.” Bill Gates.
We found this gem
posted to Twitter the other day and let’s just say it rattled some cages. Our initial reaction was something akin to horror. “What, Bill said that?” And then a little humor. “Ha, Bill said that.” And then finally, “Hey, is Bill right?” Yes, yes, a little schizophrenic. Because, as a start-up, the word ‘lazy’ just isn’t written into our script. It can’t be. Lazy need not apply. But clearly, Bill’s a successful guy (worth upwards of $79.2B), so we’re guessing he knows something we don’t, right? Could it be that we all need a “lazy” person in the office? Could it be that all this time we’ve been busting our collective behinds when we could have been taking a siesta in the lunchroom? Nope. Nada. Non. Niet. At its core, the word lazy
(thank you Merriam) means the following:
- not liking to work hard or to be active
- not having much activity : causing people to feel that they do not want to be active
- moving slowly
And apologies to Bill, but we don’t see the benefits in having someone on the team who doesn’t like to work hard or even work at all. However, maybe what Bill meant to say is that he’d prefer someone who works smarter – not harder. And, yes, that we can agree is a good thing. Why? It’s generally because working smarter is about thinking of creative ways to solve a problem or task. It’s about ditching the standard way of doing something for a chance at discovering a better and faster method to reach a goal. So how can you get away from the mindset of working hard and start working smart?
- Prioritize – We know, we know, it’s as old as time. But the truth is, working smart means you have know where to put your energy. It means minimizing distractions and focusing on the stuff that’s going to pay off bigger and faster. It does not mean making a list of 20 priorities, but instead think of 1-2 BIG DEAL things and focus, focus.
- Delegate – The truth is, to succeed, you need to let other people help you. How? Often, it’s by delegating tasks which don’t play to your core strengths, and it’s about getting advice on an area which you’re struggling with on your own.
- Reuse and Recycle – Isn’t that cheating? No, not at all! Listen, there is no sense in reinventing the wheel. If the work/content/template makes sense, why not use that as a starting point? Reuse is what gives us speed and efficiency without reinventing the wheel every time we want to create a new asset.