I really didn’t mean that.

To be honest, to be successful, one needs certain things to happen:

  1. You have to hustle. Move faster than your competition and get things done. Take action.
  2. You have to be smart. Not only intelligence, but knowledge and street smarts.
  3. You have to be lucky. Sometimes it comes from nowhere, but most of the time it presents itself from opportunities you developed.

But there are times when you need to be nimble, agile, and frankly, work smarter. How? Here goes:

Think of all the things you do during the day. The email, the meetings, the people, the stop-bys, the phone calls, the traveling, the commute . . . everything.

Now I want you to take each element and figure out how you can STREAMLINE it. Make it take less time but deliver the same (or increased) result. Let’s try each one:

  • Email – do you have to read EVERY email? Develop a system to read the important messages and toss the rest.
  • Meetings – do you have to go to EVERY meeting? Eliminate one meeting per week – you don’t really need to be there.
  • People – who are the most important people to your career? Who wastes your time? Start spending more time with the important people.
  • Stop-bys – it’s nice to have an open-door policy but you have to have time for yourself. Close your door at certain times to get working.
  • Phone calls – all calls should be five minutes or less. If it is more complex, you need to meet.
  • Traveling – do you really need to go there? Can you video conference in? A conference call?
  • Commute – sitting in the car for an hour a day is tiring. Can you listen to motivational CD’s? Can you telecommute?

Think outside of the box — you want to work smarter — get the work done in less time without killing yourself.

Over the next few weeks, I will be focusing in on each of these areas – STAY TUNED!

Image provided by H Sterling Cross at Flickr.