CEDEC business blog: 6 Ways You Can Work Smarter, Not Harder

Working really hard to accomplish your goals is admirable, but working smarter is how you’ll get your business where you want it to be, faster.

Here are six tips to help you get focus, make decisions and take action:

1. Make a “to don’t” list:

Create a list of time wasters, useless tasks, etc. that you should NOT be wasting time on – the types of things that won’t really help you grow your business efficiently or quickly. Juxtapose this list next to your “to do” list and get to work on the good stuff.

2. Hone your elevator speech:

You should be able to explain who you are, what you do, and why someone will benefit from your product or service in 30 seconds. (Bonus points if you can knock that down to 15.) It’s important to keep in mind, however, that your elevator speech shouldn’t sound like an elevator speech. You want it to be as concise a reflection of your business’ personality and offerings as possible without using a bunch of industry jargon or other irrelevant gobbledygook.

3. Plan & prioritize:

As the old saying goes, failing to plan is planning to fail. But it’s important to remember that a ‘fail’ is not a sign of total failure. Naturally, your primary goal shouldn’t be running up a list of endless tiny failures, but you should use those experiences and insights to plan for more successful business growth. Using a tool like GrowthWheel® can help you avoid most pitfalls by providing a 360° overview of the things you should and should not be focusing on.

4. Work in blocks:

Working in 20 minute chunks and interspersing your day with some physical activity is a great way to avoid brain fog. Have a micro-plan in mind of what you intend to accomplish during each block so you can immediately jump into those tasks.

5. Take breaks:

In Stephen Covey’s book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” he tells a story about a woodcutter whose saw gets blunter as he busily saws away, but he continues to work hard to meet his goals by cutting down as many trees as he can. However, if the woodcutter were to take a few minutes to sharpen his saw he’d actually save time and effort in the long run.

6. Use a map to avoid roadblocks:

Don’t let roadblocks on the way to business growth success get you down. Instead, focus on some smaller tasks you’ve identified and the satisfaction you get from completing them will give you the momentum you need to work on the next business challenge.

Overall, the effort to work smarter, not harder provides more control of both your professional life and personal life. It will enable you to be more productive and you’ll derive greater satisfaction from what you do!

CEDEC Small Business Support can help you work smarter through its Business Advisory services which uses GrowthWheel®, a tool that allows you to get focus, make decisions, and take concrete, immediate action. If your business is experiencing sales growth or financing challenges, reach out – we can help! (888) 641-9912 or sbs@cedec.ca

Gérard Boivin, CEDEC Small Business Support Business Advisor, brings 25 years’ experience as an entrepreneur to help SMEs uncover their hidden assets, overlooked opportunities, and undervalued possibilities. CEDEC Small Business Support offers powerful frontline support to help your small business innovate, grow and prosper. For more information or to book a free 360° Screening of your small business visit: www.cedec.ca/sbs

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