Everyone has heard the phrase, “If you want to get ahead in your career, you’ve gotta work harder than the rest.” Tom Brady, Bradley Cooper and Beyonce didn’t just become great overnight. It took days, months, and years to get where they wanted to be, and they’re still working to become better. There is no substitute for hard work, especially when it’s combined with raw talent. People who are willing to make sacrifices in order to get what they want are almost always the ones that will get it. You’ve almost always got to be willing to give up something in order to get something in return. But, what happens when you combine working harder with working smarter?
Regardless of what you’re doing, try to learn and to find better ways to get things done. There are always more efficient ways to execute the same task. I’m not talking about cutting corners or taking the easy way out; I’m talking about continuing to work hard but “trimming the fat” in the process. Always work hard but also work smarter and more efficiently. If a lumberjack had the option between cutting down a tree with an ax or a chain saw, which would make more sense? (If you choose the ax you’re an idiot with a burly-man complex). The point is, finding ways to complete the same task more efficiently will not only make things easier on yourself, but will also open up more time to complete other things.
From a sales perspective, being able to crank through a busy day is necessary part of the job. Calling, emailing, calling, presenting, calling, meeting, calling, it really never ends, but, the utilization of modern technology can increase your efficiency and productivity. Some of the tactics that I use in my day-to-day life to become more efficient are: tracking and automating emails, using my cell phone to make business calls (without giving away my cell number), working off of a “hotspot” when I’m not in the office and using templates for common email responses. All of these free up my time and allow me to focus on the things that are really important. Email templates are a great example of this. The key is I don’t just send the exact same one to everyone, I make minor changes to customize it so that rather than writing an entire email response, I can tailor it to the situation and address each response with a personalized answer. Things like this not only make my life easier, but also my work more consistent and help me make sure I get to everything I need to. All these little time savers add up, so now, instead of writing yet another common email response I can write this blog. The proof is in the pudding….or something like that.