Don't work harder; Work smarter!

“Procrastination is opportunity's assassin.”

– Victor Kiam, entrepreneur

It has been said that if you want to accomplish more at the office, you should go out of town more often!

This is not a conundrum.  It is a reality.  Think about it – when you are planning and out-of-office trip (business trip or vacation) you tend to become quite efficient.  You:

1) Make decisions (to act on it, to delegate the task, to file it or to trash it) – There is no time for procrastination.  Nor is there time for indecision – the clock is ticking and you must decide or delegate.

2) Become better organized (the people who remain behind in the office must know what needs to be done in your absence and where to find the necessary information.)

3) Improve your communications (your write notes, leave messages, hold efficient staff meetings to communicate the priorities that you expect your staff to handle while you are away.)

Don't worry that people will get more accomplished while you are away than when you are in the office.  Yes, more will be accomplished – and that is a good thing.  You will have let go of some ordinary tasks – and given your staff a chance to demonstrate their capabilities.

I have seen this happen to me – I left on a short business trip yesterday, and I probably got more accomplished in the last 4 hours I word before leaving for the airport than I normally would have.  I made decisions; I communicated priorities to my assistant; I wrote notes and left message.  I did not procrastinate – I did not have the time; and a deadline was looming.  I became more effective.

Here is a little tip that I picked up from the February 2006 issue of “The Motivational Manager” (which I read while on the plane:)

The more time you have, the more time you waste.  If you're working longer hours but getting less done, maybe it's time to rethink.  Pick one day a week to be your short day – the day when you'll leave (the office) on time, no exceptions.  Then keep track of how much you get done on that day.  You may be surprised to find that when you can't dawdle – you don't.”

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